Sunday, September 5, 2010

Houdini Pie by Paul Michel

Halley, named after Halley's Comet was born right after his father Charles got caught in one of his fraudulent schemes. Once Hal was considered old enough he was expected to work for Charles in his less than honest business ventures including running a lucrative alcohol business during prohibition.

In 1934, as a young man Hal is a pitcher for and upstart baseball team and strikes just about everyone out. His Uncle Warren shows up after a long absence and asks Hal to join in him in a business venture that his Charles is also tied up with. Hal thinks it sounds preposterous but his mother Vera talks him into doing it with the promise of riches, gold actually. 

A Hopi Indian and his daughter lead the search, with the story of their ancestors, who were Lizard people. They hid treasure in Los Angeles California way beneath a downtown street. Somehow the crackpot sounding scheme get approval from the mayor and they are allowed to dig.

This is a story about love, hope and loyalty for Hal. Though the constant reference to Houdini Pie and it's symbolism got a little tiresome to me, the book flowed well with simple old fashioned story telling. Some of it was quite predictable but the book was enjoyable.


Thanks to Mary Myers of Bennet & Hastings Publishing for this book.


  1. Great Depression is the time of my writing, too. I only wish I had more Native Americans, as this book apparently does.

  2. Shelly, I wouldn't say that Native Americans play a big part in the book but it is an important part.

  3. I know it may be"improper" for a writer to comment on one's own book but I did have to laugh at the comment about the "constant reference to Houdini Pie and its symbolism..." The phrase is used a very few times in the novel, with nary a reference, wink or nod to its symbolism! (It has none I'm aware of....) Methinks maybe a certain reader didn't really, um, read it the book at all? ;) No problem. So many books, so little time...