REVIEW: Houdini Pie | Paul Michel | Grab yourself a slice of the good life

Title:Houdini Pie
Author: Paul Michel
Paul Michel's website
Publisher: Bennett & Hastings Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-934733-55-4
Length: 212 pages
Format: Paperback
Reviewer Sassy Brit

It is heartwarming how when there's a war everybody pulls together, and Hal Gate's family is not much different. Only it's during 1920s Prohibition in the United States, his dad Charlie is head honcho bootlegger, Uncle Abe the networker, Uncle Warren the idea man, his mum the bookkeeper and ten year old Hal his dad's right hand man. Read lookout. Now that's what I call a family business! Until his dad does a disappearing act. A regular Houdini.

Tough times call for tough measures, as anyone who knows the bootlegging trade can testify. It's a risky life for young Hal with danger lurking around every corner and in between every case of booze. So when good fortune suddenly comes knocking at their door in the form of the Hopi tribe treasure, the spirit of adventure is summoned in a big, magical way.

Are there really ancient treasures and subsurface anomalies to be found? Or is it just an illusion; a big fat slice of Houdini Pie, just like Hal's mother during her crystal radio and Ouija board days?

From bootlegging to running a family business Houdini Pie is a quirky, fun read about the life and times of a boy growing up in California around  Prohibition.
Sprinkling laugh-out-loud gems from his zany characters along with the harsh worries and dangers of bootlegging, Michel brings forth a world both funny and sad. Of people taking what joy possible from a bittersweet existence. While the story of Houdini Pie remains a slice of fiction, this book makes young Hal's idiosyncratic life as readable as any biography, with historical facts and real-life people who hunted for the buried gold of a 4000 year-old tribe of Lizard People. A welcome, old fashioned adventure tale with an intriguing narrative, partly set in a dank underground labyrinth with a little pastoral baseball thrown in, where people of 1920/30's Los Angeles and the mystical Hopi tribe are brought to life. 

Paul Michel is an award-winning short story writer who lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. Houdini Pie is h is first published novel.  

Read the prologue here! 


I'm adding this read to the Indie Book Reading Challenge 2010, the 100+ Challenge 2010, which need a little updating... :) 

JUNE 2010 - Please welcome ROXANA SHIRAZI our Author in the Spotlight!

WINThe Path of Innocence by Megan Johns - Ends 15th July 2010

WINOne Too Many Times by Diana Rubino - Ends 22nd July 2010

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  1. 'Houdini Pie' sounds like a real winner. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the wonderful review, Sassy.

  2. Ahh those lizard people again :)
    Nice review, and it does sound like a nice book

  3. Thanks Michael and Blodeuedd!

    Yes, Blodeuedd, those lizard people get everywhere... :)

  4. I wanna
    find more info about this, anybody could?


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