When a young Harry Houdini visits Toronto with his stage act, he soon finds himself under police scrutiny when the bank next door to the theater in which he is performing is robbed. A bank guard, Joe Decker, was killed during the robbery. Dr. Ogden and several police officers, including Murdoch and Insp. Brackenreid, were in the audience at the time. For Dr. Ogden the biggest surprise of the evening is that her younger sister Ruby, a reporter and writer, appears on stage as Houdini's assistant. When the autopsy reveals that the dead man's blood has turned black, it would seem that he was poisoned. Brackenreid is convinced that Houdini, who was locked in a safe for over 11 minutes during one of his escape routines, is the culprit but Murdoch is far from convinced. Working with Houdini, Murdoch is able to show how the robbery itself was based on illusion. Written by
Did You Know?
Ruby Ogden says that she is involved with H. G. Wells, who was very promiscuous in his relationships, but it is doubtful he was even in Canada in 1896. In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel Mary Wells, but they separated when he fell in love with one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins, whom he married in 1895. With her consent, he had affairs with a number of women, including the American birth control activist Margaret Sanger, adventurer and writer Odette Keun and novelist Elizabeth von Arnim. In 1909, he had a daughter, Anna-Jane, with the writer Amber Reeves,Society, and in 1914, a son, Anthony West (1914-1987), by the novelist and feminist Rebecca West, twenty-six years his junior. In "Experiment in Autobiography" (1934), Wells wrote: "I was never a great amorist, though I have loved several people very deeply." See more
The type of air duct large enough to crawl through weren't around at the time as steam pipes was used for central heating. Large air ducts require electric fans to force the air but they weren't in general use until the 1920s. See more
Mr. Simms is working late, and he doesn't like to be observed.
Detective William Murdoch
He'll be in an even worse mood once I'm finished with him.