Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini

Written by Cynthia Von Buhler
Review by Julia Stoneham

This stunning graphic novel will appeal not only to Houdini devotees but also to those who may discover, within in its luscious pages, an introduction to the captivating skills of its author and creator, Cynthia von Buhler.

It is centred around Minky Woodcock, who works as the secretary of her father’s detective agency and wishes that he would give her a chance to do more. Iconic characters come and go, but Houdini endures, from one generation to the next, as one of the most vividly remembered celebrities of his time. Often the focus of theories and speculation, there has always been a plethora of works elaborating on his spellbinding performances, his relationships with his public and his effect on those close to him.

This is a gloriously witty, touching and very beautifully produced book. Yes, it follows the criteria of a “comic book” in some respects, but its exquisite illustrations, immaculate draughtsmanship, colouration, and subtext hit whatever target it sets itself with astonishing assurance.

This high-quality book is a “keeper”, a surprising and endearing publication which is a delight both to have and to hold. Whether one is fascinated by Houdini himself, or discovering for the first time the spells cast by Cynthia von Buhler, The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini is a possession to treasure.