The Arcanum 11/23/11
The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler was recommended to me by a friend. I can't remember the exact context of the recommendation but it came with a physical copy of the book.
The book begins with Arthur Conan Doyle in New York to help solve a murder and exonerate his friend H.P. Lovecraft. He gets help from Harry Houdini. Together the three of them as well as a woman who should have been dead and buried are part of a secret society called The Arcanum.
The purpose of the Arcanum is built on the same mythology as the set up to Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series. That unexpected connection is part of the reason I had to stop reading The Arcanum. While both are fantasies that dabble in the silly, Clare is able to stretch my suspension of disbelief without actually breaking it.
There were just too many outrageous things for me to believe. First is the oddball almost college fraternity behavior of Doyle and Houdini, both who were well past that age. Then there were their heroics which at one point involved walking tightrope style across either phone or power lines! It was just too much.