See Houdini's Magic (ed. from his notebooks, 1932); biographies by H. Kellock (1928), W. L. Gresham (1959), and K. Silverman (1996); W. B. Gibson, Houdini's Escapes (1930); R. FitzSimons, Death and the Magician: The Mystery of Houdini (1985); J. Steinmeyer, Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear (2003).
In the Winter of 1907 children are going missing from the poorest part of Gotham, known as the Devil's Workshop. The culprit is a grinning white-faced ghoul named Jack Schadenfreude. Meanwhile Houdini is in town for a performance and mingles with Gotham's elite. Amongst them is Bruce Wayne, from an Old Money background, and Elijah Montenegro, the nouveau riche, self-styled Beef Baron. Also in town are other notables specifically Tom Mix and Leonora Reinhardt. All the high society events are being documented for the "Gotham Globe" by Victoria Vale.
Vale and Wayne attend Reinhardt’s performance as the lead in Medea, where they meet the Baron again. They are then invited to a séance to be held by Reinhardt. An invitation also extended to Houdini, who has an interest in the paranormal. The séance is apparently a success, leading the three to conclude something genuinely supernatural is going on.
The abductions are traced to Montenegro’s meat factory and it soon becomes apparent that everything is somehow connected.
The story is narrated by Houdini. He contrasts his own poor upbringing with that of Bruce Wayne. It also highlights Batman's comparatively poor lock picking and escapological skills, as he learned a number of his skills from studying Houdini's work.