Coney Island

Author turns young adult genre on its ear by blending paranormal urban fantasy with Coney Island history

Brooklyn BookBeat

July 22, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Image courtesy of the author
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Glenn Herdling, a former editor and writer at Marvel Comics, has announced the publication of “Piper Houdini: Apprentice of Coney Island,” a novel for supernatural thrill-seekers about a 12-year-old orphan who learns that she is the niece of the legendary Harry Houdini.

“I’m really excited about returning to the creative fold,” Herdling said. “And I’m thrilled to be returning to the genre I enjoyed the most — heroic fiction.”

But the book isn’t about your typical 21st century hero. That’s because Piper’s adventure takes place 90 years ago, during the Roaring Twenties, against the hustling and bustling background of Coney Island.

“It was a time and a place filled with silent movies, secret speakeasies and an unscrupulous spiritualist movement that becomes the unwitting pawn in a plot to bring about hell on Earth,” Herdling explained.

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Filled with a cast of real historical figures — including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dion Fortune and Aleister Crowley — “Piper Houdini: Apprentice of Coney Island” is a spine-tingling supernatural thriller that will appeal to readers who enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal historical fiction as much as a jaunt on the Wonder Wheel.

While many novels, movies, and TV specials have explored the fictional adventures of magician and escape artist Houdini, “Piper Houdini: Apprentice of Coney Island” is the first one to relate the adventures of his mysterious young niece. It is available exclusively as an e-book at for $3.99 and will be available at all other online bookstores after Oct. 1. 

Piper Houdini is well represented across the Internet with an official website (, where people can download a free 27-page preview), Facebook and Twitter. At the moment, the book is available only in a digital, downloadable format, with no immediate plans for a print edition.

Herdling, a graduate of Bucknell University and post-graduate of New York University, began his publishing career at Marvel Comics where he wrote for some of its most popular titles, including “Spider-Man,” “The Avengers,” “X-Men” and a long stint on “Namor the Sub-Mariner,” Marvel’s first and mightiest mutant. A resident of River Vale, N.J., he currently works in the health care sector as a communications specialist.Piper Houdini: Apprentice of Coney Island” is his first novel.

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