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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
On the heels of his bestselling debut novel, The Dante Club, Matthew Pearl returns with an addictively page-turning historical thriller that revolves around the bizarre events surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore in 1849.
When Quentin Hobson Clark, an idealistic attorney and avid Poe fan, discovers that his favorite writer -- "our nation's literary savior" -- has mysteriously died at the age of 40 and has been unceremoniously buried, he vows to restore Poe's tarnished reputation and somehow shed light on the five days during which the author went missing on his way from Virginia to Philadelphia, ultimately turning up "cracked" in Baltimore and dying shortly thereafter. Clark soon becomes obsessed with his quest, and putting his job and his engagement in jeopardy, he travels to France in search of the real-life model for Poe's eccentric but brilliant detective, Auguste Dupin. After an extensive search throughout Paris, Clark enlists a troubled French analyst named Auguste Duponte to help solve the mystery of Poe's final days. But when others become involved in the investigation and it turns deadly, Clark realizes that he's uncovered something much more nefarious…
Genre fans who enjoy reading historical mysteries surrounding the life and death of the enigmatic master of the macabre himself (Andrew Taylor's An Unpardonable Crime, Harold Schechter's The Tell-Tale Corpse and The Mask of the Red Death, et al.) will thoroughly enjoy Pearl's The Poe Shadow -- a richly described, intricately woven, and obviously meticulously researched literary mystery that readers will remember, well, for evermore. Highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen