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Edgar Poe and the Mystery Museum (Edgar Allen Poe Mystery Series #2)

Edgar Poe and the Mystery Museum (Edgar Allen Poe Mystery Series #2)

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by Harold Schechter

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Harold Schechter revisits the chilling world of Nevermore in this historical murder mystery starring Edgar Allen Poe. It's the spring of 1844 and Poe and his young wife, Sissy, have moved to Manhattan, the publishing center of America. When showman P.T. Barnum advertises a display of Davy Crockett's authentic belongings, Poe is determine to reveal the man


Harold Schechter revisits the chilling world of Nevermore in this historical murder mystery starring Edgar Allen Poe. It's the spring of 1844 and Poe and his young wife, Sissy, have moved to Manhattan, the publishing center of America. When showman P.T. Barnum advertises a display of Davy Crockett's authentic belongings, Poe is determine to reveal the man as a fraud since he himself owns at least one of the items Barnum claims to possess. Poe and Barnum have a run-in over the controversy, and while Barnum appreciates the publicity it creates for his show, but when his emporium is linked to a brutal murder that imitates a display in Barnum's hall of true crimes, Barnum enlists detective Poe to discover the killer before the bad publicity ruins his business. Sissy believes it is the ghost of the original murdererwho has returned to seek revenge, as he promised on the gallows, but Poe thinks there's much more to the bloody crimecase and he is determined to solve it. This mystery thriller was originally published under the title, The Humbug. "Mystery lovers of all sub-genre persuasions will enjoy Harold Schechter's tale," wrote Harriet Klausner. Edgar Poe and the Mystery Museum is one of several bloody crime historical murder mystery novels written by Schechter. This unleashed suspense thriller is a sure-to-please Edgar Allan Poe detective classic.

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Publication date:
Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Series , #2
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Barnes & Noble
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6 MB

Meet the Author

Harold Schechter is a professor of American literature and culture at Queens College, the City University of New York. As a literary historical novelist, he has also written "Nevermore," "Edgar Poe and the Frontier Fiend" and "Edgar Poe and the Concord Killer." He is the bestselling author of many true-crime works: Killer Colt," "Fiend" and "Depraved”(which are set in the later 19th century) and also "The Devil's Gentleman," "Bestial," "Deranged," "Deviant," "Fatal," "The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers," "True Crime," "The Serial Killer Files," "Outcry," "Psycho USA” and “The Whole Death Catalog,” and is the co-editor of “Killer Verse: Poems of Murder and Mayhem” and Panzram: A Journal of Murder.” On his more professorial side, he has written, “The Mysterious Way: Individuation in American literature,” “Patterns in Popular Culture,” “Popular Culture in the Classroom,” “The New Gods: Psyche and Symbol in Popular Art,” “The Bosom Serpent: Folklore and Popular Art”, “Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment” and "Real to Reel," and is co-editor of "American Voices: A Thematic/Rhetorical Reader,” “Conversation Pieces: Poems That Talk to Other Poems,” “Film Tricks: Special Effects in the Movies” and “The Manly Movie Guide: Virile Video & Two-Fisted Cinema.”

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The Hum Bug 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
This is the second of the Edgar Allen Poe mysteries written by Harold Schechter. They are such fun! In The Hum Bug, Edgar Allen Poe and P.T. Barnum work together to solve a gruesome murder. Some of Barnum's "Human Curiosities" make up part of the colorful cast. Some of my favorites are the bearded lady, the human skeleton, the alligator boy and the changeling baby. Schechter goes into great detail about P.T. Barnum's fascinating American Museum. It's as if the reader is actually there! The details of the mystery itself will keep the reader guessing as to who the perpetrator is and what the motives were for the murders. It all comes together in the end. The reader watches as everything slowly falls into place. Part of the charm of Schechter's Poe mysteries is the actual writing. He writes in the first person as Edgar Allan Poe and does a fantastic job of capturing the feel of Poe. The Hum Bug left me eager to read the next in the series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The difference between the right word and the almost right word,' said Mark Twain, 'is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.' Twain's insight is brilliantly illustrated in Harold Schechter's new novel, The Hum Bug, in which Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) joins forces with P(hineas) T(aylor) Barnum (1810-1891) to track down a psychopath. The most impressive feature of Schechter's novel is not the tale itself, but rather the author's uncanny ability to find precisely 'the right word' for every circumstance. Longtime admirers of Poe (among whom I include myself) are cognizant of Poe's idiosyncratic style: the subtle nuances of his diction and vocabulary; the cadence and rhythm of his sentences; the haunting, melancholy mood of his essays, short stories, and poems; the aesthetic beauty of his poetic prose. Beyond doubt, Schechter has immersed himself in Poe's world. As one reads The Hum Bug, one suspects that the real Poe, as opposed to Schechter's fictional Poe, is actually narrating the tale. Indeed, one wonders if Schechter has purchased a Ouija board and is receiving direct messages from the Great Beyond! For example, here is one of many passages I could cite: 'As the workmen commenced to lower the casket into the yawning pit, I was seized with a sudden paroxysm of dread. Every fiber of my being recoiled from this all-too-vivid demonstration of the hideous end that awaits every mortal. To lie, for all eternity, within the confines of a narrow box, deep inside the earth, surrounded by the unseen but all-pervading presence of the Conqueror Worm! The mere thought of this awful eventuality caused my heart to quail--to cringe--to sicken. I gasped for breath--perspiration burst from every pore--my soul was possessed with a vague yet intolerable anguish!' In lesser hands than those of Schechter, such an audacious first-person narrative by the author of 'The Raven' and 'The Tell-Tale Heart' would degenerate into maudlin purple prose--a ludicrous parody of Poe. On the contrary, Schechter succeeds with remarkable aplomb. The time is 1844 in New York City. The venue is P. T. Barnum's American Museum, a vast assemblage of oddities, curiosities, and monstrosities. The plot centers around the search for a fiendish serial killer who is decapitating beautiful young women and leaving a long-stemmed crimson rose clenched between their teeth. In addition to the well-developed characters of Poe and Barnum, the story features 'Sissy' (Poe's wife: Virginia Clemm Poe); 'Muddy' (Maria Clemm: Poe's aunt and mother-in-law); and the bizarre people who inhabit Barnum's menagerie. Unless you are an astute detective, The Hum Bug will keep you guessing until the end, when the identity of the killer is revealed. Containing many allusions to classical works of literature, The Hum Bug is a crackling good yarn that both amuses and entertains.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Edgar Allan Poe is unable to feed his family on the wages he makes as a journalist/editor in Philadelphia. He relocates, with his family, to New York City where writing opportunities are much better. When he sees a handbill for the P.T. Barnum¿s American Circus, Edgar turns irate because he knows that at least one falsehood exists on the handbill he was given. He confronts Barnum, but obtains nothing but blarney from the glib talker.

Barnum is very impressed with Poe and visits the writer in his home when the media blames Barnum¿s American circus for causing a murder to happen. Poe who has solved murders before (SEE NEVERMORE) agrees to investigate. When the victim¿s missing arm is mailed to Poe¿s home, he concludes he is on the correct path and if can stay alive long enough he will solve the case.

Poe is clearly the star of this book as he uses his belief in his superior brain power to slice and dice everyone using self-deprecation so nobody will be offended. The HUMBUG is a serious historical mystery though Barnum lightens up the atmosphere with his unique brand of showmanship. Though a nineteenth century who-done-it, mystery lovers of all sub-genre persuasions will enjoy Harold Schecter¿s tale.

Harriet Klausner