{mystery, inspiration strikes intrigue}

Matthew Pearl has written a telling of the death of the master of the Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar A. Poe, in this dark investigation into Poe's world. Every bit the intrigue, casting doubt into the shadows where one finds it in Poe's stories, Pearl accurately conveys the same tones and images.

Below is a synopsis from his website (http://www.matthewpearl.com/poe/poe.html):

THE body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, even Poe's own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. But none of this deters a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark.

Quentin, an ardent admirer, discovers that Poe's last days are riddled with vital unanswered questions - that the police may be covering up. Just when Poe's death seems destined to remain a mystery, inspiration strikes - in the form of Poe's own stories. Quentin realizes he must find the one person who can solve the strange case of Poe's death: the real-life model for Poe's brilliant fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, the hero of Poe's tales of crime and detection.

In short order, Quentin finds himself enmeshed in sinister machinations involving international political agents, a female assassin, the corrupt Baltimore slave trade and the lost secrets of Poe's final hours. With his own future hanging in the balance, Quentin Clark must turn master investigator himself to unchain his now imperiled fate from that of Poe.

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