BookBrowse Reviews The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

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The Poe Shadow

by Matthew Pearl

The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    May 2006, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2007, 384 pages

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Pearl masterfully combines fact with fiction and presents some genuinely new historical clues that help reconstruct Poe's final days.

The author of The Dante Club returns with his sophomore novel, set in mid 19th century Baltimore and Paris. If you're partial to historical mysteries and especially if you're a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, this is one that might be of interest.

Personally, I found it good but not great. Towards the middle, when the plot rambled a little, I recollect thinking that I hoped it would be worth it - and overall it was - but it wasn't a book that kept me up at night! Judge for yourself by reading an excerpt at BookBrowse.

If you do decide to read The Poe Shadow in full you'd be wise to first read/re-read Poe's 3 short stories featuring Auguste Dupin (The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter).

Also, Poe fans (indeed fans of high quality historical thrillers per se) will want to take a look at The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard in which Poe teams up with a New York City Detective. Published in May 2006 to very good reviews, it has just been released in paperback.

Did you know?
In his extremely popular children's books, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) pays tribute to Poe - the orphan children's guardian is named Poe, and his children are Edgar and Allan.

This review was originally published in June 2006, and has been updated for the July 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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