Many mystery fans know that the father of the genre was none other than Edgar Allen Poe. In Paradise Square, a remarkable novel by E.M. Schorb set in the 19th century, Poe himself assists in the investigation of a young woman's murder. This thrilling and satisfying work, which won the Grand Prize at the Frankfurt Ebook Awards, delves into the mystery of the killer's identity and also explores the spotty record surrounding the end of Poe's career when he disappeared and was later found dying, apparently as a result of a drinking binge.
Schorb brings Poe to vivid life as he joins Officer Goode--a 'leatherhead' as municipal patrolmen were nicknamed for the thick helmets they wore--in investigating the grisly slaying of a street vendor. Initially recruited to clear the name of a West Point friend, Poe is drawn by his fascination with mystery and deduction into aiding the inexperienced officer. Goode himself, who owes his appointment to political connections, suspects his assignment to the case is based largely on his inexperience, and that he was never intended to learn the killer's identity.
In 19th-Century New York, gangs exerted powerful influence, practical and political; even fire service was provided by rival groups. Like the House of Usher looming over its moor, the specter of the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine casts its shadow over the pair's investigation.
By mixing elements of the historical novel and the conventional mystery with a speculative reconstruction of Poe's final days, Schorb has crafted a fascinating tale. He does great honor to Poe's memory and fame as the father of the genre. The scribe would be pleased with his protegee's work.
Author: E. M. Schorb
Publisher: Hill House New York
Binding Type: Hardcover
Size: 9.02h x 5.98w x 0.75d
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