The Poe Shadow is an entertaining detective story--one could almost imagine that the tale comes from the pen of Edgar Allan Poe. Of course the focal point of the book is Poe's murder.
The Death of Poe
Edgar Allan Poe died. That's a fact. But, his death involved some rather mysterious circumstances. So, it's quite logical that we should still be debating the mystery all these years after his death. After all, Poe was a fascinating figure even before he died (whether it was murder, an accident, or the effects of alcohol).
His works and his poetry offer a taste of the mysterious, the grotesque, and the macabre. So, why not pull all the pieces together into a literary mystery that offers a plausible way of solving Poe's death (possible murder)?
Obsessive Detective Work?: Quentin Hobson Clark
In the perfect series of events, Matthew Pearl creates a young lawyer: Quentin Hobson Clark, who is obsessed with the works of Edgar Allan Poe. So, when Poe dies under mysterious circumstances in Baltimore, Clark begins to investigate the case. In his quest, he believes that the man upon whom Poe based his Detective August Dupin will help him discover the truth of Poe's death/murder.
Ah, but there are still many secrets to be discovered! Who is the real Dupin? What really happened to Poe? What about Poe's reputation? Will Quentin survive this mystery--with his reputation, career and love life intact?
Matthew Pearl pours a great deal of fascinating historical detail into this story; and he makes us imagine beyond imagining. About Poe: was he worth all of the trouble? The answer is: Yes!
Perhaps this novel will help us all to appreciate (or re-appreciate) Edgar Allan Poe...