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Saturday 6 January 2018

Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster by Karen Lee Street

Published by Point Blank,
14 September 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-78607-030-2 (PB)

Very cleverly the author has made C. Auguste Dupin Edgar Allan Poe's friend instead of his creation as the great detective.

We meet Poe on board ship bound for London from Philadelphia in 1840, and he is recovering from a bout of seasickness and rather too much to drink. He has told his wife Sissy he is travelling on business, but he is actually bound to discover the truth behind old letters that suggest his grandparents are behind the actions of the London Monster.

He meets his friend Dupin as arranged who has agreed to help him solve the mystery.

Interspersed between the narrative are the letters which were written by his grandfather Henry and his grandmother Elizabeth between 1788 and 1790. Poe is determined to prove they had nothing to do with The Monster who slashed ladies' dresses cutting through to their derrières!

As they delve deeper into who can be responsible for the former crimes, someone seems bent on making Poe pay for his predecessors supposed atrocities. There are several attempts on his life and he has many narrow escapes which make exciting reading.

More and more letters are surreptitiously delivered to Poe and the later ones tell of a Rhys Williams being arrested and sent to prison for the crimes. Can he really have been responsible and not Poe's fore bearers? Why is someone making sure Poe receives all these old letters and what do they hope to gain by his death?

It becomes a frantic race for Dupin and Poe to discover his tormentor before he or she is successful in their quest to kill him.

A beautifully written book with a clever concept making Dupin Poe's friend.

It is interesting to read from the Author's Note that the London Monster did actually exist and was thought to have carried out over fifty attacks on attractive young ladies between 1788 and 1790.

I love the dialogue between the characters, it gives a real feeling of the 1800's. Recommended for lovers of historical London with plenty of crimes thrown in!
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Karen Lee Street was born in Philadelphia, but has lived in London for most of her adult life, and currently resides in Newcastle, Australia. She is the author of Writing and Selling Crime Film Screenplays (2013), short story collection Tattoos and Motorcycles, and Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster (2016), the first in a Poe/ Dupin mystery trilogy. Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru will be published in May 2018. Karen has a PhD in Writing from the University of South Wales and has worked for many years in the European film industry.
twitter: @karenleestreet

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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