This book was another find at a used book sale. Of course, you're thinking; where else would she get books?
THE POE SHADOW
by Matthew Pearl
This book has a beautiful dust jacket. The paper is heavy and a little textured; as you can see, the art is nice. The lettering is raised and shiny. Historical fiction? Perfect; it's a genre I just love.
Quentin Clark is a lawyer in Baltimore in 1849, son of a lawyer who left him a well established legal practice and a comfortable amount of money, along with a very nice house. He's engaged to a girl he's known all of his life, Hattie. He's had a passing acquaintanceship with Edgar Poe (who did not use the name Allen during his lifetime, due to a disagreement with his foster father), and corresponded with the man to some degree. Quentin Clark has even agreed to help finance the magazine Edgar Poe is trying to start. So he was stunned one morning to awaken and find a small article in his morning paper announcing that Edgar Poe had died.
Quentin becomes obsessed with finding out the truth of the circumstances surrounding the death of Edgar Poe; he neglects his law practice, leaving it to his best friend and law partner, Peter, to carry on. He neglects his fiancee, Hattie, causing her aunt to forbid Hattie to marry Quentin. He carries on for more than two years, writing to various people he believes might have been the model for Poe's super-sleuth, Dupin, and ultimately traveling to Paris to meet two of those men.