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  • Karen Lee Street

The U.K. Publication Date of Edgar Allan Poe & the Jewel of Peru.

Today is the official publication date of the paperback version of Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru by Point Blank Books, the crime imprint of Oneworld Publications. (The Australian publication date for the paperback is in November...)

I've created a little animation to celebrate-- my first iMovie attempt, so forgive the annoying imperfections. I've used some images in it that inspired the story (although not all those images...) and my trusty Edgar Allan Poe action figure. I spotted him in a bookshop cafe in Brussels near the cash register not long after I had the idea for Edgar Allan Poe and the London Monster. It seemed oddly fated, our meeting.

Here is the summary for the story:

Philadelphia, 1844. As violent tensions escalate between nativists and recent Irish immigrants, Edgar Allan Poe’s fears for the safety of his wife, Virginia, and mother-in-law, Muddy, are compounded when he receives a parcel of mummified bird parts. Has his nemesis returned to settle an old score? Just as odd is the arrival of Helena Loddiges, a young heiress who demands Poe’s help to discover why her lover died at the city’s docks on his return from an expedition to Peru. Poe is skeptical of her claims of having received messages from birds―and visitations from her lover’s ghost―but when Miss Loddiges is kidnapped, he and his friend C. Auguste Dupin must unravel a mystery involving old enemies, lost soul-mates, ornithomancy, and the legendary jewel of Peru.

No images of Helena Loddiges here, in part because I've never seen any, but primarily because it's much more fun for the reader to imagine her. (You'll understand why in reading the novel.) I will be posting some images of the Loddiges family tomb which is situated in Hackney (London) where the plant nursery I describe actually existed. I've recently written an article about how that place inspired the story, which I will post in future.

(Loddiges Hothouse, Hackney Botanical Garden)

I did not include any images of the 1844 nativist riots either as I've already written a short post about them as Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru was first published in hardback in the US on 8 May 2018, the date of one of the riots in Philadelphia. A few readers have mentioned their contemporary relevance-- I should stress that the violence in the city of 'Brotherly Love' of 1844 is a sad fact of American history, not fiction.

(Artisit: H. Bucholzer. Printer: James Baillie)

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