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  • Karen Lee Street

More Reviews...

I was delighted to discover that Edgar Allan Poe and the Empire of the Dead was reviewed in The Wall Street Journal by Tom Nolan under the heading 'Mysteries: Masters of the Form'. "Ms. Street evokes Poe’s unique sensibility through passages of inspired prose, in a narrative that preserves the spooky penumbra surrounding Poe’s enduring legend.” (Full review on this site.)

Another recent review is from the Historical Novel Society. I was pleased that reviewer Katherine Mezzacappa thought the story was in the realm of magical realism and that she picked up the subtext in the use of metempsychosis: "both the good and the evil are able to cheat death – though a weaker or needier person always pays." She also observed that when Poe published his story "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" he didn't bother mentioning that it was fiction, leaving readers to think it was a factual account. She also noted the mushroom farm scene, which is one of my favourites and deals with the theme she mentioned.

Poet and novelist Sheenagh Pugh took time to read the novel and her review begins with: "Let’s begin with the potential problems and explain why they don’t exist. This is the third in a trilogy, the first two of which I have not read. Did it matter? No, not in the least." My intent has always been for the three Poe/ Dupin novels to work as stand-alones but another layer is gained by reading all three. Sheenagh then observes: "Secondly, the narrator is Edgar Allan Poe and the other principal character is his fictional detective Auguste Dupin. Had I read The Murders in the Rue Morgue?  I had not, and in fact know very little of Poe’s life. Again, it didn’t matter." This was very pleasing as I was surprised when potential readers asked me if they needed to know about Poe to understand the trilogy. Not at all.

It was lovely to also receive positive reviews from Mystery Scene Magazine and Criminal Element who called it a "brilliant historical whodunit" and "a feast for all the senses" and very pleasing that it also appealed to the reviewer from The British Fantasy Society who "genuinely didn’t want to put it down." When writing a historical Gothic mystery featuring a sleuthing duo comprised of an author and his fictional creation, one hopes it will appeal to fans of mysteries, historical novels. Even better if some fantasy readers enjoy it too.


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