Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru
'Twas A Horrific Site Of Mangled Crows
Stepping back from his own mystery writing and solving crime, Edgar Allan Poe and his wife Virginia play detective in solving another mystery in Karen Lee Street's Edgar Allan Poe And The Jewel Of Peru.
Finding a remains of several crows sent to the Poe residence where he resides with his mother in law and wife, a mystery soon unravels giving insight on a dangerous enemy that the Poe's had defeated once in London in the previous Edgar Allan Poe And The London Monster, although this display of dead birds didn't feel like a threat.
Leading the way to a taxidermy export, a woman with a lover presumed dead on his exhibitions to Peru to study the local birds, quickly followed by the death of her lover's father- it is found out that the journal left behind may hold the clues needed to understand the mysterious deaths and what they were protecting.
Reviewing the text, the Poes' realize that many of the classified birds listed in the text are not all native species that there must be clues sticking out in the text. In the the meanwhile the death of a friend of the family and local priest of a nearby church has been found murdered after taking a look at the journal- it the only thing that seems to be missing at the scene of the crime.
Trading his quill for a detective hat, Edgar Allan Poe steps into the shoes of of a sleuth as he uses his knowledge as a mystery and horror writer to find the connection between the deaths of two bird collectors, a priest, and a woman that has gone missing. What secret is it all protecting?
Upset that the library, and scene of the crime was not closed in the church after the death of Father Keane was suspicious enough to begin a murder investigation, Poe and his companions began to suspect that Saint Augustine's Church knows more than it is letting on.
Finding seven extra pages in the journal that had since vanished, after the death of Father Keane, the group begins to search his collection looking for somewhere that he would have stashed the hidden messages if he knew that someone was on to them.
Searching the bookshelves through golden and jewel covered tomes, they come across a book that was had several handwritten passages from the Bible inside in the Father's handwriting all speaking about birds in some way.
As they explore the church further, the book is smuggled out.
Finding inconsistency again in the types of birds depicted in some drawings, they realize that perhaps the dead men had found a tomb of a king along their journey and were killed to keep the relic a secret.
Scrambling the text, they came across the anagram for Rochelle, which would have not made sense to anyone that hadn't known about the lecturers planned appearance. What new things would be found out about the disappearance of the Miss Loddiges if it was truly a kidnapping?
Billy The Theif
With little option but to be sold into servitude for room and board, a young boy named Billy tips the group off to the disappearance of the journal and other missing items that are being sold from the church to pay for further expeditions to find riches.
Knowing that selling off the jewel encrusted and golden books from the library would be found out by Father Keane, it was this secret along with the possession of the journal of Jeremiah Matthews, that pointed to the church knowing about the kings tomb that had been uncovered and hoped to reach the treasure before the explorers so if could be sold on the black market.
Poe and his companions promise to keep Billy and his mother safe in exchange for the information that puts several church leaders in the clutches of the police for both the murder, and the theft of the artifacts.
Our Love Was A Love That Was More Than A Love..Then Nevermore
Saving the day once again, Poe and Virginia are resting at home in the company of his mother in law and friends when suddenly Virginia begins to cough violently and blood raised from bubbles in her throat, spilling down her face onto her dress leaving a dark stain.
Poe and his mother in law rush to her side, his thoughts lingering on the his old nemesis from Edgar Allan Poe And The London Monster George Reynolds, who swears the past is behind them and wants to fetch a doctor for Virginia after it is clear whatever she had been drinking was poisoned.
In a final warning Reynolds tells Poe that he has not forgotten about the death of his own wife Rowena, from the first novel and that Virginia was now to pay the price.
Playing on elements of Edgar Allan Poe's own stories of mysteries and revenge with unbelievable depth to cunning characters, Karen Lee Street writes about Edgar Allan Poe not from the perspective of the well known writer, but something more similar to the character portrayed in the movie The Raven where he was just a man that happened to be a mystery writer that fell into a world of mystery on his own.
During his life time, Poe had earned very little in his writing appearing mostly in daily newspapers, until his untimely death that was never explained as he passed away on a park bench, although legend of his alcohol abuse after the death of Virginia was often stated to be the claim in history books.
One of the most interesting writers that has ever brought words to life, Edgar Allan Poe can still be found as the inspiration for stories about his life and work. Karen Lee Street must be well versed in his work, as her own words seamlessly fall into place among the writings of the deceased writer and her own elegance seems hard to separate from verses he may have penned himself.
Hoping for another novel in the Poe and Dupin Mystery series, especially now after the death of Virginia will have set Poe into his darkest period of his life, Karen Lee Street has a lot of interesting backstory for her newest mystery if she chooses to pursue it.