In Haunted Summer (1972) the author reduced Lord Byron's weltschmerz to heartburn; here the poet of infinite complexity is Emily Dickinson who suffers the same fate. Miss Edwards uses legitimate fact and surmise for this reconstruction, but what is askew is the portrait of Emily as an eminently sensible but still full-blown woman in love. The story begins with the passionate courtship of Judge Otis Lord, her father's friend, now a widower. Emily joins the Judge in Springfield to audit a famous murder trial (there are copious courtroom scenes of some mild interest) and spend brief moments at a hotel. Emily quotes some labryinthian verse as a prelude to love -- which should have lowered the thermostat considerably. . . . We look forward to Miss Edwards' return to the gothics.