The third co-starring vehicle for Poe and the detective he created is a juicy gothic potboiler.

What nemesis has tricked the noted American author into coming to Paris, and why?

An urgent request from his friend C. Auguste Dupin brings Edgar Allan Poe to Paris in June 1849 to help him unravel another mystery, this one very personal. Dupin, the Parisian detective in the real-life Poe's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” dreads the reemergence of his nemesis, Ernest Valdemar, the man who destroyed his family decades ago. Poe, who narrates in typically florid style, is mourning the death of his beloved wife, Sissy, and his two-week crossing from Philadelphia to Le Havre is bathed in melancholy. When he arrives, there’s another surprise. Dupin didn’t write the letter that brought him; who did? And why did they want Poe in Paris? The plot unfolds in a series of juicy set pieces. Touching a carved owl reveals a dark passage behind a bookcase. Dupin believes, against any scientific proof and the opinion of his physician, Dr. Froissart, that an elixir he takes in small doses may be slowly killing him. Froissart is consumed with another crime as dastardly as it is convoluted. Years ago, a boy was kidnapped and has now grown into manhood. The Grand Duke of Gerolstein is investigating this matter; coincidentally (or perhaps not), Poe interacted with the grand duke and his friend Herr Durand on his trans-Atlantic crossing. Dupin fears that both the grand duke and the young man are in danger. But from whom? The duo’s search takes them to the catacombs, the Grand Guignol, and a bizarre puppet theater.

The third co-starring vehicle for Poe and the detective he created is a juicy gothic potboiler.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64313-422-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pegasus Crime

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020


Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Another sweltering month in Charlotte, another boatload of mysteries past and present for overworked, overstressed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

A week after the night she chases but fails to catch a mysterious trespasser outside her town house, some unknown party texts Tempe four images of a corpse that looks as if it’s been chewed by wild hogs, because it has been. Showboat Medical Examiner Margot Heavner makes it clear that, breaking with her department’s earlier practice (The Bone Collection, 2016, etc.), she has no intention of calling in Tempe as a consultant and promptly identifies the faceless body herself as that of a young Asian man. Nettled by several errors in Heavner’s analysis, and even more by her willingness to share the gory details at a press conference, Tempe launches her own investigation, which is not so much off the books as against the books. Heavner isn’t exactly mollified when Tempe, aided by retired police detective Skinny Slidell and a host of experts, puts a name to the dead man. But the hints of other crimes Tempe’s identification uncovers, particularly crimes against children, spur her on to redouble her efforts despite the new M.E.’s splenetic outbursts. Before he died, it seems, Felix Vodyanov was linked to a passenger ferry that sank in 1994, an even earlier U.S. government project to research biological agents that could control human behavior, the hinky spiritual retreat Sparkling Waters, the dark web site DeepUnder, and the disappearances of at least four schoolchildren, two of whom have also turned up dead. And why on earth was Vodyanov carrying Tempe’s own contact information? The mounting evidence of ever more and ever worse skulduggery will pull Tempe deeper and deeper down what even she sees as a rabbit hole before she confronts a ringleader implicated in “Drugs. Fraud. Breaking and entering. Arson. Kidnapping. How does attempted murder sound?”

Forget about solving all these crimes; the signal triumph here is (spoiler) the heroine’s survival.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3888-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020


This taut, gripping mystery is also a novel of soul-searching, for the author and reader alike.

Racial tensions provide the powder keg for this explosive mystery.

A master of literary crime fiction, Lehane revisits the Boston of almost a half-century ago, when, in 1974, court-ordered school busing incites protest throughout the White neighborhoods of a very segregated city. As a working-class White woman trying to keep one step ahead of the bill collector, Mary Pat Fennessy has a close but tense relationship with her teenage daughter, Jules, who seems to be keeping secrets from her mother. One night Jules doesn’t come home, and Mary Pat is frantic. The next day at Meadow Lane Manor, the old folks’ home where she works as an aide, she learns that the son of Dreamy Williamson, one of her few Black co-workers, died in a mysterious subway incident that night. Mary Pat doesn’t know Dreamy well but likes her well enough. It seems that both of them have lost children now, but they respond differently, experience different levels of support from their communities, and come to learn that these seemingly separate losses—a death and a disappearance—have a connection that neither could have anticipated. The novel focuses on Mary Pat, illuminates her from within as a loving mother and basically a decent person who nonetheless shares the tribal prejudices of her Irish neighborhood toward people whom they feel are encroaching on their turf. It’s a hot summer, tensions are escalating, and threats of violence are at fever pitch. As Mary Pat keeps trying to find out what happened to Jules and why—wherever the truth may lead her—she discovers how much she has to learn about her daughter, the neighborhood, and the crime outfit whose power and authority have long gone unchallenged. She risks everything to discover the truth.

This taut, gripping mystery is also a novel of soul-searching, for the author and reader alike.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9780062129482

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023