The Blackest Bird: A Novel of Murder in Nineteenth-Century New York

The Blackest Bird - Joel Rose The premise here is a fascinating one: Edgar Allan Poe is littering his works with clues to the apparent murder of a local New York girl named Mary Rogers. High Constable John Hay, now in his 70s and considering leaving the job, is overseeing the case ... which drags on over several years.Unfortunately, the text also seems to drag on far too many occasions. We are shown a great deal of the life of both New York's upper crust and its low class crime gangs. We are shown the bizarre relationship between Poe and his dying wife, Virginia. We are given an idea of the social roles of women.All of this was interesting enough, and it's apparent that Joel Rose carefully researched his story. Unfortunately, I found the prose a little too turgid; this is the danger of trying to write a period piece in a period style.The "whodunnit" was revealed in rather a dramatic fashion, and the book is sure to delight Poe fans as a great deal of his dialogue and letters are taken directly from contemporary documents (according to Rose's author note).