Philadelphia, early 1844. As violent tensions escalate between ‘nativists’ and recent Irish immigrants, Edgar Allan Poe’s fears for the safety of his wife Virginia and mother-in-law Muddy are compounded when he receives a parcel of mummified bird parts. Could his nemesis have returned to settle an old score?
Just as odd is the arrival of Helena Loddiges, a young heiress who demands Poe’s help to discover why her lover died at the city’s docks on his return from an expedition to Peru. Poe is sceptical of her claims to receive messages from birds and visitations from her lover’s ghost. But when Miss Loddiges is kidnapped, he and his friend C. Auguste Dupin must unravel a mystery involving old enemies, lost soulmates, ornithomancy, and the legendary jewel of Peru.
‘This dark, satisfying mystery, combining beautiful writing with suspense and unease, is a hugely intelligent literary crime thriller that will keep you guessing.’
– Crime Review
'A cleverly penned work of intrigue and enigma...rich in detail.'
– Shots Magazine
‘The historical background provided of America in 1844 is excellent, as is the clever utilisation of Poe’s own life.’
– Mystery People
‘Street’s work is richly detailed and atmospheric, with equal parts delicious strangeness and sparkling historical research. This is a story within a story, a dream within a dream, with occasional dips into nightmarish thrills. Jewel of Peru is a gothic gem of a mystery.’
– Elle Wild, author of Strange Things Done (Arthur Ellis Award 2017 “Best First Novel”)
'An enjoyable romp through the drawing rooms, theaters, and docks of early-19th-century Philadelphia.'
'Glittering and dark, this is a veritable Cabinet of Curiosities.'
– Philip Gross, author of T S Eliot prize-winner The Water Table
‘Come for the mystery, stay for Street’s fantastic characters, gorgeous writing, and oodles of atmosphere. This is an utterly delightful treat that’s not to be missed.’
– Criminal Element
'Street’s writing is evocative and true to the period while the plot unwinds in unexpected ways. This is an engaging read. Recommended for lovers of Poe’s writings, for those who enjoy the Gothic and macabre, and for all historical mystery fans.'
– Historical Novel Society
‘Rich in colour and layered with literary texture, the jewels of Karen Lee Street’s second novel in her mystery trilogy are her exquisite writing and the further development of returning characters Poe and Dupin. Perfect also as a stand-alone crime mystery, Edgar Allan Poe and The Jewel of Peru captivates with its clever storytelling. A pacey, unique, and addictive read.’
– Kate Mayfield, author of The Parentations
'Street successfully combines historical fact with fiction. A particular treat for fans of the master of the macabre.'
‘Street enhances the Grand Guignol plot with a plausible and empathetic portrayal of her lead.’
– Publishers Weekly starred review
'Street excels at seamlessly joining history and fiction, displaying a literary style not unlike Poe’s, complete with touches of the macabre and melodramatic. Her depiction of Poe’s relationship with Sissy, his young wife, and Muddy, his mother-in-law, is skillfully drawn and very touching.'
– Library Journal
‘Yet there is a method in the madness of the points, building to a crescendo as the plot is finally revealed and the villain exposed. This is a book you won’t want to put down!’
– Raven's Reviews
Praise for Poe & Dupin:
'Deliciously morbid…The prose has a lush, sumptuous rhythm to it…Street is fully in control of her material and the sheer exuberance of her writing ensures that the story never once tips over into parody or pastiche…This is a dark, highly satisfying mystery combining beautiful writing with suspense and unease.' Ripperologist
'In beautifully written and entirely believable scenes that I relished reading, Poe and Dupin face their demons, which are brought to the fore and to their ultimate, deliciously twisty conclusion. Poe fans will love the finely layered references to his most famous works. A highly enjoyable debut.' Kate Mayfield, author of The Parentations
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