Monday, January 19, 2009

On Edgar Allan Poe's Birthday: A Great Collection

When master of mystery Michael Connelly tackles the classic tales of Edgar Allan Poe, you know the collection will be good -- and IN THE SHADOW OF THE MASTER contains familiar gems like "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Pit and the Pendulum." But with the addition of essays by Jeffery Deaver, Nelson DeMille, Tess Gerritson, Sue Grafton, Stephen King, and more, the volume becomes extraordinary.

I especially like the essay by T. Jefferson Parker, in which he recounts a childhood conversation with his mother about the books in their home:

"Mom, why do we have Poe?" I asked her as a sixth-grader.

"He understood the guilty conscience. Read 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and you'll see what I mean."

Dave brought back a copy the other day so that Kingdom Books could offer this lush, moody collection with its dark illustrations. With signatures from Connelly and four other authors, it's quite a treasure.

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