Monday, May 15, 2006

For Edgar by Sheldon Rusch

The crime scene was a work of art: a blanched human skull impaled to a tree in a public park and trailing a brightly colored ribbon. The brilliant twist was the delicate scarab, hand-painted a lustrous gold. State Police Special Agent Elizabeth Taylor Hewitt recognizes the grim tableau - only the first in a series of slayings that pay tribute to the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, committed by a madman known only as The Raven." Trying to anticipate the murderer's next move, Hewitt seeks the help of Professor Scott Gregory, her former lover and an expert on Poe. Struggling to understand the ghoulish motives of the killer - by delving into the twisted imagination of literature's macabre genius - they are quickly caught up in a race against time, as Hewitt herself becomes a pawn in The Raven's triumphant endgame.

Hmmm. What to say about For Edgar by Sheldon Rusch? I liked it. It kept my attention. I will probably never read it again. For Edgar is well written and deals with an interesting plot - a killer is using Edgar Allan Poe's works as the muse for multiple murders. The main character is Special Agent Elizabeth Taylor Hewitt and, besides her fictional parents rather absurd baby name choices, is well rounded and mostly fleshed out. The story is a bit formulaic, there's really nothing new here for dedicated mystery fans, but the casual mystery reader or Poe buff should find a good weekend read within the 320 pages.

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