It’s a Mystery: The Pale Blue Eye, by Louis Bayard

5.0 out of 5 stars Blue eyed girl

As 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, it’s fitting that the interests of several novelists have turned to him. Louis Bayard chose to depict Poe in a little known segment of his life, his tenure as a cadet at West Point. The mystery revolves around the death by hanging of one of Poe’s classmates. Retired NYC detective Gus Landor is brought in by the Superintendent to solve the crime, and he enlists the aid of silver-tongued Cadet Poe as his inside informer. As the story unfolds, other murders occur, family secrets emerge, secret crypts are discovered, and it is not until the final chapter that it becomes apparent that we have actually been reading a mystery within a mystery, one that Poe must solve himself. Author Bayard is a gifted writer, equally adept at creating plot, character, and atmosphere; in this case, the ambience is as Gothic as one of Poe’s own. The Pale Blue Eye is a tour de force, not to be missed by readers who enjoy nothing better than an expertly crafted, engrossing mystery.


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