Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru by Karen Lee Street

One of the great things about libraries (and trust me, this is only a small great thing, there are billions of others,) is there’s no hesitation when it comes to books you might consider reading but find yourself holding back on because you don’t really want to spend the money on it. I mean, what if you hate it? Maybe it’s an unknown author, an experimental subject you’re just dipping your toe into, regardless you can take a chance on those unknown books without worrying you you’ll have to make room on your permanent shelving for something you more than likely won’t read again.

And that’s sort of what happened to me with Edgar Allan Poe and the Jewel of Peru by Karen Lee Street. I love Sherlock Holmes, and from time to time I’ve been known to tear through a good mystery, so when I saw what Street had done with Poe, I thought it might be a fun experiment. And while I think she did a great job capturing that era, almost imitating the pensiveness of Poe’s narrative voice, the more I read into this book, the slower it started to feel to me.

Perhaps I was expecting something more supernatural, for something unknown to wrap itself around the mystery, and in that case my dwindling enjoyment is totally on me. I was in the mood for something twisted and spooky, especially with Halloween just around the corner, so while there was mention of a possible ghost, no such spectre lent itself to those pages. Don’t get me wrong, I think Karen Lee Street is a fine writer, she’s even a pretty good storyteller, but this book just didn’t land in my pile of favorites when all was said and done.

Overall, I rated it 3 out of 5 stars, and would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy the classic mystery motif.


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