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On a Raven's Wing: New Tales in Honor of Edgar Allan Poe by Mary Higgins Clark, Thomas H. Cook, James W. Hall, Rupert Holmes, S. J. Rozan, Don Winslow, and Fourteen Others Paperback – Bargain Price, January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
The Mystery Writers of America also presents an anthology of 20 new short stories, ranging from the uninterestingly derivative to the truly memorable. Fortunately, the volume boasts more hits than misses, most impressively Dorothy Salisbury Davis's chilling Emily's Time, the tale of an intellectual's descent into isolation and madness with an appropriately ambiguous ending. The always reliable Peter Lovesey easily blends the real-life questions surrounding Poe's early death into The Deadliest Tale of All. Daniel Stashower, who's written the definitive study of the Mary Rogers murder case (The Beautiful Cigar Girl) that inspired one of Poe's detective tales, creatively reinterprets the master in Challenger, a coming-of-age story set in Ohio. Other notable contributors include Thomas H. Cook, S.J. Rozan and the late Edward D. Hoch. (Jan.)
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Think of this Mystery Writers of America–sponsored anthology as the equivalent of the bottle of cognac and roses placed on Poe’s headstone every year on the anniversary of his death. Edgar winner and MWA Grand Master Kaminsky asked 19 other mystery writers to pen original stories, on the condition that the central part of each story had to be about Poe or his work. The resulting collection of 20 short stories (Kaminsky contributed one) includes works by some of today’s leading mystery writers: Jon L. Breen, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Lutz. They represent several “unreliable narrator” turns (Breen’s “William Allan Wilson” has a shivery reversal at the very end); revenge plots (see Clark’s “The Tell-Tale Purr” and Brendan DuBois’ retelling of “The Cask of Amontillado,” with two South Boston drug dealers); and Gothic horror (Davis and Kaminsky both enter marvelously creepy examples). Bound to charm the midnight dreary. --Connie Fletcher
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Top Customer Reviews
I would add that the uninitiated can enjoy these stories, although they will miss a lot of sly references to Poe's works. But maybe they will be prompted to read the man himself.
An enjoyable read.
The best stories in the book including "William Allan Wilson" "Challenger" "A Nomad of the Night" and "The Cask of Castle Island" reinterpret Poe's originals while preserving most of the original atmosphere. A few, like "The Tell-Tale Purr" and "Development Hell" add a dash of dark humor. Some of the stories fall flat, usually the ones that try to bring Poe himself in as one of the characters.
Overall, On A Raven's Wing has a few entertaining stories, but to really honor and enjoy Poe, you're better off with the master himself.