With mistaken identities, missing inheritances, mysterious disappearances, I cannot get enough of Victorian sensation novels. The Dead Letter can be counted as the first American detective novel.
Mikita Brottman’s deep dive into this suburban true crime goes beyond the ‘whodunit’, and even the ‘whydunit’ aspect. Instead, she focuses on the aftermath from the point of view of the murderer.
The book is primarily a biography, but views its subject through the lens of science and writing efforts. Clear lines are drawn between Poe’s life events, the scientific community’s academic conversation, and Poe’s literary output. From “Sonnet-To Science” to this cosmological treatise Eureka, Poe diligently worked to bring the ethereal nature of poetry and the tangible study of sciences.
In 1897, Belgian explorer Adrian de Gerlache set out to map the the vast expanse of the mysterious continent of Antarctica. Their mission becomes one of merely surviving the long unforgiving months of Antarctic night.
There seem to be a bumper crop of true crime primers and guides this summer. Grab these for some edifying and informative reads. Crack open one of these on the beach and it might even convince people to leave you alone…