In an earlier post, below, I mention that I had written a poem about the death of Edgar Allan Poe, an unsolved mystery ironically involving the inventor of mystery/detective literature. One of my poet friends, Tammy Houtz (who also inspires me to write in different poetry forms I never knew existed!) has leant me a novel that is about a young lawyer in Baltimore who is obsessed with Poe's death (he had correspondence with Poe) and desperately tries to unravel the mystery so he can clear Poe's name of the negative images that came up during the days and years after the event.
The writing is very good...the book is called "The Poe Shadow". It's by Matthew Pearl. What I really love about good fiction is that it has the ability to offer us information about our own society without the direct finger pointing that we find in political rhetoric. Apart from an fascinating exploration of the life of Poe and the 'climate' of Baltimore in the mid 1800's, we get a wealth of information on how media operates and the lengths many diverse individuals and groups are willing to go to promote and protect their own special interests.
Even if you're not a big Poe fan (and I admit that I am not an avid reader myself) this book will be fascinating and thought provoking reading.