A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe

Product Details
$28.99  $26.96
St. Martin's Press
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
Mark Dawidziak is the author or editor of about 25 books, including three studies of landmark television series: The Columbo Phile: A Casebook, The Night Stalker Companion and Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone, his lighthearted 2017 tribute to Rod Serling's classic anthology series. He also is an internationally recognized Mark Twain scholar, and five of his books are about the iconic American writer. He spent 43 years as a television, film and theater critic at such newspapers as the Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. His work on the horror side of the street also includes the novel Grave Secrets, The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Dracula, short stories, and comic book scripts. He lives in Ohio.

"A biography that reads like a gripping, well-reported feature story.... [Dawidziak's] informed enthusiasm sweeps the reader irresistibly along." -The Washington Post

"Part high-speed tour of Poe's tumultuous career and part cold-case investigation of his premature and enigmatic end." -Wall Street Journal

"This bio's mode of presentation is almost as striking as its subject's life...vibrant." -Washington Independent Review of Books

"Excellent...Dawidziak's biography reaches beyond the myth of Poe to reveal the actual man and writer, all while painting a vivid picture of the era in which he lived." -Bookpage (starred)

"In this intrigue-filled offering, Dawidziak achieves the difficult feat of delivering a fresh biography of Edgar Allan Poe...this has revelations to spare." -Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Dawidziak's thoroughly researched investigation meticulously explores the various theories surrounding Poe's death while vividly capturing the public's ongoing fascination with this quintessential tortured soul." -Booklist (starred)

"A brisk, satisfying biography of a literary icon who still fascinates." -Kirkus Reviews

"A Mystery of Mysteries is, itself, a mystery worthy of Poe's fictional sleuth C. Auguste Dupin." -New York Journal of Books

"A Mystery of Mysteries will surely fascinate even the mildly-curious Edgar Allan Poe fan...a poignant analysis." -The Week, "8 must-read books in 2023"

"Even those familiar with Poe's story will find plenty of surprises here, while those who know him only by reputation will get a better-rounded view of a man who was far more than an author of a few scary stories." -The Columbus Dispatch

"Dawidziak releases [Poe] from this caricature, emphasizing Poe's work as a literary critic, his fine sense of humor and the vast amount of work he produced." -Akron Beacon Journal

"Edgar Allan Poe has brooded over the world's comprehension as the dark prince of horror tales: a hollow-eyed specter surrounded by candle-tossed shadows, a raven on his writing table, an empty cognac glass at his elbow. In this revelatory biography, Mark Dawidziak honors the Gothic nature of Poe's work, yet sweeps open the curtains to throw full light upon this masterful poet and shaper of American literature." -Ron Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Flags of Our Fathers and Mark Twain: A Life

"A poignant and realistic picture of Poe through the fascinating black prism of his mysterious death." --J.W. Ocker, Edgar Award-winning author of Poe-Land

"Mark Dawidziak plumbs the mysteries of Poe's life and career with extraordinary skill and knowledge. Much like Montresor leading Fortunato through the winding catacombs, he leaves the reader surprised and thoroughly ensnared." -Daniel Stashower, Edgar Award-winning author of The Hour of Peril and The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder