On a Raven’s Wing: New Tales in Honor of Edgar Allan Poe
Twenty contemporary writers commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe with chilling stories inspired by the master himself.
Nearly two centuries after they were penned, Edgar Allan Poe’s macabre tales are still working their eerie magic on readers of every stripe—thrill-seekers, filmmakers, even fellow writers of suspense. Collected here to honor and celebrate Poe’s genius are original stories by some of the best mystery writers at work today.
A son attempts to connect with his dying father in Thomas H. Cook’s “Nevermore.” John Lutz’s “Poe, Poe, Poe” combines elements from several of Poe’s stories in a twisted tale of madness and mayhem. “Poe, Jo, and I,” by Don Winslow, examines the curious bond literature can form between the most unlikely of friends. And in Jon L. Breen’s “William Allan Wilson,” getting even has never felt so good.
With contributions by Mary Higgins Clark, Jeremiah Healy, Peter Lovesey, P. J. Parrish, Daniel Stashower, and Angela Zeman, among others, On a Raven’s Wing is a fitting tribute to the one and only Edgar Allan Poe.
edited by Stuart M. Kaminsky, published January 2009 by HarperCollins
Authors: Doug Allyn, Michael A. Black, Jon L. Breen, Mary Higgins Clark, Thomas H. Cook, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Brendan DuBois, James W. Hall, Jeremiah Healy, Edward D. Hoch, Rupert Holmes, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Paul Levine, Peter Lovesey, John Lutz, P.J. Parrish, S.J. Rozan, Daniel Stashower, Don Winslow, Angela Zeman
Mystery Writers of America 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. Publishers Weekly
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. Booklist
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