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"An Unpardonable Crime" by Andrew Taylor

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This is a long and interesting mystery set in late Regency London and Gloucester. Our schoolmaster protaganist stumbles into a labyrinth of murder, embezzlement, bankruptcy, and deathbed treachery. He uses his considerable wits to solve the various mysteries and help a beautiful and charismatic widow in need.

All this occurs with a large and diverting cast of characters. We have old Carswall, the story's chief villain; there's the lovely and bereft Sophie Frant, desired by both Carswall and our hero, Tom Shield. And at the eye of this storm is young Edgar Allan Poe, visiting in England (in Shield's care for much of the story) and oblivious as to who his father is and also to the role his father plays in the events of the tale.

The book moves slowly and is somewhat overlong. We never lose focus on the real issues, but sometimes we revolve around them at a considerable distance.
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