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The Blackest Bird: A Novel of Murder in Nineteenth-Century New York

The Blackest Bird: A Novel of Murder in Nineteenth-Century New York
Author: Joel Rose
ISBN 13: 9780393330618
ISBN 10: 393330613
Edition: N/A
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: 2008-03-17
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
List Price: $26.95

“Irresistibly seductive. ... Murder mystery, historical novel, portal to another time; The Blackest Bird is a masterpiece.”—Anthony Bourdain

Publishers Weekly

Rose (New York Sawed in Half) takes on one of the most celebrated unsolved murders in New York City history the 1841 killing of Mary Rogers in this historical whodunit, but doesn't make the most of its potential. Rogers, an attractive young woman, achieved local notoriety as a sales clerk at a Manhattan tobacco shop whose clientele included such notable authors as James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe. After the discovery of the victim's mutilated body, Jacob Hays, the city's high constable, who makes a somewhat plodding and colorless detective, quickly narrows his scrutiny to Poe, whose second Dupin story was based on the case. While the author provides a convincing portrait of the New York literary world of the day, crime fans may be disappointed that the mystery's solution comes out of left field with no evidence to support it. This novel should get a lift from Daniel Stashower's recent factual study of the Rogers murder, The Beautiful Cigar Girl. (Mar.)

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