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

Joel Rose, Author . Norton $24.95 (479p) ISBN 978-0-393-06231-1

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.)

Reviewed on: 01/29/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-385-66240-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-84767-638-2
Paperback - 479 pages - 978-1-84767-058-8
Hardcover - 480 pages - 978-0-385-66239-0
Paperback - 479 pages - 978-0-393-33061-8
Hardcover - 479 pages - 978-1-84195-921-4
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-393-34449-3
Open Ebook - 978-0-385-67319-8
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