THE PALE BLUE EYE (Historical-West Point, NY- 1830) – G Bayard,
Louis – Standalone
HarperCollins, 2006- Hardcover

Augustus Landor, a former New York City Police detective. is summoned to West Point and asked to investigate the hanging and mutilation of Cadet Louis Fry. Landor agrees to take the case but asks for the assistance of a cadet to be his “observer” within the community of cadets and West Point. The cadet his selects is somewhat older than the rest, has a somewhat mysterious past and a liking for drink. His name is Edgar Ellen Poe. Together Landor and Poe uncover the clues that both bring them together and separate them.

This is no light beach read, but an intriguingly written, atmospheric story. The solution unfolds page by page with the story and through the narrative of Landor and, particularly, the wonderfully written reports from Poe to Landor. I am not a particular fan of authors using real characters in fictional stories, but this worked far better than most. The pace was a bit slower than I personally care for and I saw, almost from the beginning, how the story would end. But don’t let me put you off. Fans of literary, historical mysteries and of Poe will find this a fascinating book.

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