Matthew Pearl’s third novel spins a mystery of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the novel that Charles Dickens was writing upon his death. The premise is that Dickens’ U.S. publisher, a small firm in Boston, is on the brink at the time of his death and desperate to print whatever is left of the transcript. There is a guy, a girl, drugs, murder and several red herrings. Pretty smooth. But even so:
Pearl’s novels take a lot of patience, in that they unfold very slowly. Sometimes I enjoyed this one and sometimes lost patience. The story jumps between two time periods and then over to India. The latter seemed superfluous, but I went with it. But…you know when you are reading a book and you hit what looks like the climax, but there are too many pages left?
I liked this better than The Poe Shadow, but not as much as The Dante Club.