An Unpardonable Crime by Andrew Taylor

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An irresistible literary thriller in the tradition of The Alienist and An Instance of the Fingerpost, set in early 1800s England and involving a young Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe is an American boy in England, a child standing on the edge of mysteries. In 1819, two Americans arrive in London. Soon afterward a bank collapses. A man is found horribly mutilated on a building site and an heiress flirts with her inferiors. All the while, Poe's young schoolmaster struggles to understand what is happening before he and his loved ones are destroyed. But the truth, like the youthful Poe himself, has its origins in the New World as well as the Old--in a bitter episode of corruption during the War of 1812.

With settings ranging from the coal-scented urban jungle of late Regency London to the stark winter landscapes of rural Gloucestershire, An Unpardonable Crime is a multilayered literary murder mystery, a historical novel, and a love story. In addition to shedding fascinating light on Edgar Allan Poe, the book is a fast-paced suspenseful read, filled with shocking revelations.

About Andrew Taylor

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Andrew Taylor is the author of many crime and suspense novels. The recipient of the Crime Writers' Association 2009 Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing, Taylor has also won the CWA's John Creasey Award, an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, an Audie, and two CWA's Ellis Peters Historical Daggers (a unique achievement), as well as a shortlisting for the CWA's Gold Dagger. His website is
Published March 9, 2005 by Hyperion. 485 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

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Accompanying Charlie back to London as chaperon and tutor, Shield takes a between-stairs place in the household of odious nouveau riche banker Stephen Carswall, the man who had ruined Henry Frant financially before his murder.

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Publishers Weekly

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Uncomfortably occupying an uncertain position between master and servant, Shield juggles his instincts for self-preservation with his passions, a task made much harder when the severely mutilated corpse of the banker is discovered shortly after his business collapses.

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I don’t want to say ‘Crime’ started off slow because it didn’t, but it didn’t start out if fifth gear, more like third which was good – it won’t hold you captive nor does it bore in the beginning, but it slowly seduces you to the degree that I found I had a hard time literally putting this book d...

Sep 29 2009 | Read Full Review of An Unpardonable Crime


Familiar conventions get a fresh coat of paint in this historical novel full of pithy observations that offer a nod to Jane Austen and colorful characters straight out of Dickens.

Apr 19 2004 | Read Full Review of An Unpardonable Crime

Bookmarks Magazine

Ron Givens Charlotte Observer 3 of 5 Stars "The intricately constructed mystery has all the twists and turns a reader could desire, but the pace occasionally falters over recited summaries of events that neither advance the plot nor significantly deepen the reader’s sense of time and place."

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of An Unpardonable Crime

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