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Imprint: Point Blank

Subject: Crime & Thriller

Edgar Allan Poe and The Empire of the Dead

Karen Lee Street

‘And I prayed that I would find a way to tell my most honorable friend, the Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, the truth about how I had finally been murdered, and by whom.’

Summer, 1849. When Edgar Allan Poe travels to Paris to help his dear friend hunt down the criminal who brought the Dupin family to ruin during the French Revolution, the sleuthing duo are engaged by the prefect of police to recover the stolen letter of an infamous Parisian salonnière. Is the thief one of the French literary greats who attend her salons, or might it be Dupin’s own enemy who is scheming to become the Emperor of France? Poe and Dupin are quickly embroiled in a deadly cat and mouse game that takes them to the treacherous tunnels of the city’s necropolis, where few who venture into the notorious Empire of the Dead manage to return from the darkness…


  • Publication date: October 3, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786076410
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 352
  • Publication date: September 5, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786076397
  • RRP: £3.99
  • Pages: 352


'Street fulfills the promise of the tantalizing opening with a twisty and nail-biting plot. Fans of other superior fictional treatments of Poe will be enthralled.'
Publishers Weekly, starred review
'In a brisk, vivid narrative that includes magic, alchemy, metempsychosis (the transfer of souls between bodies), and the pain of loss, Street details new life for Dupin, and for Poe, a reunion with his beloved. Superlative historical mystery, capturing the tone of the time and Poe’s lasting literary legacy.'
Booklist, starred review
'The plot unfolds in a series of juicy set pieces.'
'A feast for all the senses; Karen Lee Street is a painter with a palette of exciting, unusual, and provocative words.'
Criminal Element
'The twists and turns of the plot are cunningly weaved, and Street’s expertly crafted prose and dialogue could easily have come from the pen of Poe himself.' 
British Fantasy Society
'Empire of the Dead is everything a reader of traditional mysteries or an admirer of Edgar Allan Poe could possibly want.' 
Mystery Scene Magazine
'An exciting and wonderfully atmospheric read.'
Crime Review

'Street evokes Poe's unique sensibility through passages of inspired prose, in a narrative that preserves the spooky penumbra surrounding Poe's enduring legend.'

Wall Street Journal

'A gripping read, and a worthy homage to Poe’s genius.' 

Historical Novel Society

‘Extremely clever in the writing and the plotting. With its postmodern ironic playfulness and the intertextual weaving of Poe’s own life and Poe’s fiction, it is a highly intellectual contribution to crime fiction. And a great read as well. Recommended’

Mystery People
'A heady mix of the macabre and enigmatic.'
History Revealed Magazine
'The most important thing about a whodunnit, in whatever sub-genre, is that it should be a page-turner, which this is. But it also helps to have engaging characters and a fluent writing style, as this does. Our narrator’s voice is not pastiche Poe but does sound a completely credible voice for someone of his time and place.'
Sheenagh Pugh, author of Stonelight

Karen Lee Street

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