Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen, A Review

16130398Two stars, one because I found the premise interesting, and another because as I couldn’t finish the last 2/3rds of the book, I’d like to give it the benefit of the doubt that it gets better. 

The story of a poetess who encounters and strikes up a complex relationship with Edgar Allen Poe and his wife, Virginia, I couldn’t tell you whether this is actually accurate or not. Why? Because after hitting 27% I still didn’t have any more information than I had started with by reading the book blurb, and I had lost all motivation to persevere onwards. Perhaps, to quote The Raven, “Nevermore…” 

Oh, where to start on my disappointment– this was one of the books that I was indeed most excited about for fall. In fact, when I first got my hands on a copy, I may have let out a little squee. Alas, that excitement dissipated rather quickly. The writing is bland, uninspired and drags. I also found that Cullen uses several pieces of dialogue that in my mind do not fit in with the period.  Considering all of the wonderful personalities at her disposal, I struggled with the fact that the whole plotline felt so flat. 

Available online from for pre-order. 


The Book Bird

*DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book via NetGallery for advance review from the publisher.*

Historical Fiction Must-Reads for Fall 2013

There’s something about the first hints of fall in the air that make me drive into book hoarding mode like a squirrel preparing for winter. Thus, I’m already finalizing my “hit-list” by genre for the next few weeks. What’s on it? Check out my current historical fiction to-reads below and make sure to add The Book Bird to your RSS feed or follow us on Twitter (@thebookbird) for updates.


Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen
Available October 1st.
Edgar Allen Poe, an affair, a plotting wife… what more could you ask for? I am obsessed with 19th century New York (see my other pick below, Seven for a Secret if this is your thing as well), and was fortunate enough to get my book hungry hands on an advance copy of this one. Stay tuned for a review!



Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye
Available September 17th.
The sequel to the well-received Gods of GothamSeven is already getting rave reviews. Detective Timothy Wilde is back, patrolling the lawless neighborhood of Five Points in 1840’s New York City. Wilde and his brother Valentine are incredibly well-fleshed out characters, and I am so excited about where their adventures will take them next. (Also, I found it incredibly amusing to imagine the bustling neighborhood of Chelsea as farmland, hehe.) A must for NYC historians and those who love a good detective novel.

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Freemantle
Available now.
This one made our “Six Tales of Tudor England” list — Queen’s Gambit follows Catherine Parr as she navigates the plots and intrigues of Henry VIII’s court.


What’s on your fall reading agenda?

xo The Book Bird