Posted in Historical Fiction, Horror, Teen, Young Adult/New Adult

Of Monsters and Madness – Alternate Historical Fiction, starring Edgar Allan Poe

monsters and madnessOf Monsters and Madness, by Jessica Verday, (Egmont USA) 2014. $17.99, ISBN: 9781606844632

Recommended for ages 14+

Horror and gothic fans will love this book! Annabel Lee – yes, for all intents and purposes of this book, this character is THE Annabel Lee of Edgar Allan Poe fame is a teenage girl, who finds herself moving from Siam to Philadelphia when her mother dies, and she must live with the father she’s never known. Unfamiliar with life and customs in the 1820s United StatesĀ and confronted with a cold father who keeps her at a distance, Annabel feels left out and pines for her mother and her life in Siam. Her father, once a brilliant surgeon and scientist, now spends most of his time in his laboratory, assisted by Edgar, who unnerves Annabel – yet bears an uncanny resemblance to his cousin, Allan, who Annabel finds herself falling for. Annabel is living in a house full of secrets; when a rash of murders breaks out in Philadelphia, and her father’s strange behavior becomes more erratic, Annabel is determined to unravel the mysteries that consume her life. But finding out answers could put her life in danger.

I loved this book. The idea of making Edgar Allan Poe a character in a gothic mystery, taking place in the United States, is such a great idea – how did no one think of this sooner? We get glimpses of Poe’s writing – he tortures himself over writing The Raven, and bits of The Tell-Tale Heart make an appearance – and the toll that such dark ideas takes on the man. There are some key plot twists that will leave readers staying up all night to finish the book, and then – like me – demand a sequel. Ms. Verday is a New York Times bestselling author, and she knows how to construct a well-paced thriller with smart characters. I’m looking forward to this book hitting shelves in September, and I would recommend it for adults as well as teens.



I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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