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The Hum Bug (Edgar Allan Poe Mystery #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  139 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Premier mystery author Schechter revisits the chilling world of Nevermore in this novel of historical suspense, the second in his critically acclaimed series starring Edgar Allan Poe.
Paperback, 388 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Atria Books (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tony Entrekin
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually more of a 3 1\2. The novel delivers a convincing portrayal of Poe, PT Barnum, and Poe's marriage to Virginia Clemm. The historical detail and scene-setting are also well-drawn. The narrative suffers from a padded middle with long passages that contribute little, if any, to the story, and the inclusion of a fantastical element in Barnum's six-foot beetle mars the realism of the story. However, the murder, its investigation, and eventual solutíon are intriguing and gripping. Schechter's f ...more
Unfortunately, I didn't care for this novel as much as I did the first book in this series, Nevermore, even though the writing, as Edgar Allan Poe, was much less stilted than it had been in the first novel. This one read much more naturally. My issue is that it's too much like the first, with Poe and his verbosity balanced by a loud, flamboyant character. In Nevermore, it was Davy Crockett who was Poe's counterpoint; in this novel, we have P.T. Barnum. Had Schechter tried a new formula for this ...more
Jann Barber
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will read Schechter's other Poe book "Nevermore" at a future date. I should have read it first, but didn't realize this was a second Poe mystery. Still, it stands alone quite well.

Edgar Allan Poe confronts PT Barnum over the David Crockett items on display in Barnum's American Museum. Barnum is impressed with Poe's skills in logical thinking, and comes to Poe for help when the victim of a murder is found in the same condition as one of the wax displays in Barnum's museum.

I enjoyed the storylin
Jun 04, 2011 rated it liked it
It was better than ok, but I didn't love it. I like long books, but thought this one was about 100 pages too long. If it were tightened up a bit, and maybe didn't go into quite as much detail at every turn about PT Barnum's collection of oddities, etc., in his museum, it might have held my interest more. I am a longtime fan of Poe, but the references to his dear little "wifey" began to annoy me, especially once I was struggling to get to the end. If Barnum could have referred to Poe occasionally ...more
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was in Hawaii when I picked up this book. I had finished my first one (Janice Dickinson) and needed another. When I first started reading the book I almost gave up. The story is about Edgar Allan Poe and PT Barnum. The writing is very old world, but once you get past that you feel as though you are back in New York at the turn of the century.
A murder takes place and Poe and Barnum team up to solve the murder along with many colorful characters from his American museum.
There are lots of twists
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, gothic
I like the time period and even the prose, however the author lost control of the plot around two thirds of the way through the book. I was difficult to finish because he seemed at a loss as to how to finish the book. In the end 250 pages would have sufficed and it would not been a tiring read. Great start, poor finish.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I read this. I read Nevermore first--Schechter's writing has really improved since the first book, where he seemed to be almost parodying both EA Poe and Davy Crockett. This book read much more naturally.
For a Poe geek, history nerd, and someone who has read hundreds of murder mysteries, this book that brings them all together is just about perfect.
Edward Cieslak
Overall, this book was a good read. I never read the first edition in the series, but I was impressed with Schachter's sense of storytelling. Some details regarding Barnum's museum were a bit long- winded, but the book's climactic ending was worth the read. If you like historical fiction, you would enjoy this novel.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If a book with this many gruesome deaths can be called "charming," well, this book is. It's a nice blend of humor and murder mystery, and Schechter's depiction of Poe is a lot of fun to read. I hope the author continues this series.
Oct 27, 2011 added it
Murders of young women as gruesome and Jack the Ripper's crimes, headless and hands-less, Eddy Poe and P. T. Barnum investigate. Poe solves the crimes and writes "The Raven."
May 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This probably doesn't deserve a full four stars. But it was just so much fun.
Tim Giron
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as good as the first book in the series. I have always found P. T. Barnum to be a fascinating historical figure and Schechter's portrayal of his mannerisms makes for a fun read.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining. I've read and enjoyed all the other books in the series. This one is fun since it primarily takes place in P.T. Barnum's museum and discusses many of the oddities found there.
this book just seemed to take forever to get thru. i was very disappointed and not sure i want to read anymore. the first book was very funny. this one ad no humor.
Stewart Tame
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Aka Jon A. Harrald (joint pseudonym with Jonna Gormley Semeiks)

Harold Schechter is a true crime writer who specializes in serial killers. He attended the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he obtained a Ph.D. A resident of New York City, Schechter is professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College of the City University of New York.

Among his nonfiction works are
More about Harold Schechter...

Other Books in the Series

Edgar Allan Poe Mystery (4 books)
  • Nevermore (Edgar Allan Poe Mystery #1)
  • The Mask of Red Death (Edgar Allan Poe Mystery, #3)
  • The Tell-Tale Corpse (Edgar Allan Poe Mystery, #4)

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