This middle-reader is the second book that I have read by Avi, the first being [b:The Seer of Shadows|1223606|The Seer of Shadows|Avi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347257418s/1223606.jpg|1212107], which I enjoyed immensely. Avi tackles some pretty dark topics.
In this book, we find Edgar Allan Poe acting as Detective Dupin to help a young boy find his missing mother, sister and aunt. In the process, he finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery and investigating a bank heist.
This book had all the ingredients: Poe, murder, kidnapping, robbery. But, I found this book overly confusing.
Avi doesn't write Disney characters. He writes Poe as a alcohol-addled drunkard, more interested in his art than in actually solving the crimes he is investigating. Poe moves in and out of lucidity often confusing reality for the story he is writing. It almost seemed Johnny Depp-ian at times...and that didn't help resolve some of the complexity of the story.
I didn't NOT like this book. I just found it a little too confusing and would think the the targeted middle-readers would be completely lost.