Love Laura Lippman, love this series. Set in Baltimore and full of details, this entry explores the Poe history of the city in a well plotted, well written PI mystery in the tradition of Marcia Muller.
I used to live in Baltimore so the many places mentioned in this book were familiar to me. I have also been facinated by the Poe Toaster legend and of course that was part of this story. This is another in the Tess Monaghan series and is one of her best I think.
"Every winter on the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, a mysterious cloaked figure pays a visit to the renowned author's Baltimore gravesite bearing...three roses and a half bottle of cognac. P.I. Tess Monaghan is amonng the witnesses watching on a frigid January night - and she sees two caped visitors approaching Poe's resting place. One leaves his tribute and escapes. The other dies there, felled by an assassin's bullet...." (from back cover) Good mystery that sustains interest.
It is a Charm City tradition -- an annual visit to the Baltimore gravesite of Edgar Allan Poe on the renowned author's birthday by a mysterious cloaked figure bearing gifts of three roses and a half bottle of cognac. This year, private investigator Tess Monaghan is among the witnesses of the locally cherished rite. And on this frigid January night, she sees two caped visitors approaching Poe's resting place. One leaves his tribute and escapes. The other dies there, felled by an assassin's bullet. Curiosity brought Tess there -- and common sense tells her to lay low. But someone wants Tess involved in the murder investigation in the worst way. An anonymous stranger who leaves roses and cognac and cryptic clues on her doorstep; someone who knows her habits, her haunts ... and what she knows. And suddenly home is a safe haven no longer.