Monday, January 25, 2016

Short Story Collection Review: Edgar Allan Cozy by Various Authors



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Modern twists on some Poe stories
Cons: Could have been longer
The Bottom Line:
Short stories redone
Slightly lighter, more modern
Great tribute to Poe




Should You Skip This Collect?  Nevermore!

What do you do when a group of your favorite authors put out a short story collection?  You make reading it a priority, especially when they offer you a copy.  That automatically bumped Edgar Allan Cozy written by several of the Wicked Cozy authors and two accomplices to the top of my TBR list last week.  It’s a short collection released to honor Edgar Allan Poe by offering a contemporary cozy spin on some of his stories.  Even though I’m not super familiar with his work, I still enjoyed this collection.

The collection actually begins and ends with poems, and up first is Barbara Ross’s poem “Raven.”  Could they really offer a collection without a new take on the classic poem?  My poetry is horrid, so my hat is off to Barbara as she expertly weaves a new tale of a man and a telephone scam with the same rhythm and rhyme structure of the original poem.

Closing out the collection is an equally great poem, this time by Sherry Harris.  “Anna, Bella, and Lee” tells the story of a twisted love triangle.  And yes, I am just as impressed with her ability to weave a new story into a set poetic pattern.

In between these two poems, we get four short stories, all taking place in the town of Raven Harbor, Maine.  (These are the Wicked Cozy authors, after all, who set their stories in New England.)  And if you think that’s fun, watch for some other references in “The Lighthouse,” the first of these stories.  Sherry Harris, the only author with two entries in this collection kicks things off with a writer who is on a mission to find out what happened to her great-great-grandfather, who disappeared from this town.  The thing is, no one is town is even willing to talk to her.  This one was felt like it had a rushed ending, but I certainly didn’t see it coming.

“Found in a Bottle” by Sheila Connolly is up next, and this one finds a distraught young man paying for drinks for a sailor who spins some great yarns.  I definitely haven’t read the Poe story that inspired this tale, but I can imagine this being quite interesting.  The reveal on this one is a lot of fun.

Edith Maxwell’s “An Intolerable Intrusion” is a modern take on “The Tell-Tale Heart.”  This is one of the few Poe stories I distinctly remember reading, and Edith does a great job of bring it to the modern age.  In fact, I’d say her modern twist on things in brilliant.

The final story in the collection is “Within These Walls” by Sadie Hartwell, the story of a woman who plans the ultimate revenge on a cheating husband.  I completely enjoyed this one as well.

I can tell from reading these stories that Poe is definitely dark.  These stories don’t shy away from that at all, and yet they clearly have that cozy touch.  Not being super familiar with Poe’s work, I’m sure there are many parallels and nods I missed, but I completely enjoyed the collection for what it was – some fun short mystery stories in homage to a master of the genre.

With just four short stories and two poems, this is definitely a short collection.  I think I probably read it in right around an hour (I didn’t sit down and read it straight through).  It’s a fun collection as is, but I wouldn’t have minded another couple of stories.

Whether you are a diehard Poe fan or not super familiar with his work, you’ll find something to enjoy in Edgar Allan Cozy.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this collection in exchange for my honest review.

4 comments:

  1. This sounds fun! I love Sheila Connolly's books and Edith Maxwell and Sadie Hartwell are both authors I want to try. I read some Poe in high school but all I really remember is "The Raven". I'm hoping to read more of his actual short stories this year and this looks like a fun book to mix in with the actual stories.

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    1. I'm sure if you are reading Poe's actual stories, you'd get a lot of out of this collection. I'm thinking of trying to track down the stories that served as the inspiration here because now I'm curious to read them.

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  2. I love Poe, so I'd either love or hate this one. Sounds like one I'd love though.

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    1. Obviously, I can't comment from the Poe lover side, so I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the stories.

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