THE TELL-TALE TARTE: Five-Ingredient Mystery #4
A long dead author's spirit hovers over the people caught up in a recent murder.
The title of the fourth book in the Five-Ingredient Mystery series derives from Edgar Allan Poe's story about a murder, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” As a Poe fan, I thoroughly enjoyed incorporating his writing and incidents from his life into the plot of a current-day mystery. The victim and suspects in The Tell-Tale Tarte are all inspired by Poe: an actor famed for his one-man Poe show, an author who riffs on Poe stories, a professor who specializes in Poe, and an aspiring writer and Poe lookalike.
When café manager Val Deniston serves a tarte Tatin at a book club dinner, the dessert reveals a fraud, embroiling her and her grandfather in the investigation of a murder. The search for the killer takes Val and Granddad to the home of a bestselling author, Rick Usher. Stranded there by an ice storm, they spend a harrowing night in the “House of Usher.” Then, in the shadow of Poe’s tomb, they try to prevent another murder and mete out some POE-etic justice.
Themes that Poe explored in his writing emerge in The Tell-Tale Tarte: guilt, vengeance, and even burial alive. The book offers a solution to a real-life mystery–the identity of the elusive Poe toaster, who, annually for decades, left roses and cognac at Poe’s grave on his birthday.
Poe and the Detective Story
Poe and Abraham Lincoln
Poe and Jane Austen
Book Club Discussion Topics
Where to buy The Tell-Tale Tarte