Not Quite Dead
Dr. Chivers is shocked to find his childhood nemesis, Edgar Allan Poe, convulsing outside his Baltimore hospital. Poe pleads with Chivers to steal a body from the morgue and fake Poe’s death so he may hide from the Irish mob. Chivers, a sad widower whose career is declining, reluctantly agrees.
Finn Devlin leaves his impoverished homeland and travels to Philadelphia to rally support for the Irish cause. He detests anything relating to England, the country subjugating his. When Charles Dickens arrives on a scheduled reading tour, Finn and his mob mark him for a kidnapping to raise money. Dickens, mocked by the Americans for his dress and deportment, finds himself snatched from his hotel.
Meanwhile, Poe is sighted in another city, harassing a critic, and the police suspect fraud and intend to dig up his supposed body. Chivers, to save his reputation, must navigate the Irish gangs to contact Poe and runs afoul of the constable searching for Dickens.
A gritty and eerie tale, the author wastes time on detailed backgrounds of secondary characters. Poe and Dickens meet, but all too briefly. This is an interesting foray into Irish gangs and two famous authors, but not as effective as it might have been.