I just finished an amazingly good book, entitled “The Dante Club“. Masterfully written, thoroughly absorbing, and a high concept so lofty as to be unseen by normal mortals. Really, really good book. The main characters are Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell and publisher J.T. Fields. The setting is post Civil War Boston. The Poets are working to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy into English. The forces of Harvard are arrayed against the translation for a number of reasons. And then, the serial killing starts…with the killer using the circles of the Inferno as his modus operandi.
Now, I’m a big ol mystery fan…read hundreds and hundreds of them, and I can usually guess “who dunnit” long before the denouement…but I never saw this one coming. Fantastic. The story is crafted with the brushstrokes of genius, the atmosphere and characters are so real, you can almost see them. If you like good literature and don’t mind a bit of ick, I highly recommend staking out a few days to read this.