Review: The Tell-Tale Start: The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe, Book One by Gordon McAlpine

edgarallenThe Tell-Tale Start: The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe, Book One by Gordon McAlpine

Published: January 22nd 2013 by Listening Library
Format/Source: Audiobook from Cover2Cover
Genre: Middle Grade mystery adventure with paranormal aspects


Meet Edgar and Allan Poe — twelve-year-old identical twins, the great-great-great-great-grandnephews of Edgar Allan Poe. They look and act so much alike that they’re almost one mischievous, prank-playing boy in two bodies. When their beloved black cat, Roderick Usher, is kidnapped and transported to the Midwest, Edgar and Allan convince their guardians that it’s time for a road trip. Along the way, mayhem and mystery ensue, as well as deeper questions: What is the boys’ telepathic connection? Is Edgar Allan Poe himself reaching out to them from the Great Beyond? And why has a mad scientist been spying on the Poe family for years?

With a mix of literary humor, mystery, and a little quantum physics, this series opener is a perfect choice for smart, funny tweens who love the Time Warp Trio, Roald Dahl, and Lemony Snicket.


This is one of these moments when I feel the need to remind everyone of how I rate books. It is not on how good the book is on a literary, words, or quality. It is based purely on my enjoyment of a book. I read for enjoyment and occasionally to educate myself, a twenty-something year old woman.

This book would be ideal, probably would be a five-star book for someone in the right target age. Edgar & Allen are like characters out of a Tim Burton movie. They are strange, perhaps living in a bit of a permanent Halloween. But they are not too creepy and they are intelligent, finding clues in things that others would perhaps miss.

They go on an adventure in this story, aided by their great, great, great, great grand uncle, Edgar Allen Poe. I have to say, my favorite parts of the story were those ones; it made the English major in me laugh when Poe’s desk wasn’t as neat as Emily Dickinson’s, but no where near as messy as Walt Whitman’s.

I know that I would have definitely enjoyed this book as a kid and even as an adult I found it enjoyable. I could imagine myself being okay having my kids listen to it and not feel like I want to pull my hair out by the end. So I would definitely recommend this book to those looking for something to buy their great, great, great, great grand-nephews.

My rating: 3/5

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