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A gruesome murder, a stunned city, and Edgar Allan Poe come to life with vivid detail in this shocking true story by award-winning author Daniel Stashower

On July 28, 1841, the battered body of a young woman was found floating in the Hudson River. It was soon discovered to be the lovely Mary Rogers, a twenty-year-old cigar salesgirl who had gone missing three days earlier. By nightfall, news of the girl's death had spread and sent Manhattan into a spasm of horror and outrage.

In the months that followed, the gruesome details of the murder pushed American journalism into previously unimagined realms of lurid sensationalism. But despite media pressures, New York City's unregulated and disjointed police force proved unable to mount an effective investigation, and the crime remained unsolved.

A year after Mary Rogers was murdered, as public interest in the case began to wane, a struggling writer named Edgar Allan Poe decided to take on the case. At the time of the murder, thirty-one-year-old Poe had recently published his groundbreaking detective story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." A year later, however, his fortunes had taken a downward turn. Desperate for success, Poe sent his famous detective, C. Auguste Dupin, on the case of a lifetime: to solve the baffling murder of Mary Rogers in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt."

In The Beautiful Cigar Girl, Edgar Award-winning author Daniel Stashower deftly captures the drama and mystery of New York in the mid-nineteenth century, illuminating the spellbinding crime that transformed a city.

A Featured Alternate selection of Book-of-the-Month Club, Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, Doubleday and Quality Paperback book clubs.



About the Author

Daniel Stashower

Daniel Stashower is the author of The Boy Genius and The Mogul as well as the Edgar Award-winning Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle. He is also the author of five mystery novels, the most recent of which is The Houdini Specter. Stashower is a recipient of The Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing, and spent a year as a Visiting Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford. A freelance journalist since 1986, Stashower's articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Traveller and Connoisseur. He lives with his wife and two sons in Washington, D.C.



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