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Poe -- The Musical

As T.K. Sheils -- August 2006 -- Amber Quill

Available in electronic and print formats

Hunter Knox is an actor and amateur detective whose distinguishing trait is that he doesn't have one. In fact, no one can remember him once he leaves a room. In this adventure, he finds himself involved with a Broadway musical based on the life of Edgar Allen Poe is in preparation until one of its backers is found under the stage where the body from The Telltale Heart should be.

The characters, including an eyelash viper named Arnold, a vamp called Myrna Wdnyzkoscdykyzny, and the producer's daughter, seductive Sissy Pinkus, all seem out to either murder or seduce Hunter-or both. How he escapes some of them - and solves the crime - is zany, sexy, and full of surprises. 

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"...an innovative mystery that goes out on a limb to entertain."

 Filled with quirky, larger than life characters, irreverent off-beat humor, and a tantalizing mystery Poe is a delightfully fast paced page turner.

Playwright/director Alfie Rangoon and his partner, musical director, Podrous Wolfman, are struggling to put together a cutting edge musical production based on the life of none other than the writer of classic horror, Edgar Allen Poe. There are only a few small problems standing between the cast and success: an overzealous creative team that constantly rewriting play, a woeful lack of funding, and, of course, a real corpse, hidden where a live actor is supposed to be. But the cast and crew, from the director down to the chorus girls all prove the show must go on, valiantly working around the difficulties caused by the sudden appearance of the unidentified body.

Fortunately, Alias Hunter Knox, part time actor and detective, masquerading as a wealthy arts patron, is on hand. Hunter, a man who describes himself as "almost instantly forgettable," blends easily with the cast and crew as he doggedly seeks to unravel the ever deepening mysteries that surround the production. As the successful murders and near misses pile up, the production seems doomed to failure, or worse.

Poe - The Musical is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is peopled with wonderfully vibrant characters, each bursting with an individuality that adds humor to the otherwise serious business of murder. The plot, with its intricate twists, will keep you guessing, until you reach the very satisfying ending. I've definitely become a fan of Hunter Knox and T. K. Sheils!

Kelle Riley - Scribes World ****

"If you like dark humor and twisted tales, check out POE - THE MUSICAL. You don't have to be a POE aficionado to enjoy this clever and imaginative mystery."

Sharpwriter *****

"The cast of characters of the musical is a strange and colorful set of people, from the cloud-forest loving Sissy Pinkus (the snakes slithering around Sissy give the reader goose-bumps) to the large Amazon-like Edna. The cast is entertaining on stage as well as off. The twists and turns of the plot are fascinating, and the mystery really keeps the reader in suspense."

Cynthia Arbuthnot - Running River Reader *****

"Anyone who's ever seen a big musical--PHANTOM OF THE OPERA for instance--will probably appreciate the snatches of Poe-inspired lyrics sprinkled here and there through the story as much as I did. Or recognize someone in the cast or crew of the show--it's obvious that the author is familiar with the world he's written about. Mr. Sheils has created another wonderful detective, and given him a terrific case to solve. Best of all, he kept me guessing about the murderer's identity until all was revealed in the end. I'd recommend this book to any mystery buff."

Catherine Witmer - Just Views *****

"Poe - the Musical, is more comedy than mystery. For those who enjoy Monty Python humor, there's enough zaniness and off-beat one liners here to keep them well entertained. Sheils delights in the outrageous and the unbelievable, with no holds barred."

John Broussard for Charlotte Austin Reviews