||The narrator of this literary mystery is a man named Thomas Shield, who teaches at a school in London. One of his pupils is the young American Edgar Allan Poe, who is living in England with his foster parents after the death (or mysterious disappearance) of his own. When the father of Edgar's good friend, Charles Frant, is murdered, Shield accompanies the lad back to London as his tutor, living in the household of a banker friend of the Frants, where young Charlie's beautiful sister is also living. Gradually, Shield is drawn into solving a mystery: is Frant really dead? And will there be another murder? And what might Poe's missing father have to do with it all?
||England 1819. Two enigmatic Americans arrive in London and soon after a bank collapses. A man is found dead on a building site; another goes missing in the teeming stews of the city's notorious Seven Dials district. A deathbed vigil ends in an act of theft, and a beautiful heiress flirts with her inferiors. A strange destiny connects each of these events to an American boy, Edgar Allan Poe, who was brought to England by his foster father and sent to the leafy village of Stoke Newington to be educated.|An Unpardonable Crime is a twenty-first-century novel with a nineteenth-century voice. It is both a multilayered literary murder mystery and a love story, its setting ranging from the coal-scented fogs of late-Regency London to the stark winter landscapes of Gloucestershire. And at its center is the boy who does not really belong anywhere, an actor who never learns the significance of his part.