The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl is the story of Dickens' last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the events that enfolded when it was discovered that Dickens had died before completing the novel. Publisher James Osgood sails to London to discover if there had been anything to hint at how Dickens had intended to end the story in an effort to save his publishing company at a time when there was no copyright law in America. What James, and his assistant Rebecca, find is far from what he expected as he is pulled into a tangled web of secrets and opium through which Dickens himself had traveled in an effort to get a great story.
This was my pick for the book club as I had read another of Pearl's books, The Dante Club, before and had loved it! When I got my hands on this one I knew I had to read it and the book club was a great way to get others to notice the works of Pearl as well. I was not disappointed! This wonderful tale, written in much the same style as The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, is full of confusing characters, plot twists, intrigue, drugs, backstabbing, and enough historical facts to make you want to learn more about Dickens himself!
After this I look forward to not only picking up Pearl's other novel, The Poe Shadow, but also finally managing to read Dickens' work The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Have you read any of the novels mentioned? What did you think of them? Let me know and hopefully I will revisit one of these two authors again soon.