Goodreads: The Pet and the Pendulum
The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe #3
Published: April 2015
Edgar and Allan Poe, distant relatives of the famous author, have foiled two attempts on their lives. But will they manage to escape a third?
The first book of the Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe drew me in with its sense of fun, its pseudo-scientific premise, and its quirky characters. The story never took itself seriously and that proved its strength. From descriptions of an afterlife where famous authors write fortune cookies to macabre pranks pulled by the protagonist twins, The Tell-Tale Start was simply a good romp, and the second book continued the series in that tradition.
The Pet and the Pendulum, however, lacks the originality and fun of the previous adventures. It rehashes old ground, bringing Professor Perry back for yet another showdown with the twins, and spends too much time recapping the plots of the first two books. It tries to tie everything together for the finale, but, in doing so, becomes suddenly very serious and loses the lighthearted ridiculousness that gave the books their charm. The story, like the characters, feels a little tired–and I was relieved to see that this book concludes the series.
The ending proves the only really memorable part of the book, mainly because [Spoilers follow!] the story unexpectedly features protagonists who feel no compunction at causing the demise of their enemies. Given a chance to end everything completely, the twins do, making only a token attempt to save the villains before rushing off to save themselves. They had other options. They simply chose not to take them.
The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe is a clever, oftentimes funny series, but it is clear that the series has run its course. I look forward to other stories from the pen of Gordon McAlpine.