During the hours before his death, Augustus Langor, retired former NYC detective and widower recalls the circumstances surrounding his investigation of the gruesome murder of a cadet at West Point. The year is 1830 and the institution had not yet earned the reputation it enjoys today so the powers that be engage his services in an attempt to avoid any negative publicity. During his investigation he enlists the help of Cadet Edgar Allan Poe to be his eyes and ears on campus, holding clandestine meetings with him to discuss various clues and suspects. The novels characterization of Cadet Poe is that of an overly pensive, tormented and romantic individual who is aching to "connect" with someone. This is probably an accurate depiction of the "Literary Poe" but it makes for a rather boring, "Poe the Murder Investigator".
I found the voice of this book to be rather stilted and annoying, and Landor and Poe imbued with neither compassion nor humanity. Guess the bottom line is, even a lover of historical fiction such as myself wants more than just characters in a historical setting. I want a story with characters that draw me in and a story that fills my senses. A Pale Blue Eye left me running on empty. 2 1/2 stars