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Review: In the Shadow of the Master -- and more

In Sunday's Baltimore Sun, read short reviews of three books with a local connection: In the Shadow of the Master, The Nanticoke, and The Glen Rock Book of the Dead. Here are excerpts from the reviews by Diane Scharper, a Towson University professor of English:

In the Shadow of the Master, edited by Michael Connelly (William Morrow / 389 pages / $24.95). For the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth, the Mystery Writers of America has published this collection of 16 of Poe's best works with often-insightful commentary by well-known mystery writers. ... As Stephen King, Laura Lippman and others discuss their indebtedness to Poe, one realizes the extent of his greatness. A master of suspense, Poe influenced everything from French Symbolist poetry to tales of ratiocination.  (Here are more Read Street posts on Poe.)

The Nanticoke: Portrait of a Chesapeake River by David Harp and Tom Horton (Johns Hopkins Press / 124 pages / $29.95). Although crabbers, fishermen and oystermen ply their trade on the Nanticoke, most of the river serves no purpose other than as a source of natural beauty. That's more than enough, according to former Baltimore Sun reporter Horton and former Baltimore Sun photographer Harp. ... Part memoir of Horton's years growing up near the river and part travelogue — documented by more than 100 color photographs — the book is a paean to this chief river of Delaware and Maryland.

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The Glen Rock Book of the Dead by Marion Winik (Counterpoint / 108 pages / $20). A collection of very short essays memorializing the dead, Winik's latest was inspired by Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology. But instead of fiction, free verse and cynicism, Winik, a University of Baltimore professor, offers memoir, prose and warmth — expressed with precise evocative details.

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