I received this as an e-ARC from the publisher Viking Juvenile in exchange for an honest review. This review will have spoilers for the first book in the series. I loved the first book in this series and often booktalk it for upper elementary and lower middle school students, so I was excited to read the second one.
Edgar and Allan Poe survived the attempt on one of their lives by the nefarious Professor Perry, who wanted to use the twins to learn about the afterlife. The two are ready to settle back into a normal routine, but are asked to be in a movie about their famous ancestor Edgar Allan Poe. They will play young Poe in the movie alongside the Dickinson twins, relatives of the famous Emily Dickinson, who will play Annabel Lee. What should be a fun time filming turns into a danger for the twins, since Professor Perry's relatives want to hurt the Professor's research by killing both twins. Meanwhile Edgar Allan Poe continues to try to send warnings from beyond the grave to his great-great-great, etc. grandnephews and meets the Dickinson's great-great-great, etc. Aunt Emily. Despite a possible demotion, Edgar Allan Poe sends warnings and is helped a little by Emily. The twins also make friends with a pair of ghosts and vow to help them move on by identifying the murder of the ghosts, a famous pirate. Can the twins with the help of their new friends survive Perry's relatives and bring the murder to justice? Perhaps with the help of their cat Roderick Usher!
I love the mix of history, literature, and humor that McAlpine uses to bring the twins to life. Edgar and Allan are precocious and meet their match in the Dickinson twins. The intelligence and clever wordplay of the plot make this perfect for 5th grade readers looking for a little more. From the end of the story it appears there will be more books, which is exciting, since this one was even better than the first.
5 cups of cocoa for this one and this is definitely a series I will continue to booktalk!