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In The Tell-Tale Start, twins Edgar and Allan Poe foiled the nefarious Professor Perry, who wanted to use them in his deadly quantum entanglement experiment. In Once Upon a Midnight Eerie, they took on his equally evil mother and daughter. Now, in The Pet and the Pendulum, it's time for the real showdown, which takes place in an old mansion right outside Baltimore. As with the first two books, The Pet and the Pendulum is filled with codes, brain-teasers, smart (not snarky) humor, and cameos by the actual Edgar Allan Poe, who is watching over his great-great-great-nephews from the Great Beyond. Listeners won't want to miss the Misaventures' end!

208 pages, Hardcover

First published April 14, 2015

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About the author

Gordon McAlpine

34 books49 followers
Gordon McAlpine (who sometimes writes as “Owen Fitzstephen”) is the author of Mystery Box (2003), Hammett Unwritten (2013), Woman With a Blue Pencil (2015), and Holmes Untangled (2018)–all shape-shifting novels that play fast and loose with the mystery genre, as well as a middle-grade trilogy, The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe. He’s also the co-author of the non-fiction book The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH. He has taught creative writing and literature at U.C. Irvine, U.C.L.A., and Chapman University. He lives with his wife Julie in Southern California. “Owen Fitzstephen,” by the way, is the name of a character, a dissolute, alcoholic writer, in Hammett’s The Dain Curse.

Gordon McAlpine has been described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a gifted stylist, with clean, clear and muscular prose.” A native Californian, he attended the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine.

Once Upon a Midnight Eerie is Mr. McAlpine’s latest book and is the the second volume in his middle-grade trilogy, “The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe”. Publisher’s Weekly describes the book as a “gumbo of jokes, codes, treasure, history, mystery and assorted literary references.” It was published by Viking in April, 2014.

The Tell-Tale Start, published in 2013, is the first book in “The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe”. Publisher’s Weekly writes in a starred review of the award winning audio version of The Tell-Tale Start: “Entertaining and original….Endlessly fun and ultimately very satisfying on every level.””

In February 2013, Seventh Street Books published Hammett Unwritten, a literary mystery novel that revolves around the life of the great detective novelist Dashiell Hammett. Reviews of the novel have been stellar and the novel has appeared on top ten lists for the year.

The Los Angeles Times called Mr. McAlpine’s first novel, Joy in Mudville, an “imaginative mix of history, humor and fantasy…fanciful and surprising”, and The West Coast Review of Books called it “a minor miracle.” Joy in Mudville was re-released in a new e-book edition in late summer 2012.

The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 MPH, is a non fiction book and was published by Simon & Schuster in June 2011 to outstanding reviews. Written in collaboration with Major League All-Star Shawn Green, the book illuminates the spiritual practices that enabled Green to “bring stillness into the flow of life.”

The Persistence of Memory, his second novel, was published by the distinguished British publisher Peter Owen Ltd., and his young adult novel, Mystery Box, was published by Cricket Books to critical praise.

Mr. McAlpine has published short stories and book reviews in journals and anthologies both in the U.S.A and abroad. His short story “The Happiest Place” appears in the Akashic Press anthology, Orange County Noir. He has chaired and taught creative writing in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Chapman University in Orange, California, as well as fiction writing classes at U.C.L.A and U.C. Irvine. In his twenties, he developed video games and wrote scripts for film and television.

He is a member of the Author’s Guild and PEN, and he is president of the board of directors of the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation. He lives with his wife Julie in Southern California.

- See more at: http://gordonmcalpine.net/gordon-mcap...

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5 stars
73 (36%)
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80 (40%)
3 stars
36 (18%)
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Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa Chung.
904 reviews324 followers
November 16, 2017
Yay! What a cute trilogy. I truly had so much fun reading about the Poe twins and their great great great great granduncle the famous American Gothic writer Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. 4 stars!

In the Pet and the Pendulum, twins, Edgar and Allan have to solve another murder mystery. While doing so they also have to figure out how to save their city of Baltimore from the crash landing of their tragic parents tomb, 'The Bradbury Telecommunications Satellite'. I, of course, can't go into detail of what that actually means because you find out in book 1 "the Tale Tell Start". With saving their town and solving a crime, you'd think that is enough excitement for the conclusion to this rather silly and delightful series. On the contrary, the author Gordon McAlpine slipped in a bit of mush to go along with the story line. Yes, I said mush. I got teary-eyed a few times through out the ending of this book. Had to cough and pretend the different accents I was using for various characters was drying out my throat, but in reality I was covering up the quiver that was becoming more and more apparent.

If you like Edgar Allan Poe as a writer, I'd pick up this middle grade. If you are a die hard fan like myself and just the word Poe is a reason to pick up or buy literally anything...than you will have no problems in picking up and reading this trilogy. It definitely does not disappoint. If you are just looking for a cute middle grade, I'd pick up this book. I'd like to try to convince you readers of this review, one more time. A great reason to pick up this trilogy, is the mere fact that the vocabulary in this series is outstanding. I absolutely love it when a writer does not "dumb" down a childrens book for the sake of the child. All children read at different levels, however, that doesn't mean that higher scaled words can not be introduced into their collection of vocabulary words. My children love learning new words and this book series is the perfect opportunity to share some really great words to the masses. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Ashley N..
1,436 reviews13 followers
May 27, 2015
Third book for the adventures of Edgar and Allan Poe, great, great, great, great-nephews of the acclaimed author. The boys are back at school after their trips to Kansas and New Orleans, but past dangers have followed them home. Discovering the truth about their famous ancestor's death could lead to the worst kind of trouble. Full of intelligence and wit, this final (boo!) book is just as smart and fun as the two books prior. The sections with Mr. Poe in the Great Beyond are especially clever with sly literary references. This series is a favorite, and one I would re-read many times.
Profile Image for Carl Nelson.
822 reviews3 followers
September 2, 2015
Gordon McAlpine brings a very fitting conclusion to The Misadventures of Edgar & Allan Poe in this third volume, The Pet and the Pendulum. Back in Baltimore, the twins face their greatest test as the horrors of an eerie mansion unfold. I found myself smiling most of the way through this book; Edgar and Allan approach their problems with brains, cleverness, a dry sense of humor, and a zest for adventure. Adults of a literary bent will particularly like the happenings in the Great Beyond, where Edgar Allan Poe continues to look out for his great-great-great-great-grandnephews in every way possible. I'm very sad to see the creepy fun of this series end, but it's also a pleasure to have this series be so good across the board without wearing out its premise.
286 reviews
April 12, 2017
All three are hilarious and nice and short. (I read two in a day.)
Profile Image for Calista.
3,884 reviews31.2k followers
July 8, 2017
What a great book series. This one was a little like the first book and that's ok as it made a nice bookmark. I loved how it all ended and brought everything full circle and resolved. This is a bit creepy too. A nice gothic tone with lots of fun and Edgar Allen Poe. This makes me want to read all his works again so I think I might just do that. I also know Baltimore and now I want to visit the Enoch public library. Worth a read.
Profile Image for Laurel Becker.
115 reviews6 followers
November 23, 2021
This trilogy was perfect! Reminiscent of Lemony Snicket or The Mysterious Benedict Society, it was witty, adventurous, and filled with heart. I read these with my kids, and we adored Edgar and Allan. This was a great conclusion to their adventures. I definitely see us returning to these books again and again.
Profile Image for Diane.
6,761 reviews
July 6, 2017
"There are times when doing the right thing is more important than doing the officially approved thing. Not often, mind you. But in rare instances of the utmost importance."

Mr. Poe has been demoted again for helping his great-great-great-great grandnephews. He has now been assigned to the Animal Languages Division by Mr. Shakespeare. How on earth can he warn his nephews now? And boy does he need to because they are in more danger than they ever have been before.

It all starts when their teacher invites a public speaking expert to class, Miss Birdy Reynolds right after Christmas Break. Reynolds? One of the last words Edgar Allan Poe was reported to have said but no one knows why. Edgar and Allan don't believe in coincidences and they know this woman must know something about their g-g-g-g uncle's death. So, when she invites them to her mansion, they are more than eager to attend. The reader knows, long before Edgar and Allan, what's going to happen when they get there.

This is such a fun series with all the references to writers and their works.
"Who knew the library was such an exciting place?"
Profile Image for Charlene.
412 reviews13 followers
July 31, 2018
Another cute story. I did wonder why the boys would talk to each other aloud if they had the same mind and knew each other's thoughts and feelings. It seems to me that they wouldn't need to talk when they're by themselves. Sure, they'd talk with other people around, but not when they are by themselves. Just seemed a little odd.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Patricia.
1,177 reviews35 followers
January 26, 2016
I guess this was the third in a trilogy. Too bad! I really enjoyed these fun stories with so many fun literary references.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
1,074 reviews64 followers
November 26, 2021
3 hours ago I read the email that informed me that this book that I had requested was on hold for me at my local library. I immediately went and picked it up, came home, sat down and read it.

This trilogy was a surprise and a delight. It contains hints at romance, possible solutions to old literary mysteries, an explanation of the nine lives of cats, and a satellite crash. Best of all, there's that most elusive state, closure.
Profile Image for Roberta .
1,172 reviews23 followers
January 7, 2022
This was the third and last book of Edgar & Allan Poe's adventures. Read them in order if you can because, although they stand alone pretty well, together they really form a complete story.

For middle grade books, there is a lot of death, however, this allowed my favorite part of the books and that was a unique view of the afterlife.
557 reviews10 followers
January 30, 2019
Another fun book with the Poe twins. As before it feels a little too clever for its own good, but it still has energy and fun.
Profile Image for Rachel Miller.
81 reviews
December 3, 2016
The Pet and the Pendulum is the third and apparently (!) final installment of the Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe. Because I didn't realize this was to be a trilogy, I'd suggest to go ahead and just read all three.

In this case, their villain makes his triumphant return, Dr. Perry. We learned in the former that he underwent facial reconstruction. The boys are in class, back home in Baltimore, and being given public speaking tips by a guest, Miss Reynolds. They receive a ghostly warning and begin to suspect that maybe their granduncle really was murdered all those years ago. Worse, this means his soul is not at rest. They embark on a mission to help him, clearly heading right into a trap. While dealing with this, they are dealing with the fact that their parents satellite is potentially headed for a crash landing right into earth! Not the typical drama that your average twelve year old has to deal with.

I have to admit that in this book, it seemed to have a different vibe from the first two. It was overly hyped in a Tell Tale Start and Once Upon a Midnight Eerie what a magnificent bond the boys have. But it wasn't really...touched on. Except of course by the professor. We didn't even get a wrap up with the Dickinson twins, Em and Milly. I expected more involvement with them, since they are local. But Edgar and Allan pulled off another swift escape, although it was close coming.

And we were even treated to an explanation of Roderick's eight on his chest. Which was endearing for me after reading Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat.

It's a nice trilogy for a young age. Quick reads.
2,627 reviews10 followers
July 18, 2016
Back in Baltimore, after their adventures in Kansas and New Orleans, Edgar and Allan return to their old school, and catch up with their friends there. But their old adversary, Professor Perry, hasn't given up on his plans; and, in addition, the satellite containing their parents' bodies may crash any day — and where it will land is anybody's guess. The only people who knew the access code to reset the coordinates is the Poes themselves, and with so many variables, not even their super-brilliant sons can begin to guess correctly. Fabulous finish to an entertaining and imaginative series.
1,198 reviews3 followers
May 6, 2015
The third installment of this middle grade series about Edgar and Allan Poe. Dark and mysterious for Poe lovers but with a funny twist for younger readers.
Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews

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