Matthew Pearl books in order
Matthew Pearl is an American bestselling author of historical fiction and nonfiction books.
He is best known for writing The Dante Club which has been a New York Times bestseller.
His novels have achieved global acclaim, becoming New York Times bestsellers and earnings translations into over 30 languages.
Raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he attended Harvard University where he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and American Literature, before proceeding to Yale Law School, where he began writing The Dante Club.
The co-founder of the digital magazine Truly*Adventurous, his works of nonfiction have been featured in prominent publications such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Atavist Magazine, and Slate.
Pearl has taught literature at Harvard and at Emerson College.
The author, who is married to fellow author Tobey Pearl, currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Genres: Historical Mystery, Non-fiction
- The Poe Shadow (2006)
- The Last Dickens (2009)
- The Technologists (2012)
- The Last Bookaneer (2015)
- No Rest for the Dead (2011)
- The Dante Club (2003)
- The Dante Chamber (2018)
- Company Eight (2014)
- The Taking of Jemima Boone: Colonial Settlers, Tribal Nations, and the Kidnap That Shaped America (2021)
- The Professor's Assassin (2011)
Detailed book overview
“I present to you . . . the truth about this man’s death and my life.”
Baltimore, 1849. The body of Edgar Allan Poe has been buried in an unmarked grave. The public, the press, and even Poe’s own family and friends accept the conclusion that Poe was a second-rate writer who met a disgraceful end as a drunkard. Everyone, in fact, seems to believe this except a young Baltimore lawyer named Quentin Clark, an ardent admirer who puts his own career and reputation at risk in a passionate crusade to salvage Poe’s.
As Quentin explores the puzzling circumstances of Poe’s demise, he discovers that the writer’s last days are riddled with unanswered questions the police are possibly willfully ignoring. Just when Poe’s death seems destined to remain a mystery, and forever sealing his ignominy, inspiration strikes Quentin–in the form of Poe’s own stories. The young attorney realizes that he must find the one person who can solve the strange case of Poe’s death: the real-life model for Poe’s brilliant fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, the hero of ingenious tales of crime and detection.
In short order, Quentin finds himself enmeshed in sinister machinations involving political agents, a female assassin, the corrupt Baltimore slave trade, and the lost secrets of Poe’s final hours. With his own future hanging in the balance, Quentin Clark must turn master investigator himself to unchain his now imperiled fate from that of Poe’s.
Boston, 1870. When news of Charles Dickens’s untimely death reaches the office of his struggling American publisher, Fields & Osgood, partner James Osgood sends his trusted clerk Daniel Sand to await the arrival of Dickens’s unfinished novel. But when Daniel’s body is discovered by the docks and the manuscript is nowhere to be found, Osgood must embark on a transatlantic quest to unearth the novel that he hopes will save his venerable business and reveal Daniel’s killer.
Danger and intrigue abound on the journey to England, for which Osgood has chosen Rebecca Sand, Daniel’s older sister, to assist him. As they attempt to uncover Dickens’s final mystery, Osgood and Rebecca find themselves racing the clock through a dangerous web of literary lions and drug dealers, sadistic thugs and blue bloods, and competing members of Dickens’s inner circle. They soon realize that understanding Dickens’s lost ending is a matter of life and death, and the hidden key to stopping a murderous mastermind.
Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between past and present, tradition and technology. The daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is on a mission to harness science for the benefit of all.
But when an unnatural disaster strikes the ships in Boston Harbor, and an equally inexplicable catastrophe devastates the heart of the city, an antiscience backlash casts a pall over MIT and threatens its very survival. So the best and brightest from the Institute’s first graduating class secretly join forces to save innocent lives and track down the truth.
Armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training, gifted war veteran Marcus Mansfield, blueblood Robert Richards, genius Edwin Hoyt, and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow will match wits with a master criminal bent on the utter destruction of the city.
book′a-neer′ (bŏŏk′kȧ-nēr′), n. a literary pirate; an individual capable of doing all that must be done in the universe of books that publishers, authors, and readers must not have a part in.
London, 1890—Pen Davenport is the most infamous bookaneer in Europe. A master of disguise, he makes his living stalking harbors, coffeehouses, and print shops for the latest manuscript to steal. But this golden age of publishing is on the verge of collapse. For a hundred years, loose copyright laws and a hungry reading public created a unique opportunity: books could easily be published abroad without an author’s permission.
Authors gained fame but suffered financially—Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, to name a few—but publishers reaped enormous profits while readers bought books inexpensively. Yet on the eve of the twentieth century, a new international treaty is signed to grind this literary underground to a sharp halt. The bookaneers are on the verge of extinction.
Alexander McCall Smith. Sandra Brown. Faye Kellerman. J.A. Jance. Jeffery Deaver. Kathy Reichs. Lisa Scottoline. Jeff Lindsay. These are only a handful of the names that make up the all-star lineup of authors behind No Rest for the Dead, a tale of vengeance, greed, and love that flows seamlessly, in the words of David Baldacci, “as it passes from one creator’s mind to the next.”
When Christopher Thomas, a ruthless curator at San Francisco’s McFall Art Museum, is murdered and his decaying body is found in an iron maiden in a Berlin museum, his wife, Rosemary, is the primary suspect, and she is tried, convicted, and executed. Ten years later, Jon Nunn, the detective who cracked the case, is convinced that the wrong person was put to death. In the years since the case was closed, he’s discovered a web of deceit and betrayal surrounding the Thomases that could implicate any number of people in the crime.
With the help of the dead woman’s friend, he plans to gather everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally uncover the truth, suspect by suspect. Solving this case may be Nunn’s last chance for redemption…but the shadowy forces behind Christopher’s death will stop at nothing to silence the past forever.
Boston, 1865. The literary geniuses of the Dante Club—poets and Harvard professors Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, along with publisher J. T. Fields—are finishing America’s first translation of The Divine Comedy. The powerful Boston Brahmins at Harvard College are fighting to keep Dante in obscurity, believing the infiltration of foreign superstitions to be as corrupting as the immigrants arriving at Boston Harbor.
But as the members of the Dante Club fight to keep a sacred literary cause alive, their plans fall apart when a series of murders erupts through Boston and Cambridge. Only this small group of scholars realizes that the gruesome killings are modeled on the descriptions of Hell’s punishments from Dante’s Inferno. With the lives of the Boston elite and Dante’s literary future in the New World at stake, the members of the Dante Club must find the killer before the authorities discover their secret.
Memories, fears, the fog of nightmares...
Five years after a series of Dante-inspired killings stunned Boston, a politician is found in a London park with his neck crushed by an enormous stone device etched with a verse from the Divine Comedy. When other shocking deaths erupt across the city, all in the style of the penances Dante memorialized in Purgatory, poet Christina Rossetti fears her missing brother, the artist and writer Dante Gabriel Rossetti, will be the next victim.
The unwavering Christina enlists poets Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes to decipher the literary clues, and together these unlikely investigators unravel the secrets of Dante’s verses to find Gabriel and stop the killings. Racing between the shimmering mansions of the elite and the seedy corners of London’s underworld, they descend further into the mystery. But when the true inspiration behind the gruesome murders is finally revealed, Christina must confront a more profound terror than anyone had imagined.
In the annals of American firefighting, the early 1800s were a dark time. Volunteer fire companies operated less as public servants and more as rival gangs: defying city regulations, extorting money from victims, sabotaging other companies to put out fires first, or letting them burn out of pure spite.
Willard Sears, a Boston builder and abolitionist, set out to change all that with a vision for a fire company that would bring professionalism to a field laced with corruption and violence. He gathered a ragtag group to follow him under the banner of Company Eight.
Ultimately, Sears' quest would pit him against the most powerful forces in the city, in a battle that would shape the future of firefighting in America. Writer Matthew Pearl delves into historical archives to bring to life, for the first time, a true story of courage and persistence.
On a quiet midsummer day in 1776, weeks after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, thirteen-year-old Jemima Boone and her friends Betsy and Fanny Callaway disappear near the Kentucky settlement of Boonesboro, the echoes of their faraway screams lingering on the air.
A Cherokee-Shawnee raiding party has taken the girls as the latest salvo in the blood feud between American Indians and the colonial settlers who have decimated native lands and resources. Hanging Maw, the raiders’ leader, recognizes one of the captives as Jemima Boone, daughter of Kentucky's most influential pioneers, and realizes she could be a valuable pawn in the battle to drive the colonists out of the contested Kentucky territory for good.
With Daniel Boone and his posse in pursuit, Hanging Maw devises a plan that could ultimately bring greater peace both to the tribes and the colonists. But after the girls find clever ways to create a trail of clues, the raiding party is ambushed by Boone and the rescuers in a battle with reverberations that nobody could predict.
As Matthew Pearl reveals, the exciting story of Jemima Boone’s kidnapping vividly illuminates the early days of America’s westward expansion, and the violent and tragic clashes across cultural lines that ensue.
William Barton Rogers will one day become MIT’s founder and president. But in 1840 he is still a science professor at the University of Virginia.
A tall and commanding intellectual, he epitomizes the strong and liberal ways of “Mr. Jefferson’s University,” a controversial experiment in progressive thought and laissez-faire governance. Then a startling event rocks the school to its foundation. Riots led by masked “volunteers” have begun roiling the campus, exploiting its attitude toward discipline.
When one of his colleagues is brutally slain during the unrest, Rogers must become a man of both words and deeds to capture the killer—and keep an essential institution from collapsing around him.