The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
"The Dante Club" by Matthew Pearl has a terrific premise. Shortly after the Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Americas most popular poet, is making the first American translation of Dante's Inferno with the help of such luminaries as Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, a popular writer, professor at Harvard Medical School and father of the Supreme Court Justice, when a murderer starts killing people in the same manner that Dante's sinners are punished in his famous poem. This is much more than a mystery. It is also a wonderful picture of nineteenth century Boston and the controversy surrounding Longfellow's translation. The mystery and action are fun and the history is intriguing. Matthew Pearl is also an excellent writer.