"...a life spent reading-that is a good life." -Annie Dillard
I love Edgar Allan Poe but have not read either of these books. I read another of Matthew Pearl's books a few years ago (The Last Dickens) and didn't enjoy it so haven't tried any of his others. The Pale Blue Eye sounds interesting!
Matthew Pearl can be a little hit and miss, and sometimes his books read a little too slow for me; in The Poe Shadow he tackles the mystery surrounding Poe's actual death with a fictional explanation of his own. But The Pale Blue Eye is the better book; it's a great mystery with a young Poe as the main protagonist who helps investigate a death at West Point.