Book Review: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

The blurb: Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with these three mesmerising stories of a young French eccentric named C. Auguste Dupin: ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’, ‘The Mystery of Marie Rogêt’ and ‘The Purloined Letter’. Years later Dorothy Sayers would describe these tales as ‘almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice’. Indeed, Poe’s short mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes.Today the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners.

This edition reproduces the definitive text of these stories and an introduction and appendix on ‘The Earliest Detectives’ by the novelist Matthew Pearl.

My review: My knowledge of Poe is sadly lacking, all I have is one Simpson’s Halloween episode which I always found hilarious with the beating heart in the floorboards and the raven shaped like Bart Simpson.

So I picked this up, not one to be usually caught by other author’s quotes on the jacket of a book, I was entranced to see Arthur Conan Doyle on there, I love Conan Doyle with a fierce hero worship so thought anything he loved I would love to. Plus the cover is gorgeous, well done once again Vintage Classics.

However. Conan Doyle is much cleverer than me, clearly. I found this very dry. The stories whilst short are very in-depth, every little factor in each crime is meticulously gone over to the point where I found I had lost all care or thought on who might have done it and was just wishing it to end. Dupin was not a loveable detective, or even a hated one, he was just dull. Interminably long sentences, words and a plot involving an Orangutan that I found completely ridiculous rendered this a sad read for me. I was hoping for another Doyle/Christie. Maybe next time.

3 out of 10 stars ***

BUY ME! The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Vintage Classics)


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