“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is an intriguing short story about a brilliant detective and an unsettling mystery. When two women are horrifically murdered, the authorities immediately begin to investigate the case. Several witnesses offer accounts of their experiences at the scene of the crime, but few of them line up. Enter Dupin, a Parisian man with a knack for critical thinking. In no time at all he has the solution- and what a story it turns out to be!
This story is a quirky balance of disturbing and charming. The latter quality applies to the murders themselves, which are gruesome and explained in too much detail at times. These terrible scenes are countered by the entertaining friendship between the narrator and Dupin, the clever detective. It’s clear that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was influenced by the dynamics of these characters because his own creations, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, also fall into the pattern of the brilliant detective with a more average, practical friend. Perhaps it is my love of BBC’s Sherlock shining through, but I really enjoyed reading about an earlier version of this captivating duo.
The mystery itself adds to the greatness of this short story because it is fascinating and remarkably unique. I did guess the outcome of the mystery before the ending, but judging from the way the story was written it seems as though Poe wanted that to happen. The most interesting part was learning how all of the intricate details played out, right down to why all of the witness accounts conflicted with each other. I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything, so suffice it to say that Poe has definitely crafted an excellent mystery in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”.
Overall, I highly recommend this short story, especially for fans of Sherlock Holmes!