The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Edgar Allan Poe
During my freshman year in high school, my literature class included a section on short stories. During that time, we read various works by Flannery O’Connor, O. Henry and Washington Irving. We would finish the section with Edgar Allen Poe. I was not looking forward to reading Mr. Poe, as up until that time, my only exposure to his work had been in the fifth grade when we were forced to sit through a movie version of The Tell Tale Heart one day during rainy day lunch recess. The movie was filmed in black and white, and I’m almost certain it contained a Swedish cast. A ten year old would have had an easier time sitting through Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. Needless to say, it was probably not the best introduction to the work of one of the country’s greatest writers.
Thank God for my freshman English teacher, who was smart enough to end the section with Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue. I was hooked from the start and can trace my fascination with murder mysteries directly back to a torn and heavily inked edition in our Literature textbook.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue is noteworthy for many reasons, most importantly because of the number of ‘firsts’ it gave us. Considered to be the first detective story, it is also the first locked room mystery, and introduced us to C. Auguste Dupin, the model for Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a fantastic read and a story that I go back to often.