Monday, October 13, 2014

Recently Read: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Author:  Edgar Allan Poe
Genre: Classic/ Mystery
Publication Date: 1841
Rating: 3/5

I listened to this short story while driving from my parents house to my apartment. I often find myself so bored of the drive after about forty minutes, but lately I have been listening to classics on my free audio book app on my phone and it has been making the drive go much faster.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue is widely regarded as the first detective story, and Arthur Conan Doyle as cited it as inspiration for his Sherlock Holmes stories. The detective in this story reminded me a lot of Holmes actually. 

Our unnamed narrator describes the time that his roommate and bff solved the murder of Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter Mademoiselle Camille. This story starts out a little slow, the first ten minutes or so is an ode to analytical thinking and talks about chess a lot, but then the story picks up. For a Poe story this is rather tame, although now that I think of it the descriptions of the bodies of the two women is a little disturbing. The solution to the mystery was unexpected and rather unique and perhaps a little over-the-top. 

This story is worth the read if you like the detective fiction genre and would like to see where it started, or if you would like to read the inspiration behind Holmes. My audio book was two hours in length so it is a quick read. If you have never read Poe before, I wouldn't start with this one. Start with one of his more popular works like The Tell-Tale Heart or The Black Cat. Poe's Poetry is also quite good, and if you have only read his short stories you should try his poetry. Annabelle Lee is one of my favorite poems of his and one of my all time favorite poems in general.  

I find that I don't have too much to say about this story, it has left me a little underwhelmed, but I'm glad I read it for its place in literary history and its place in the history of detective fiction. 


  1. I remember this story! I had to read it for my Victorian Popular Fiction module; we started out with this story, then moved onto Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone and then onto Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's pretty bizarre! I have to admit I don't think I liked it all that much - like you I was underwhelmed - but it is really cool to see where detective fiction started!

    1. I agree it was really cool to see that start of detective fiction. I think the reason Sherlock is so much more enjoyable than this story is because he and Watson are such great characters and have so much going on inside themselves. So you have two characters to figure out as well as the mystery.
      thanks for stopping by!