Edgar Allen Poe: “The Mystery of Marie Roget”

This is the second of Poe’s pre-Sherlock mysteries.

Summary: Dupin and the narrator hear of a grisly murder of a young girl (who’s 22–not what I pictured when they first said “young” either) who was abused and thrown in the river. Dupin solves the case (kind of) simply by reading through all the newspaper articles about the case. He summarily goes through each articles argument and says what they got right or wrong (but mostly wrong). He finally states that some secret soldier boyfriend of hers had done it.

Sherlock Rating: There was a real murder, and it was gruesome. In fact both the Poe stories so far have been more gruesome than any Sherlock story I’ve read. I thought they might even go the rape route, but it didn’t appear so. So it’s like the “Special Victim’s Unit” of Sherlock-type story, I guess. All that said, I didn’t like it. Solving a mystery just from reading and over-explaining newspaper articles is boring. So I give it 2 magnifying glasses of 5 (there, now there’s a real rating system and everything!)

Mystery Story Convention: Perhaps this was the first “armchair”-type detective story. Where the detective solves the mystery without lifting a finger. Lazy, if you ask me.



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