Title: The Paris Mysteries
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Expected publication by Puskin Vertigo on 28th April 2020
Genre: Mystery Classics
The Paris Mysteries is a collection of three short stories by Edgar Allan Poe featuring Auguste Dupin. The blurb on Goodreads says ‘the first and greatest of detectives, Auguste Dupin’ but I really do not want to comment on it as this happens to be my first Edgar Poe read.
The three stories in this collection are The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget and The Purloined Letter. If I have to pick a favourite, I would go for The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a story of a mother and daughter who were found brutally murdered in their apartment. The scene of the crime is grotesque. The mother was thrown out of the window while the daughter’s body was found stuck in the chimney. Now, who would have been so sinister to have committed such a horrific crime? Auguste Dupin investigates and comes to a conclusion. I will not comment on Dupin’s science of deduction but of all the mystery classics I have read so far, The Murders in the Rue Morgue has been one of the most unique stories.
The Mystery of Marie Roget: Marie Roget, a young and pretty girl of 22 is missing. Three days later, her body is found floating in the Seine. Marie used to work at a perfumery and had disappeared for a week months before. On her return, things seemed to go as usual… until she disappeared again. Her mother feared that she wouldn’t see her daughter again. Like a wish come true, her daughter’s body was found three days later.
The Mystery of Marie Roget is the longest story in this collection. There’s also a warning of sorts to the readers that those of mathematical interests would find this story interesting. Calculus of Probability. The clothes, shoes and everything else seems to be that of Marie (the body is decomposed and cannot be identified except for the belongings) but something’s not right. This is where the probability mishmash comes in – just because an occurrence of something is probable, it doesn’t mean the event has to occur.
The first half of The Mystery of Marie Roget was interesting while the second half seemed dragged and boring. This kinda affected the next story I read because I almost lost interest. (I did not think of DNF-ing though). The Purloined Letter is about a minister who steals a letter from the royal family and starts to blackmail the lady. If the letter is released, there would be a black mark on the family. Though I was half-interested (mainly due to the previous story), I really liked the ending. The Minister gets it back, right, front and center and the chap has no idea what hit him or how. 😀
The writing and storytelling are marvelous. If you have plans to read this book, read it for the writing and keep your expectations a tad low when it comes to the story part of it. I am not saying the stories are bad, it’s just that the denouements might not live up to your expectations.
I received an ARC from Pushkin Vertigo and Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.