So the idea of Catherine Morland’s Reading List came mostly from the fact that I am a huge Gothic fiction/mystery fan. Before I met Jane Austen I devoured all these books that I know, if Catherine was alive, she would have been reading.
It started with reading one, and then before I knew it I had a list of 30 I was planning on eventually reviewing. What can I say…
Of course, if you are into Gothic fiction, you have to be into Edgar Allan Poe
I LOVE Edgar Allan Poe. I grew up reading his short stories over and over and over again. It’s funny, but I actually got interested because of the Ray Bradbury short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” from The Martian Chronicles. The story references all these Edgar Allan Poe stories, so I had to read them-and after one I was hooked!
So with his stories, I’m going to review them one by one as there are sooooo many. It would be an incredibly looooooooooooooong post to do them all in one.
Today we are going to start with the first Edgar Allan Poe story I have ever read, AND one of my favorites!
This story and detective, C. Auguste Dupin, are also believed to be the first detective mystery story ever written (not first mystery-first detective mystery.) Dupin is thought to being the forerunner to Sherlock Holmes in his ways of observation and sleuthing, Many believe that Doyle copied Poe, even though Doyle insists that Holmes is based on a professor he had while attaining his medical degree.
Whether it is a copy or not, I don’t care. I love both-you know me:
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue (C. Auguste Dupin Mysteries #1)” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe
C. Auguste Dupin is from an old, established, wealthy family, but has lost all his money and is now poor. He still has a little bit of money, enough to let him live and afford his greatest vice, books.
Dupin lives with his friend, the nameless narrator, and astounds him with his deductive reasoning, being able to tell what he is thinking!
One morning they look in the paper and see the headline EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS.
The night before Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, residents of Rue Morgue, were heard screaming in the middle of the night. People heard and tried to get in, but every door and window was locked on the ground floor. They eventually gained access by using a crowbar.
When they came in the room they found it in incredible discord and destruction.
It gets pretty dark here, just a ***SPOILER ALERT***
The women were found with a razor caked with blood and the Madame’s gray tresses also dripping in blood, looking as if ripped from the head. Both women’s necks were cut so badly they were practically separated from their necks.
Both women were also shoved up the chimney.
Everyone was questioned but no one knows why it was committed, who did it, or how. Everyone who came in heard the voice of whoever committed the act but could not understand the language. Some think it was Spanish, others Italian, etc.
Dupin becomes interested in the case and follows it in all the papers. The only thing that was open was a window on one of the high stories. But how could anyone get in?
Dupin believes he has the case solved and places an ad in the newspaper to catch the killer. Has he figured it out? Who could have done such a horrible act?
I love this story and the ending is fantastic. I personally think this is the best of the Dupin mysteries, even though everyone always goes on about The Purloined Letter.
For more on Catherine Morland’s Reading List, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Inn at Half Moon Bay
For more gothic tales, go to Book Club Picks: Wuthering Heights