Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
“The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” by Edgar Allan Poe
Card picked: King of Diamonds
From: Read it online at http://www.eapoe.org/works/tales/rogetb.htm
Review: This is Poe’s second Dupin mystery, the first of course being “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” This story is not as narratively strong as “Rue Morgue” and honestly it was a bit of a slog to get through. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting.
“The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” is Poe’s solution to the mystery of Mary Rogers, a young woman who went missing and was later found dead in 1841. It was a big, sensational case, covered heavily by the newspapers. Poe’s story is a thin fictionalization, transposed from New York City to Paris, and given to Dupin to solve. Poe admits as much at the beginning of the tale, chalking it all up to coincidence. What follows the introduction is an in-depth run-down of the newspaper coverage (as research done by Dupin’s sidekick and our narrator) and Dupin systematically debunking the newspaper’s assumptions and pretty much calling them idiots.
As with “Maelzel’s Chess Player,” this is Poe turning his deductive reasoning toward a real-world problem and therefore sticking his neck out to a degree that Conan Doyle never did with Sherlock Holmes. His solution wasn’t entirely correct as it turns out, but is fairly solid considering the information he had. This scientific Edgar Allan Poe is what I would have loved to see in a movie like The Raven (2012).
Author Connection: Last year I picked up the book The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower and I don’t remember if I chose it because of the Dupin connection. Now, I want to read it despite the other eight books on my “Currently Reading” list.