Thursday, April 20, 2006

Happy Birthday, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"!

From today's edition of "The Writer's Almanac": In 1841, on this day, the first detective story was published. In his story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," published in Graham's Magazine, Edgar Allen Poe created mystery's first fictional detective, Auguste C. Dupin. The story introduced many of the elements of mysteries that are still popular today: the genius detective, the not-so-smart sidekick, the plodding policeman and the use of the red herring to lead readers off the track.


  1. I'm a great believer in "celebrating" these bithdays by doing something related to them, so I guess it'll be Poe on the menu tonight. Lately I've been fascinated by him, owing mainly to the new Poe bio that I'm slowly making my way through. Maybe I'll spend an hour or so with my copy of Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. Wish I had taped that Joseph Cotton movie where he plays Poe (the name escapes me at the moment but I remember really liking it).

  2. Scott Cupp11:37 AM

    Leave us not forget that he also gave us the evil simian in this one, too. A precursor of many more (bad) ones to come.

  3. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Evil simian?

    Are you talking mysteries or politics?

    Jerry House

  4. Didn't Marv Lachman read this the day in came out?

  5. Anonymous5:59 PM

    Is this a test devised by you, Bill; or is Writer's Almanac that dumb? Of course it is "C. Auguste Dupin", not "Auguste C. Dupin."

    A. Charles Scott

  6. Garrison Keillor supposedly writes the entries. Judge for yourself.