Book #81: The Purloined Letter

This was the second time that I read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Purloined Letter.

The Purloined Letter is the third story Poe wrote about the detective C. Auguste Dupin. In this Dupin adventure, the amateur detective is approached by the Parisian police with a sensitive problem. An important person is being blackmailed by a government minister, who stole a letter with incriminating contents. They would like Dupin’s help in getting the letter back.

Basically, if you’re a Sherlock fan (and, let’s be honest, if you aren’t yet, you should be, what’s wrong with you?), it’s pretty much the plot of A Scandal in Belgravia and, by extension, the plot of the Sherlock Holmes adventure A Scandal in Bohemia.

Dupin, being the logical, analytical, semi-professional detective that he is, is sent in to recover the letter and, he hopes, find a way to end the blackmailer’s political career.

I’m always interested in Poe’s prose because I mostly think of him as a poet (even though I’ve read more of his novellas than his poems). It’s interesting to see him write a detective, crime story instead of a creepy, gothic thing. It’s interesting to see the spin he puts on a pretty classic blackmail story.

Rating: ****
Up Next: To Kill A Mockingbird

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