"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe: Background information when reading A Dangerous Business

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A Dangerous Business

A Novel

by Jane Smiley

A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley X
A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley
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  • Published:
    Dec 2022, 224 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Elisabeth Cook
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About this Book

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe

This article relates to A Dangerous Business

Murders in the Rue Morgue book coverIn Jane Smiley's A Dangerous Business, the story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" by Edgar Allan Poe becomes an important point of reference for main character Eliza as she and her friend Jean investigate a series of murders in 1850s Monterey, California. As Eliza examines the facts and circumstances surrounding the killings, her thoughts frequently return to Poe's amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin (charmingly rendered "DuPANN" in the narration, as Eliza strives to remember the French pronunciation) and his approach to examining relevant details.

Published in Graham's Magazine in 1841, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is widely regarded as a foundational work of crime fiction. It is often considered the first modern detective story, predating Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes tales, and has been credited with being the first locked-room mystery. The plot centers the murder of a woman and her daughter in their Paris apartment; the police are baffled as to how the killer managed to ...

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