50 pages 1 hour read

Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1841

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Teacher Introduction

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

  • Genre: Fiction; mystery; detective
  • Originally Published: 1841
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 890L; grades 9 and up
  • Structure/Length: Short story; approximately 38 pages; approximately 1 hour and 29 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The short story follows C. Auguste Dupin, a brilliant amateur detective, and his friend as they investigate a gruesome double murder in Paris. A mother and daughter are found murdered in an apartment on Rue Morgue. The crime scene is perplexing, and the investigation reveals puzzling details that seem to defy explanation. The central conflict revolves around Dupin’s use of logical deduction and keen observation to solve the baffling mystery and uncover the truth behind the seemingly impossible crime.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Violence; themes of crime and mystery; graphic depictions and explanations of murder

Edgar Allan Poe, Author

  • Bio: Born 1809; American writer, poet, and literary critic; a central figure in the American Romantic movement; known for his macabre and mysterious works, often exploring themes of death, “madness,” and the unknown; “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” is considered one of the earliest detective stories and a precursor to the mystery genre; his writing has had a lasting impact on mystery, horror, and detective fiction; known for his contributions to the short story form
  • Other Works: “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839); “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842); “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1842); “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843); “The Raven” (1845); “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846); “Annabel Lee” (1849)