The First Detective Story


Many of us love a good “whodunit” and the detectives and forensic experts who work to solve the mysteries and crimes in the story.

But did you know that the first detective story — or at least the one credited as being the first “modern” detective story — was published April 20, 1841. Given the macabre nature of his work, it probably comes as no surprise that the author of this work was Edgar Allen Poe.

Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue appeared first in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The character Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin uses his exceptional analytical skills to solve the murders of a woman and her daughter living in Paris. Ultimately, detective stories gave way to detective novels, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the fascinating character Sherlock Holmes in the novel A Study in Scarlet in 1887. Holmes’ escapades have continued to delight 21st-century readers and is the inspiration for the modern television series, “Elementary,” on CBS and the BBC production “Sherlock” that features Benedict Cumberbatch.

But our fascination and appreciation for crime stories and detectives began many years ago with a story for which Poe earned $59.00!










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