The book starts with a polemic about analysis and analytics which the author associates with chess and playing cards. The plot begins when the author writes about Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin who he met in Paris. Because a series of circumstances he lost his fortune and the only luxury he had in life were books. He and the author shared a love for books.
They’ve met in a library and after that they decided to live in Paris. They were cut away from the world. They did not entertain guests and only spent their time with book and each other.
Dupins favorite part of the day was the night and the author bowed down to that. Over the day they would close the blinds and make the room dark to have a vision of night and when the real dark came they would go out and talk.
Dupin was capable of perfectly spotting and following the authors train of thoughts. They were walking one night and after 15 minutes of silence and after that with just one sentence a conversation about Chantilly started. He was a shoemaker who tried the theatre and failed and that conversation led to the murders in Rue Morgue.
Mother and daughter were found dead. Corps of the daughter who was strangled was pulled out of the chimney. Somebody cut the throat of the mother and when they moved her dead body her head fell of her body. The story was in the newspaper that the two of them were reading. There was no indication of the murderers identity and the day later testimonies of the witnesses were published.
Most of the testimonies were the same in everything with the exception of a few facts. Some of the witnesses said that the mother was a fortuneteller and other denied it. The people that entered the house first in the search of the victims heard two voices. One of them was piercing and the other one was gruff. Everyone gave a different testimony about that. One of them said that the voices belonged to somebody French and English and others said that they were Italian.
Nobody knows how the perpetrators ran out of the house. The police wasn’t sure if it was a murder. The corps of the daughter stuck in the chimney was bruised and the mothers bones were crushed and her throat was probably cut with a razor.
The police arrested Adolphe Le Bon even though it seems that no evidence pointed to him. The author realized that Dupin started to get interested in the case when the alleged murderer was arrested because he asked him about him opinion on the murder. The author, same as the rest of Paris was convinced that the case was unsolvable.
Dupin criticized the French police who bragged about their methods and he thought that their only good method was a good moment. HE invites the author to investigate the murder with him because Le Bon once did him a favor he never forgot. He knew one of the investigators so he got the permission necessary to start their own investigation.
They went to the crime scene and searched everything. The author didn’t know why Dupin investigated with such interest. The author didn’t spot anything different than the newspaper said.
Dupin got quiet about the murder until noon next day. He wanted to know if the author saw anything unusual. Dupin thought that the newspapers were guilty for the opinion of the police about the case being unsolvable. The newspaper stated a lack of motives for the murder, different testimonies about the voices and that that was causing the police to think that this case is a dead end.
Dupin said that he’ll get to a solution or that he already knows it. The author was amazed and Dupin said that he expects the perpetrator or the accomplice. Considering the fact that they had to keep him in both of them took their guns.
Dupin kept going on with his monologue about the murder. He pointed the author to the fact that everyone agreed that one voice was French and that nobody wanted to say that the other voice belonged to their country. All of them pointed to the language that is not their even though they’ve never heard it.
Also he figured out that the perpetrators escaped through the window when he carefully studied the room. He already made a theory about how they got in and out but the both of it required a great deal of handiness.
He also considered the great amount of money left in the house and the strength necessary to get a body into a chimney. All of his observations make the author believe that the perpetrator was a lunatic from the hospital that was nearby.
Dupin proved his opinion to be wrong because the witnesses could tell which nationality was the lunatic and also Dupin took the hair that was in the hand of the mother. It wasn’t even similar to human hair as the fingerprints on the daughters neck weren’t human.
Dupin showed the author an article about an orangutan from the islands whos fingerprint matches the one from the daughters neck.
The author still couldn’t understand the mystery of the two voices. Dupin thought that there was a French man who knew about the murder but ran away and also he thought that the orangutan was still walking free. He placed an article in the newspaper that he had an orangutan in his apartment that belonged to a sailor. He came to that conclusion when he find a ribbon tied into a specific knot that sailor know how to make.
His suspicions became real when they heard steps. A sailor came into their apartment in a search of an orangutan. He offered them money as a reward for finding the animal. Instead of money Dupin asked him to tell them about the murder.
He went to the door and locked them and placed his gun on the table. The sailor told them that he caught the animal with a friend that died. After his death he hid the orangutan in his apartment and caught him one day trying to shave probably because he saw the sailor doing it.
When he took out his whip the animal ran out through the window. The sailor followed him and the orangutan spotted the window. A murder occurred there in the way Dupin described it. The owner caught the orangutan and Le Bon was released for the prison.
Author: Edgar Allan Poe biography