Yup, this week’s is a two-fer! Since I skipped last Wednesday’s entry (there’s my one freebie for this month) and both of these are short stories, I figured I had room to do both. So, without further ado:

“The Man With the Twisted Lip” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I will admit that this isn’t my favorite Sherlock Holmes story – I much prefer “The Case of the Speckled Band” and “The Blue Carbuncle”. However, given that it’s Sherlock Holmes, “The Man With the Twisted Lip” is still really good.

It’s different from your usual detective story because there is no murder to solve. A man has gone missing, maybe kidnapped, and Sherlock has to track him down. Because there is no corpse, a certain amount of tension is lost, and I happen to really like that kind of tension in a mystery.

Of course, the usual dry wit that characterizes Holmes is there and Watson is as lovably befuddled as ever, so that’s fun. Some readers might feel a little disappointed because the trail of clues and Holmes’ method of deduction are not as explicit as they are in other stories, but it’s still a worthwhile short story to look into.

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allen Poe

This story is not what you’d expect from a detective narrative. For one thing, it reads more like a pamphlet on deduction and critical thinking than an actual story. For another, not all of the clues are given to the readers, so it’s much more unlikely that we’ll actually guess who the killer is (which is half the fun).

I, personally, was disappointed with the plot twist concerning the killer. Not only did I feel that I had been tricked, I also felt like it was anticlimactic. Of course, being Poe, he probably did that on purpose to mess with his readers.

Over all, I felt like the entire story was just one big Red Herring. Like Poe deliberately told us the wrong story to keep us from looking at the real one.

For anyone who’s read this short story, keeping things as spoiler free as possible, what did you think of the twist at the end?

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