Edgar Allan Poe: The Cases of C. Auguste Dupin

Supposed portrait of the narrator. Daguerreotype, U.S.A., mid 1840's.
Although some critics trace the origins of the genre to such disparate works as Aesop's fables or Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, most agree that the Western mystery, complete with all its conventions, emerged in 1841 when Edgar Allan Poe invented an amateur detective, the Chevalier Auguste Dupin. Poe also established the convention by which the brilliant intelligence of the detective is made to shine even more brightly through the comparative ingenuousness of his nameless American friend who tells the story. This convention stayed a fixed pattern for this genre.

C. Auguste Dupin appears in a trilogy whose
only constants are the Parisian setting:

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

The Mystery of Marie Roget

The Purloined Letter