The Purloined Letter

Supposed portrait of Minister D...
Daguerreotype, France, 1841.
The Purloined Letter
first bublished in The Gift, Philadelphia, 1845

(an annual dated 1845 but printed late 1844].

On line: original text in English

& its French translation by Charles Baudelaire

Actor Anthony Quayle reads "The Purloined Letter".

Minister D... has stolen an incriminating letter from the Queen - right under her nose, and in the very presence of the King - for purposes of blackmail. Dupin manages in turn to steal the letter from the Minister and hands it over to the Prefect of police for a hefty fee.

Third and last of the Dupin cases, "The Purloined Letter" is the prototype of all the detective stories which take their theme from the idea that the most apparently unlikely solution is the correct one, and that what seems most unlikely is really perfectly obvious.