In "The Purloined Letter", Edgar Allan Poe reprises his cunning private investigator C. Auguste Dupin. Among Poe’s most formative contributions to the literary canon, Dupin’s appearance predates English usage of the word "detective" itself, and the character no doubt bore a considerable influence on Arthur Conan Doyle’s eponymous Sherlock Holmes stories. Here Dupin is charged with recovering a stolen letter containing sensitive information. Dupin realizes that in order to crack this case he’ll have to beat the blackmailer at his own game. Performers Walter Zimmerman and John Chatty take turns as the story’s principal characters, serving up snappy, quick-clipped riposte between the pointed Parisians.
The Purloined Letter is one of Edgar Allan Poe's detective stories. It is the third of the three stories featuring the detective C. Auguste Dupin, the other two being The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Mystery of Marie Roget. These stories are considered important forerunners of the modern detective story. The method Poe's detective, Dupin, uses to solve the crime was quite innovative. He tried to identify with the criminal and to "think like he would." In May of 1844 Poe wrote to James Russell Lowell that he considered it "perhaps the best of my tales of ratiocination"