Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) holds a unique place in American literature. Famous as a poet, he also penned short stories that are masterpieces of terror and suspense, infused with the horror and dread he knew from his feverish dreams and persistent fears of death. Fortunately for lovers of mystery, Poe was attracted by logic and analysis as well as fantasy. Fascinated by the narrative possibilities of tracking the perpetrator of a crime, he invented the modern detective story. This superb collection of five stories reveals Poe's virtuoso gifts for both crime fiction and the macabre. Two of his most famous tales, "The Mystery of Marie Roget" and "The Purloined Letter," recount the exploits of C. Auguste Dupin, the first important fictional detective. "William Wilson" is a chilling tale of crime and evil. The two remaining stories, "MS. Found in a Bottle" and "The Oblong Box," subtly but relentlessly convey a sense of unease, then dread, then outright terror.