Poe is rightly acknowledged as the granddaddy of detective fiction and collected here is the proof. In these stories he gave us the basic devices of an entire genre: the genius detective and his sidekick, the locked room mystery, cyphers, royal spies, and the rigorous logic of arm-chair detection. However, the problem with pioneering a genre is that, forever after, your pioneering work is going to look rather amateurish. And this, unfortunately, is the case with Poe: his Auguste Dupin stories may well have given birth to modern detective fiction, but alongside the works they inspired they are little more than historically interesting artifacts - and ultimately rather dull ('The Murders in the Rue Morgue' excepted). It is simply not possible for us to experience these stories today with anything like the freshness they would have had for their original readers. So if you're looking for really great stories, look elsewhere. But if, on the other hand, you're seeking the historical origins of detective fiction, then your mystery has just been solved.