As far as detective stories go, this one stands out among the best I've read so far. For a change, in this tale the criminal's identity is made quite evident at the start, the nature of crime being a theft of a letter of great political importance; yet, the French police arrive at a dead-end when they cannot find the document on the person or in the residence of their suspect. So what remains for detective Dupin to do is to help the regular forces in recovering the purloined letter, which he does with a little help of psychology. The only reason I am giving it four stars instead of the full five is because I missed the real thrill of a who-dun-it mystery--the hunt for and the collection of evidence, the deductions, the chase, the confrontation--and so forth. But other than that, a lovely story.