In 19th century Baltimore, Maryland, several policemen discover a murdered woman sprawled on the floor of her apartment which was locked from the inside. While police search for the killer's means of escape, they discover a second corpse in the chimney, later identified as the 12 year old daughter of the first victim. A celebrated detective, Emmett Fields, is called to assist in the investigation and discovers that the crime resembles a fictional murder in the short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" that he had once read
"Literary journalism and celebrity are the subjects of this satirical nightmare fictionalising the last days of Edgar Allan Poe, who was found before his death in 1849 roaming the streets of Baltimore in a state of delirium; it is directed by James McTeigue and written by Hannah Shakespeare and Ben Livingston. John Cusack is wittily cast as the washed-up Poe."