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July 17, 2021


#Paris In July Gaboriau

by N@ncy

  • Author: Émile Gaboriau (1832-1873)
  • Genre:  Crime fiction (pg 612)
  • Trivia: French writer, novelist, journalist,
  • …pioneer of detective fiction
  • Title:  Dossier 113
  • Published:  1867
  • #ParisInJuly

  • On the surface, the crime seems simple.
  • A bank’s secure safe is robbed.
  • One of the two men who holds the key must be guilty.
  • One key-holder is the bank’s owner who lives above the bank.
  • The other is the bank’s trusted manager
  • …a man like a son to the owner.
  • What if neither is guilty?
  • How did this safe, with every security measure known
  • and employed at the time, get robbed?
  • Leave it to Monsieur Lecoq of the Surete, a policeman of many disguises.
  • Book in 5 words:
  • Truth – deceit – betrayal – lies – murder.

Last thoughts:

  • Strong point: What a convoluted plot!!
  • I wanted to read something I could sink my teeth into
  • …well I got it!
  • Strong point: M. Lecoq seems to be 2 steps ahead of everyone!
  • The book is filled with all the delights of detective CF:
  • Letters:
  • Plot turns on the bundle of letters.
  • They are passed from character to character.
  • The reader feels tension about the letters
  • …concealment, interception, destruction or revelation ?

  • Eavesdropping behind curtains
  • Spying through keyholes
  • Secretly removing bullets from a gun
  • Carriage (fiacre) trick (…very clever!)

  • Disguise!
  • M. Lecoq is a master in disguise.
  • This reader had to really concentrate
  • Another name, description …”Is this Lecoq or not?”
  • The sleuth even managed to disguise himself
  • …while he was already in another costume.
  • When I think of M. Lecoq the best description
  • he is a series of Russian babushka dolls!
  • The reader is always waiting to see when the
  • outer layer will disappear!

  • It is a pity the name Émile Gaboriau has been
  • rather forgotten in the list of great detectives.
  • He was a source of inspiration for Conan Doyle.
  • I find his novels are anchored in reality
  • his investigations are skillfully crafted and
  • …in the end Gaboriau ties up all the loose ends!
  • The book also paints a naturalist
  • …painting of the ‘belle epoque’ in Paris!
  • Don’t hesitate to try one of Gaboriau’s books
  • I read in in French and it took me 10 days.
  • The language was easy to read but I read word for word
  • …not wanting to miss a clue!
  • Book is available in English on Amazon.

Read more from Uncategorized
5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 17 2021

    How interesting that this detective was an inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle!


    • Jul 17 2021

      This book is really quite a puzzle!
      I’ve read Gaboriau’s other books “M. Lecoq” and “L’affaire rouge”.
      Both are very good and also available in English.!
      Thanks for your comment!


  2. Anonymous
    Jul 17 2021

    Thank you! I love a good mystery. I will add this to my requested list at my library. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jul 17 2021

    Sounds a bit like a Feydeau farce in a way. Do you think he was a source for Simenon? Seems likely?



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