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July 17, 2021

5

#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.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jul 17 2021

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

    Like

    Reply
    • 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!

      Like

      Reply
  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

    Reply
  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?

    Like

    Reply

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