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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Master Thief Meets Master Detective

The French edition: Arsène Lupin, gentleman-cambrioleur

Inspired by the first season of Netflix TV series "Lupin" (brilliant but depressing to me), I recently read Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar for the first time. This is the original 1907 book of short stories that launched the series by French author Maurice Leblanc. 

The final story in the collection is aptly called "Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late." At least, it is in this book and in come editions. In other places -- including Ellery Queen's famous Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes anthology, the great detective appears under the guise of "Holmlock Shears." 

The name changes again the in the novel Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes. And appropriately so, for Sholmes is not a pastiche of Holmes but a parody of him. I blogged about that a couple of years ago, as you can read by clicking here

Sherlockians are probably most familiar with the novel, but Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar (also known as The Exploits of Arsène Lupin) was more enjoyable for me because the Holmes character wasn't such a burlesque. 

There is also a little Easter egg for Sherlockians in the short story collection: The penultimate tale is entitled "The Black Pearl," which cannot help but recall the black pearl of the Borgias in "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons."  

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