As usual, gentleman thief Arsene Lupin finds himself wrongfully accused of murder, and must find the real killer to clear his tainted name.
When one of Arsene Lupin' victims is found dead in a way that implicates the wily criminal, he insists on heading the police search for the real murderer. The mystery involves finding a package of letters once written to Bismarck, locating a clock on which the number 813 has significance, as well as causing a reigning emperor to make several journeys incognito. Murders by the dozens, suicide and mild forms of torture are warp and woof of the plot.
(cover image courtesy of Jenny Rollo)
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Maurice Leblanc was a prolific French author born in Rouen on November 11, 1864. He had studied law, but abandoned that for a career in writing. He initially wrote for various periodicals, with "Une Femme" being his first published work in 1887. He gained fame in France and abroad after starting his Arsène Lupin series of novels. Arsène Lupin was a gentleman-thief who was a master of disguise and made his first appearance in 1905 in "L'arrestation d'Arséne Lupin". In 1908 LeBlanc pitted Lupin against Sherlock Holmes in "Arsène Lupin Versus Holmlock Shears". Leblanc would eventually produce 20 volumes worth of Lupin's adventures. On November 6, 1941, Leblanc died in Perpignan, France, at the age of 76.
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