When one of ArsÚne 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.
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Maurice Marie Émile Leblanc (11 November 1864 – 6 November 1941) was a French novelist and writer of short stories, known primarily as the creator of the fictional gentleman thief and detective Arsène Lupin, often described as a French counterpart to Arthur Conan Doyle's creation Sherlock Holmes. Like Conan Doyle, who often appeared embarrassed or hindered by the success of Sherlock Holmes and seemed to regard his success in the field of crime fiction as a detraction from his more "respectable" literary ambitions, Leblanc also appeared to have resented Lupin's success. Several times, he tried to create other characters, such as private eye Jim Barnett, but eventually merged them with Lupin. He continued to pen Lupin tales well into the 1930s.
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