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Monsieur Lecoq, Vol. 1: The Inquiry

Émile Gaboriau

Book Overview: 

Monsieur Lecoq is a captivating mystery, historical and love story :

Around 11 o'clock, on the evening of Shrove Sunday 18.., close to the old Barrière d'Italie, frightful cries, coming from Mother Chupin's drinking-shop, are heard by a party of detectives led by Inspector Gévrol. The squad runs up to it. A triple murder has just been committed. The murderer is caught on the premises.

Despite Gévrol's opinion that four scoundrels encountered each other in this vile den, that they began to quarrel, that one of them had a revolver and killed the others, Lecoq, a young police agent, suspects a great mystery.

He will lead his investigation until he gets to the bottom of it. The story takes us in the dark times of France after the Revolution and in the Terror, and finds its roots in a story of love and power.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .make any note of the attitude in which they found the body, since the unfortunate man, who was still alive when the police entered the cabin, had been moved before he expired.

"Approach, sergeant," ordered the commissary, "and look carefully at this man."

It was with very evident repugnance that the old soldier obeyed.

"What is the uniform that he wears?"

"It is the uniform of the 2d battalion of the 53d regiment of the line."

"Do you recognize him?"

"Not at all."

"Are you sure that he does not belong to your regiment?"

"I can not say for certain: there are some conscripts at the Depot whom I have never seen. But I am ready to swear that he had never formed part of the 2d battalion—which, by the way, is mine, and in which I am sergeant-major."

Lecoq, who had hitherto remained in the background, now stepped forward. "It might be as well," he suggested, "to note the nu. . . Read More