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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

Community Reviews

This book is intriguing to me for the influence this classical detective hero would have on the later formation of Sherlock Holmes as created by Arthur Conan Doyle, and because we know Gaboriau read and enjoyed Poe’s tales with his logical detective Dupin. Although this is the fifth novel that Ga...more

Published in 1869, Monsieur Lecoq predates A Study in Scarlet by 18 years and is acknowledged as an influence on Arthur Conan Doyle specifically, but also on the development of detective fiction in general. This entertaining novel has two parts. The first begins with a crime and follows the Paris...more

Anyone who is a fan of Sherlock Holmes would probably enjoy this. Acknowledged by A. C. Doyle as a predecessor to Sherlock by Sherlock himself in A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock probably says it best when he calls Monseiur LeCoq a bumbler. Brilliant, but a bumbler.

Let's start at the beginning - of...more

Monsieur Lecoq adalah seorang polisi muda dari kesatuan Kota Paris di tahun 1860-an. Berbeda dengan polisi yang lain, ia cepat tanggap, tidak mudah mengeneralisasi kesimpulan tanpa bukti-bukti konkrit dan mau bersusah-payah mencari jawaban yang pas. Kesimpulan harus datang dari fakta, bukan fakta...more

Published in 1869, the fifth novel Gaboriau wrote featuring Lecoq, Monsieur Lecoq takes us back to 1859 and introduces the intrepid detective Lecoq when he is still a young unknown. In addition to meeting Lecoq we encounter other such reappearing characters as young rascal Toto Chupin and the ven...more

Unlike The Widow Lerouge, in this novel Gaboriau abandons the over-the-top reliance on coincidence and replaces it with Lecoq's 'If at first you don't succeed try, try again' approach to investigation.
In the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study In Scarlet, Watson asks Holmes, "Does Lecoq come...more

Holy cow! What a ride! Monsieur Le Coq is a young detective trying to solve his first case. The end, though wanting, leaves you open and anxious for the next book. While some twists were foreseeable, the big ones weren't. I was captured by this book from the MOMENT I picked it up! Le Coq has his...more

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again.

Monsieur Lecoq, a French private detective, reminds me a bit of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle readers will notice similarities. The crime is committed early and Lecoq's relentless search for the culprit(s) gives an interesting view of Parisian society and the city. Early forensic practices are mentioned...more

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