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The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont

Robert Barr

Book Overview: 

Short stories by a colleague of Jerome K. Jerome, and friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Barr probably wrote the first parody of Sherlock Holmes (included in this collection). He co-edited “The Idler” with Jerome.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The garments of the poor old professor I rolled up into a ball one by one and flung out through the open window, far into the marsh past which we were flying in a pitch dark night. Coat, trousers, and waistcoat rested in separate swamps at least ten miles apart. Gray whiskers and gray wig I tore into little pieces, and dropped the bits out of the open window.

[45]

I had taken the precaution to secure a compartment in the front of the train, and when it came to rest at Parkeston Quay Station, the crowd, eager for the steamer, rushed past me, and I stepped out into the midst of it, a dapper, well-dressed young man, with black beard and moustaches, my own closely cropped black hair covered by a new bowler hat. Anyone looking for Paul Ducharme would have paid small attention to me, and to any friend of Valmont's I was equally unrecognisable.

I strolled in leisurely manner to the Great Eastern Hotel on the Quay, and asked the clerk if a portmanteau add. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a book I pull of my shelf perhaps once every ten years. The stories are of their time stylistically so there is an emphasis on the mechanics of the mysteries rather than the psychology of the characters. But they are very well written with a light touch. I would add that if Barr had writt...more

Robert Barr was a Canadian author who moved to England during the heyday of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. While remaining a friend of Doyle's he published several humorous detective stories mocking the British detective. And then, in 1906, he came out with The Triumphs of Eugène V...more

I have heard of this book for many years but never ventured to read it. I can finally say I have and I really enjoyed it. Some of the stories were less interesting than others, but I think what I liked most was Valmont didn't mind admitting his failures and at the same time boasting about what a...more

I liked how the stories are not too long and some of them are interesting and could fall under detective stories. The stories are much closer to reality, where it is not the extreme brilliance like that of Sherlock Holmes that solves the problem but something like an average (or maybe a little sm...more

A vain French detective...yet endearing
A series of cases ...some solving by themselves ...some with some effort. ..what's most entertaining about the book is the sarcastic differences between the English and the French ways as brought forth by the detective. It's a nice read .

I read this for a reading challenge: Read a book with <500 Goodreads ratings. I looked at it and couldn't help but wonder 'why does a book published in 1906 only have 79 ratings?' The answer is apparently because it's fairly rubbish.

It's nothing more than a poor man's Sherlock Holmes. Now, I k...more

If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes, you will enjoy this book.podcast. Nice surprise at end.

Enjoyable

Obviously comparable to Holmes but much closer to a fallible Poirot. Entertaining because of his failings, Valmont becomes human. Enjoyable.

The irony of The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont (1906) by Robert Barr is that the book begins with Valmont's biggest failure and proceeds to relate various other incidents where Valmont does not exactly shine. Assigned to protect the legendary diamond necklace once destined for Marie Antoinette, Valm...more

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