Arsene Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes by Maurice Leblanc (1910)

Meeting my old friends, Lupin and Holmes, is incredibly refreshing. This novel packs two of my favorite characters into one delicious novel. Like ordinary foods wrapped in bacon this novel is greater than the sum of its parts. At first glance, you might assume that Leblanc would favor the character he created by making Holmes look like foolish. Leblanc is too good of a writer to stoop to corrupting the classic Holmes character. Rather you find that Holmes and Lupin both show remarkable insight, intelligence and cunning. Ultimately neither character triumphs because they never play by the same rules. Lupin has access to his vast criminal network alongside the home field advantage of Paris and France in general. Holmes is restricted by the law and his relative unfamiliarity with the region and its people. It is a rollicking good time though.

A mysterious jewel has been stolen, a man murdered and Lupin has evaded capture in a most mysterious way multiple times in a row. The French police force alongside its most celebrated detective is at a complete loss of where to go next. The clues seems to dissolve into thin air and Lupin has apparently managed the scientific marvel of teleportation. In these humbling circumstances Herlock Sholmes(name changed for copyright reasons) is called to Paris to solve the case. Arriving in Paris, Sholmes and Lupin have a chance meeting at small restaurant. Lupin chides Sholmes who appears flustered by the encounter. In his British matter of fact way, he explains to Lupin that he will wrap up the case in 10 days because he has other mysteries to unravel back home in England. Lupin laughs at this hubris and the dash is on to solve the mystery of the blonde lady. Sit courtside at the match of the century: Arsene Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes.


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