The Arrest of Arsèn Lupin

The Arrest of Arsèn Lupin

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Published by Thornwillow Press.

First published in the French magazine Je sais tout in 1905, “The Arrest of Arsène Lupin” serves as the introduction to the iconic gentleman burglar. A staple of early crime fiction, LeBlanc’s mysterious and masterful professional criminal is the anti-Sherlock Holmes, constantly confounding the public and police alike with his ability to “commit a crime without actually being present” and even meeting fiction’s greatest detective (unsubtly given the name Herlock Sholmes) in a later story.

This novella of Arsène Lupin establishes the character as one of the greats of French crime literature with the mysterious arrival of a telegram to the passengers aboard a vessel bound for America announcing that the infamous burglar is on board the ship. But which traveler is really this master of disguise in disguise? It is up to the passengers on the ship to determine the false identity of Lupin before they dock in America, where Lupin’s nemesis, the famed Inspector Ganimard, is waiting.

Lupin is to Robin Hood as Ganimard (and in many ways, Holmes) is to the Sheriff of Nottingham; Lupin often takes from the rich to give to the poor. LeBlanc’s debonair gentleman thief was adapted into film as early as 1908, with the Hollywood film “The Gentleman Burglar” featuring William Ranows as Lupin. Most recently, the character and stories serve as the inspiration for the acclaimed Netflix series, Lupin, which uses Lupin as the muse of a new-age gentleman thief played by Omar Sy.

With a gasp-inducing plot twist, “The Arrest of Arsène Lupin” cements LeBlanc’s writing as foundational to crime literature as we know it today. This Dispatch will feature the text of this iconic French crime story in the original French and the English translation.

Classic Edition: 600 copies bound in letterpress paper wrappers

Maurice Leblanc
Thornwillow Press
In Print