Oleander Book Club 14: Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar part 1


Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar (FrenchArsène Lupin, gentleman-cambrioleur) is the first collection of stories by Maurice Leblanc recounting the adventures of Arsène Lupin, released on 10 June 1907. Containing the first eight stories depicting the character, each was first published in the French magazine Je sais tout the first on 15 July 1905. The seventh features English detective Sherlock Holmes, changed in subsequent publications to “Herlock Sholmes” after protests from Arthur Conan Doyle‘s lawyers, as seen in the second collection Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmes.


  • “The Arrest of Arsène Lupin” (“L’Arrestation d’Arsène Lupin”) Je sais tout, No. 6, 15 July 1905)
During a trip to America, it is learned that famous thief Arsène Lupin has made it aboard the ship. The ship’s guests, led by Bernard d’Andrèzy, try to weed out the thief with only a partial description of his appearance and the first letter of the alias he is using. A woman’s jewels are stolen and d’Andrèzy courts Miss Nelly. Lupin expert inspector Ganimard is at the ships’ destination waiting, and successfully arrests Lupin, who is d’Andrèzy. The jewels, hidden in d’Andrèzy’s camera, are knowingly dropped into the water by the angry Miss Nelly.
  • “Arsène Lupin in Prison” (“Arsène Lupin en prison”) Je sais tout, No. 11, 15 December 1905, as “The Extraordinary Life of Arsène Lupin in Prison”)
Baron Nathan Cahorn receives a letter from Arsène Lupin, who is incarcerated in La Santé Prison, wherein the thief tells Cahorn to send him several of his valuables or else he will come on 27 September to steal those named and more. Cahorn seeks out detective Ganimard, who happens to be on vacation in town, and hires him and two of his men to guard the belongings on the announced date. When the crime occurs, Ganimard asks Cahorn not to tell people he was there and an official investigation is launched, during which Ganimard is called in as the expert on the thief. Ganimard goes to see Lupin in prison, where the thief explains it was he who was hired to watch the night of the crime. Lupin also states that he was only arrested because he was distracted by a woman he loved and declares that he will not be present at his own trial.