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Monsieur Lecoq: The Inquiry

Monsieur Lecoq: The Inquiry by Émile Gaboriau
By: (1832-1873)

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.

First Page:


by Emile Gaboriau


At about eleven o'clock in the evening of the 20th of February, 186 , which chanced to be Shrove Sunday, a party of detectives left the police station near the old Barriere d'Italie to the direct south of Paris. Their mission was to explore the district extending on the one hand between the highroad to Fontainebleau and the Seine, and on the other between the outer boulevards and the fortifications.

This quarter of the city had at that time anything but an enviable reputation. To venture there at night was considered so dangerous that the soldiers from the outlying forts who came in to Paris with permission to go to the theatre, were ordered to halt at the barriere, and not to pass through the perilous district excepting in parties of three or four.

After midnight, these gloomy, narrow streets became the haunt of numerous homeless vagabonds, and escaped criminals and malefactors, moreover, made the quarter their rendezvous. If the day had been a lucky one, they made merry over their spoils, and when sleep overtook them, hid in doorways or among the rubbish in deserted houses... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - November 14, 2013
Subject: A disappointment
I love the story, the characters and mental imagery. They're all great. But I was almost terminally disappointed to find out that this was only the first part of a multi-part set. Having said that, the readers (with only a couple of exceptions) did an outstanding job. I only wish that the complete suite of Lecoq novels was available in audiobook form.

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