Arsene Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes

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Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes
Author Maurice Leblanc
Country France
Language French
Genre Crime fiction
Publication date
1908
Media type Print

Arsène Lupin vs. Herlock Sholmes is a collection of two adventures of Arsène Lupin, written by Maurice Leblanc. These adventures feature a match of wits between Lupin and Herlock Sholmes, a transparent reference to Sherlock Holmes, the hero of Conan Doyle's detective stories. It follows the appearance of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar, in which Sherlock Holmes also makes an appearance in "Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late". The collection was translated into English as Arsène Lupin versus Holmlock Shears in England and The Blonde Lady in the United States.

Publication History[edit]

The two stories were initially published in the magazine Je sais tout from November 1906. The first story, The Blonde Lady, was published from November 1906 to April 1907, while the second, The Jewish Lamp, appeared in September and October 1907. The collection of these two stories was published with modifications in February 1908, and in 1914, another edition appeared with further modifications. The English translations appeared in 1910.

Contents[edit]

The collection contains the following stories:

  • "The Blonde Lady", comprising six chapters
    • Number 514, Series 23
    • The Blue Diamond
    • Holmlock Shears Opens Hostilities
    • A Glimmer in the Darkness
    • Kidnapped
    • The Second Arrest of Arsène Lupin
  • "The Jewish Lamp", comprising two chapters

Summary[edit]

The first story, "The Blonde Lady", opens with the purchase of an antique desk by a mathematics professor. The desk is subsequently stolen, as it turns out, by Arsène Lupin. Later, both Lupin and the professor realize that a lottery ticket, left inadvertently in the desk, is the winning ticket, and Lupin proceeds to ensure he obtains half of the winnings while executing a near-impossible escape with a blonde lady. After the theft of the Blue Diamond, again by a blonde lady, Ganimard made the connection to Lupin and an appeal was made to Holmlock Shears to match wits with Lupin. Inadvertently, Lupin and his biographer met with the newly arrived Shears and his assistant, Wilson, in a Parisian restaurant, and they shared a cautious détente before Lupin sets off to lay his traps. Despite Lupin's efforts, Shears is able to unveil the identity of the blonde lady and Lupin's involvement in the crimes linked to her. Lupin succeeded in trapping Shears, however, and sends him off to Southampton in a boat, but Shears manages to escape back to Paris and engineer the arrest of Lupin. After Shears leaves, however, Lupin outfoxes his French captors and manages to bid farewell to Shears and his assistant at the Gare du Nord.

"The Jewish Lamp" opens with another appeal to Holmlock Shears for help in recovering a Jewish lamp. After reading the appeal, Shears is shocked to read a second letter, this time by Lupin and arriving on the same day's post, which warns him not to intervene. Shears is outraged by Lupin's audacity and resolves to go to Paris. At the Gare du Nord, Shears is accosted by a young lady, who again warns him not to intervene, and finds that the Echo de France, Lupin's mouthpiece newspaper, is proclaiming his arrival. Shears proceeds to investigate the crime and finds out the true reason for Lupin's appeal not to intervene.

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