If you read my last post on Kindles, you know that I heard about this author while reading Teddy Roosevelt’s diary of his 1914 trip to Brazil. I downloaded the Lupin book for a recent trip and found these short, witty mysteries to be perfect for long layovers. My five hours in the airport flew by.
Arsene Lupin is a gentleman thief who steals not out of need, but for the pure adventure of it. He is so famous for his escapades that he sometimes sends a list of items he wants to his victims and asks them to wrap them up and send them to him to save him the trouble of stealing them himself.
My favorite chapter was “The Seven of Hearts”, the story of a man who was robbed, but wasn’t really. The next day a man comes to inquire about the robbery and commits suicide within three minutes of entering the house. Then Miss Nelly arrives unexpectedly and unsettles our cool-headed thief’s plans. (Miss Nelly is the beautiful young socialite who has won Lupin’s heart, but who cannot love him when she discovers who he is.) For her sake he later returns a roomful of stolen wealth.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin is chock full of surprises. Lupin’s encounter with Sherlock Holmes in the last chapter is wonderfully amusing. (See the Wikipedia article for the controversy this caused.)
Several dozen Arsene Lupin titles are available through Amazon and half of them are available for free on Kindle. If you like a well-written book sprinkled with a good dose of humor, I encourage you to give this series a try.