Standard Ebooks

The Lerouge Case

Émile Gaboriau

The cover for the Standard Ebooks edition of The Lerouge Case, by Émile Gaboriau. Translated by Vizetelly and Company


Considered by many to be the first detective novel, The Lerouge Case (aka The Widow Lerouge) introduces Monsieur Lecoq (later Inspector Lecoq), a former “habitual criminal” who becomes a police officer. Émile Gaboriau based Lecoq at least in part on an actual criminal-turned-police-officer, Eugène Vidocq, who went on to be the first director of the Sûreté. In this first book, Lecoq plays a relatively small part, the bulk of the mystery solving being done by Lecoq’s mentor Tabaret, an amateur detective.

Gaboriau thus introduces both a police detective and an amateur detective at the same time. Many of the attributes now taken for granted in the mystery arena originated with Gaboriau and Lecoq—hyper attention to detail, mastery of disguises, amateur “agents” who assist the detective, and the above-mentioned amateur detectives that assist and sometimes out-perform the police versions.

Gaboriau’s Lecoq novels were wildly successful until another amateur detective named Holmes made his appearance. Holmes even comments on Lecoq in A Study in Scarlet, dismissing him as a “miserable bungler” in response to Dr. Watson’s question. Nevertheless, Arthur Conan Doyle was obviously influenced by Gaboriau and Lecoq, as many of Holmes’ traits can be seen first in Lecoq.

Free download

This ebook is only thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that the contents of this ebook are free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before downloading or using this ebook.

  • epub All devices and apps except Amazon Kindle and Kobo.

  • azw3 Amazon Kindle devices and apps. Also download the Kindle cover thumbnail to see the cover in your Kindle’s library.

  • kepub Kobo devices and apps.

  • epub3 Advanced format not yet fully compatible with most ereaders.

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update CSS to new standards

  2. Add color depth semantics to titlepage, imprint, and colophon images

  3. Remove parent-relative paths in internal links

  4. Clean

  5. Add series order metadata

More details

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.