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The Triumphs of Eugène Valmont

318 pages5 hours


When I say I am called Valmont the name will convey no impression to the reader one way or another. My occupation is that of private detective in London but if you ask any policeman in Paris who Valmont was he will likely be able to tell you unless he is a recent recruit.

The Triumphs of Eugene Valmont (1906) brings together tales of the multifarious exploits of Robert Barr's elegant and cunning sleuth, Valmont, a brilliantly ironic parody of Sherlock Holmes. Exhibiting the crucial combination of realism and imagination that characterizes the finest crime writing, the stories exude playfulness and wit, blending mystery and quasi-Gothic thrills with humorous detours and romantic adventure. A notable figure in turn-of-the-century literary London and a friend of Conan Doyle, Barr was acutely aware of style as a form of statement and the stories are full of literary effects, commentary on the detective mystery genre, and Valmont's disparaging reflections on English values. From the hilarious satire of sensationalism in 'The Siamese Twin of a Bomb-Thrower' to the bizarre and operatic melodrama of 'The Ghost with the Club-Foot', Barr's stories delight the reader with their skill, variety, and never-abandoned sense of spirited fun. This edition also includes Barr's two rare pastiches of Valmont's rival, Sherlock Holmes.

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