The Hollow Needle

Maurice Leblanc


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3 November 2022
ISBN: 9781912916795
300 pages

From the publisher

The Hollow Needle was Maurice Leblanc’s first novel to feature the “gentleman-thief ” Arsène Lupin. In this book Lupin finds himself playing a game of cat and mouse with young, amateur-detective Isidore Beautrelet. His nemesis, Detective Ganimard and the famous English detective Sherlock Holmes also make appearances.

Lupin is chasing the most valuable haul he has ever had the opportunity to steal: namely the hidden fortune of the Kings of France, handed down ever since the time of Julius Caesar. It appears that Lupin has mastered the codes which for centuries have protected the location of this treasure. But will he be able to keep the secrets of the Hollow Needle - which is where these treasures are hidden – from his pursuers?

This is a riveting story from beginning to end. The plot is superb, and de Mattos’s beautiful translation from the French original is a joy to read.

The creator of Arsène Lupin, Maurice Leblanc, was born in Rouen in 1864. At the request of a Paris magazine, Je Sais Tout, he began a series of stories featuring the character Lupin, a ‘gentleman thief’, which appeared in this publication, starting in 1907. The blueprint for this new magazine was England’s Strand Magazine in which Conan Doyle had first introduced his character Sherlock Holmes.

In 1919 Agatha Christie reportedly considered basing her first detective on Lupin. Jean Cocteau wrote about the stories in his diaries, Sartre described Lupin as “the Cyrano of the underworld.” Even T. S. Eliot was an avid reader of Lupin stories.