In File No. 113, the banking-house of Andre Fauvel has been robbed of 350,000 francs. Only two men had the key and the secret word that would open the safe where it was kept. One is the owner himself and the other is his trusted head cashier Prosper Bertomy. Both protest their innocence and the police choose to believe the respectable Monsieur Fauvel, so the suspicion is on Bertomy. Fortunately for him, the great detective Monsieur Lecoq believes him to be innocent and is ready to go to great lengths to prove his theory.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Émile Gaboriau (9 November 1832 – 28 September 1873) was a French writer, novelist, journalist, and a pioneer of detective fiction.
The book, which was Gaboriau’s first detective novel, introduced an amateur detective. It also introduced a young police officer named Monsieur Lecoq, who was the hero in three of Gaboriau’s detective novels. The character of Lecoq was based on a real-life thief turned police officer, Eugène François Vidocq (1775–1857), whose own memoirs, Les Vrais Mémoires de Vidocq, mixed fiction and fact. It may also have been influenced by the villainous Monsieur Lecoq, one of the main protagonists of Féval’s Les Habits Noirs book series.
The book was published in “Le Siècle” and made him gain an instant reputation. Gaboriau gained a huge following, but when Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes, Monsieur Lecoq’s international fame declined. The story was produced on the stage in 1872. A long series of novels dealing with the annals of the police court followed, and proved very popular. Gaboriau died in Paris of pulmonary apoplexy.
Gaboriau’s books were generally well received. About The Mystery of the Orcival, Harper’s wrote in 1872: “Of its class of romance – French sensational – this is a remarkable and unique specimen.” A film version of Le Dossier n° 113 (File No. 113) was released in 1932