The Chateau of Valpinson is burnt down and the owner shot. On the evidence of a village idiot a neighbour is accused, and the circumstantial evidence is strong. The detective Gandon solves the mystery.
but too often during the war with the Germans, and then again during the reign of the Commune. Therefore M. Seneschal asked,--
"Is it a serious fire?"
"Serious!" exclaimed the peasant. "How could it be otherwise with such a wind as this,--a wind that would blow off the horns of our oxen."
"Hm!" uttered the mayor again. "Hm, hm!"
It was not exactly the first time, since he was mayor of Sauveterre, that he was thus roused by a peasant, who came and cried under his window, "Help! Fire, fire!"
At first, filled with compassion, he had hastily called out the firemen, put himself at their head, and hurried to the fire.
And when they reached it, out of breath, and perspiring, after having made two or three miles at double-quick, they found what? A wretched heap of straw, worth about ten dollars, and almost consumed by the fire. They had had their trouble for nothing.
The peasants in the neighborhood had cried, "Wolf!" so often, when there was no reason for it, that, even when the wolf really was
I chose this as my first book on my first Kindle. I wasn't disappointed. Well written, a mixture of Trollope/Balzac/Perry Mason, I read it in less than a day. Thoroughly recommended.
A 19th Century legal thriller which is a must for fans of Grisham. An early morning fire, accompanied by an attempted assassination on a local count draws readers in from the first words, and keeps them enthralled on a roller coaster ride of detective-legal intrigue. Gaboriau was a best-selling author in his day, and inspired the style of Fergus Hume. Excellent read!
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