luck to you and much pleasure!"
This last wish was pure irony, for the weather was the most disagreeable that could be imagined. A very heavy snow storm had prevailed for several days. It was now beginning to thaw, and on all the frequented thoroughfares the slush was ankle-deep. It was still cold, however; a damp chill filled the air, and penetrated to the very marrow of one's bones. Besides, there was a dense fog, so dense that one could not see one's hands before one's face.
"What a beastly job!" growled one of the agents.
"Yes," replied the inspector who commanded the squad; "if you had an income of thirty thousand francs, I don't suppose you'd be here." The laugh that greeted this common-place joke was not so much flattery as homage to a recognized and established superiority.
The inspector was, in fact, one of the most esteemed members of the force, a man who had proved his worth. His powers of penetration were not, perhaps, very great; but he thoroughly understood his profession, its
This is one of the earliest detective stories. It is well written and a good read, although the end looks more or less like a "deus ex machina" to me.
The bad news is, that you have to read the sequel "The Honor of the Name" to understand who did it and why!
Gaboriau can be regarded as the father of the modern detective novel, so you should read this anyway, if only for that reason, if you are interested in the genre.