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Month in review

Reviews
Across the Continent by The Lincoln Highway by Effie Price Gladding
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice Leblanc
Baby Driver: A Story About Myself by Jan Kerouac
Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
The Colossus of Roads: Myth and Symbol Along the American Highway by Karal Ann Marling
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
Far from Fair by Elana K. Arnold
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught
The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
The Isle by Jordana Frankel Jem and The Holograms 1 by Kelly Thompson
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson
Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie
Painting with a Lens by Rod Deutschmann and Robin Deutschmann
Photography of Natural Things by Freeman Patterson
Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton
Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley
Umbrella by Taro Yashima The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
The Woman-Haters by Joseph C. Lincoln

Miscellaneous
My life as a teenage book addict, or, Sarah becomes a reader
Playing Pokémon Go as a parent
The terrible previews before Ghostbusters

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief: 07/03/16

Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by John Steinbeck

Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice Leblanc is a collection of short stories featuring a crafty cat burglar, confidence man, and master of disguise. For the anime geek the name Lupin probably brings to mind Lupin III, an excellent and long running anime series (well, multiple series actually) created by Monkey Punch.

Lupin III!

Now being a fan of detective and caper fiction from the close of the 19th century through the early decades of the 20th century, I felt remise for not having read anything by Maurice Leblanc. This Penguin edition repacked as an ebook served the purpose of getting acquainted with the source material for Lupin III beautifully.

I also wanted to read the source material based on its inspiration for the Sherlock, Lupin & Io series by Irene Adler and Iacapo Bruno. The sixth story, "Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late" has a few plot gaps in it that are conveniently filled in by the existence of the Adler series. There's a scene where Sherlock and Lupin, both in disguise, instantly recognize each other. Sherlock has been hired to prevent Lupin from robbing an estate. Despite this recognition, both stick to their assumed characters.

Sherlock ultimately lets Lupin go. Originally as written this story is to show that Lupin can outsmart anyone, even the great London consulting detective. Taken in the context of Sherlock, Lupin & Io, it's not that Lupin outsmarts Sherlock, it's that they are equals and long time friends who have grown out of touch given their career choices. Sherlock in this context knows that Lupin isn't the sort of scoundrel he normally goes after and therefore let's him.

Now back to Monkey Punch and Lupin III. There's a current Lupin series airing. It's in its second season and it's set in Italy. If you're following it, I recommend reading this first collection of stories. In it you will see Lupin on the cruise ship. You will see the arrest of Lupin. You will see Lupin fall in love (but not get married). You will see lots and lots of near misses by this Lupin's "Pops" — though he never calls him Pops in the book, he does have many other terms of endearment for him.

Basically everything I love about the fan fiction versions of Lupin, be it Lupin III or Sherlock, Lupin, & Io is there in the original. Arsène Lupin really is as charismatic, impish, clever, and masterful at his craft as he is in later versions. All that is different is his clothing and the car he drives (when he drives).

Four stars

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