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AUGUSTE LUPA

lupa_auguste_bk_rr lupa_auguste_bk_soh
 
Full Name: Auguste Lupa
Nationality: British
Organization: None
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: John Lescroart
Time Span: 1986 - 1987

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Auguste Lupa is a freelance agent.
       Lupa is, as does not come as a surprise, is an alias. It is one of many that this interesting man has used before we meet him in the first of the two recorded adventures we have of him. He has used several in the past and will use others in the future, including one which will make him incredibly famous and renown many years down the road. One of his conceits is the practice of often choosing as his first name one used by a Caesar of Roman times. When we meet him, he is, of course, using that of the first Emperor. When he finally settles down for good a couple of decades later, he will go by Nero.
       We learn eventually his birth name and with it his origin. That name is John Hamish Adler Holmes. The first two parts come as an homage to his father's best friend, Dr. John Hamish Watson. The third comes from the last name of his mother, the redoubtable Irene Adler. And the last comes from his father, the famous consulting detective Sherlock Holmes.
       When we encounter him, the year is 1915 and Lupa is working ostensibly as a chef. His skills in the kitchen are already starting to be talked about in high society as he has shown that he is a master when it comes to food preparation. His ever so increasing waistline also shows his appreciation for his handiwork as well as that of his colleagues. Lupa loves fine food and at 25 years old, he has taken to spending a fair amount of his time planning, preparing, and consuming it.
       But eating is by no means the only thing that interests Lupa for he will show an amazing talent at the far less showy business of espionage. A good agent must be able to listen to what is being said and not being said. He must be able to ask probative questions to dig out tiny morsels of intelligence. He has to be able to extrapolate whole truths when only partial admissions are given. Lupa is a genius at this.
       Considering the genes he inherited from his parents, it is not surprising that Lupa is so good at his real job of freelance operative. While he would spend a fair number of summers living with and learning from his father, from whom he will gain the skills of detection he uses so well, most of his early learning came from his mother with whom he travelled throughout Europe before her death.
       Lupa's skills as a detective are clearly shown in the first adventure when he is enticed to join a series of get-togethers to sit around and talk, invited by French operative Jules Giraud. Talking is something Lupa loves to do and drinking beer is something Lupa loves even more. [Considering his penchant for fine foods, it is interesting his preferred beverage is beer, not wine.] The poisoning of one of the members of this clique will pull from Lupa his talent for finding murderers as well as push him into an espionage case.

BOOKS

Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1986
Last Appearance:1987

1 Son of Holmes Son of Holmes
Written by John Lescroart
Copyright: 1986

"Auguste Lupa, Sherlock Holmes' putative son, must assume the role of his legendary father. In a small French town in the dark days of World War I, two French intelligence agents are searching for a mastermind assassin. One of the agents is killed and Lupa himself is suspected. Lupa not only uses his masterful powers of deduction to identify the real killer, but in a finale worthy of the master himself, lays bare an ingenious act of sabotage."
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2 Rasputin's Revenge Rasputin's Revenge
Written by John Lescroart
Copyright: 1987

"Auguste Lupa, reputed son of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective of all time - and possessor of a brilliant deductive mind in his own right - is summoned to the court of the Czar. There, with a bit of assistance from none other than Holmes and Watson, he untangles a chilling plot that holds the Winter Palace in a lethal grip."
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MY COMMENTS

     I believe I was just turning 21 when a friend noticed me reading a mystery, likely a Hercule Poirot or a Sherlock Holmes, and asked if I had read Nero Wolfe. I had not but at his urging I did and from that day on I was a tremendous fan of the rotund detective. I have gone so far as a fan to have read everything written about him in the 70's, reread everything again in the late 80's and then once more in the 90's.
     Now I will admit that when I learned that some new author had decided to craft a couple of spy-mysteries about a younger version of Nero Wolfe, I was aghast. And interested. It took me a while to get hold of the adventures but I eventually found them in an omnibus (thick sucker that thing was!).

     I loved it! Of course, the author, John Lescroart, was just starting out. I believe he had written one previous novel before the two Auguste Lupa adventures. He had not yet invented his soon-to-be award winning Dismas Hardy, or his Abe Glitsky or Wayne Hunt, each of which is excellent. But the author's talents were clearly already showing because these are fun, fun books.
     They are also, IMHO, a quite respectful nod to Holmes and Wolfe fans. Plus they are quite fun all on their own.

GRADE

My Grade: A-

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