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First Detective

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The First Detective

James Morton

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ISBN 13: 9781590206386
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Hardcover
Overlook
6/30/11

Product Description

Eugene François Vidocq was born in France in 1775 and his life spanned the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the 1848 revolutions. He was the Inspector Morse, the Sherlock Holmes, the James Bond of his day. A notorious criminal, he turned police officer and employed a gang of ex-convicts as his detectives. He invented innovative criminal indexing techniques and experimented with fingerprinting, until his cavalier attitude towards the thin blue line forced him out of the police. So he began the world’s very first private detective agency.

The cases he solved were high profile and he grew in notoriety. However, his infamy didn’t prevent him from becoming a spy and moving secretly across the dangerous borders of Europe. This is a gloriously enjoyable historical romp through the eighteenth century in the company of the man whose influence still holds to this day.



James Morton practiced law for twenty-five years before becoming editor of Law Journal and Criminal Lawyer. He is now a full-time writer.



Praise for The First Detective:

"The author tracks the shadowy figure whose exploits inspired novelists." --LA Times

"Informative and generally enjoyable read." --Booklist

"The picaresque adventures of the legendary French thief, cuckold, turncoat and spy. Former lawyer turned proficient crime writer Morton finds an irresistible subject in Eugene-François Vidocq . . . Wry and rollicking, these escapades offer old-fashioned literary fun." -- Kirkus

"Morton does an admirable job wading through the many gray areas of his subject's life in order to distinguish believable fantasies from often-unbelievable realities. An impressively exhaustive examination" --Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review

"James Morton’s biography provides a fast-moving introduction to 'the Terror of Thieves'" --Washington Post

“Entertaining.” --Sunday Telegraph

“Morton is civilized, liberal and amusing.” --The Times

“You really must read . . . The First Detective: the extraordinary life and times of a career-criminal.” --Sunday Times "Spirited . . . We're treated to a breezy telling of Vidocq's swift and momentous transformation from lawbreaker to lawman." --Barnes & Noble Review

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