Audiobook of Émile Gaboriau


Lifetime: 1832 - 1873 Passed: ≈ 150 years ago


Writer, Novelist, Journalist



Émile Gaboriau

Émile Gaboriau, a prominent French writer and novelist of the 19th century, made a significant impact on the literary world as a pioneer of detective fiction. Renowned for his thrilling and suspenseful narratives, Gaboriau's works continue to captivate readers even today. This essay will delve into the life of Émile Gaboriau, his principles, notable works, his philosophical outlook, his legacy, and interesting facts about the author.

Who was Émile Gaboriau?

Émile Gaboriau was born on 9 November 1832 in the French town of Saujon. His childhood was marked by financial struggles, but he displayed a remarkable talent for storytelling from an early age. Gaboriau pursued law studies in Paris, but his passion for writing led him to journalism.

Principles and Style:

Gaboriau believed in creating realistic and relatable characters and settings, which added depth and authenticity to his stories. He often explored themes of crime, justice, and morality, bringing a sense of social commentary to his works. His narratives were meticulously crafted, combining intricate plots, suspense, and unexpected twists that kept readers engaged throughout.

Famous for Detective Fiction:

Émile Gaboriau is primarily famous for his contribution to the genre of detective fiction. He pioneered the development of the modern detective novel and laid the foundation for subsequent writers, including Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. Gaboriau's novels introduced many of the conventions and tropes that became synonymous with the genre, such as the brilliant detective, the clue-driven investigation, and the revelation of the criminal's identity at the end.

Notable Works:

Gaboriau's most famous and influential novel is "L'Affaire Lerouge" (The Widow Lerouge), published in 1866. This gripping story follows the investigation of a seemingly unsolvable murder, featuring his iconic detective, Monsieur Lecoq. Gaboriau went on to write several sequels featuring Monsieur Lecoq, including "Le Crime d'Orcival" (The Mystery of Orcival) and "Le Dossier No. 113" (File No. 113), which further solidified his reputation as a master of detective fiction.


Émile Gaboriau's writings reflect his belief in the power of justice and the triumph of truth. He advocated for the moral and ethical responsibility of individuals and institutions to uphold justice, often exposing societal issues and corrupt practices through his narratives. Gaboriau's philosophy centered on the idea that the truth, though often elusive, would ultimately prevail.

Legacy and Remembrance:

Tragically, Émile Gaboriau's literary career was cut short when he passed away on 28 September 1873, at the age of 40. Despite his untimely death, his works have stood the test of time and continue to be celebrated. Gaboriau's contributions to detective fiction and his influence on subsequent generations of writers have secured his place in literary history.

Interesting Facts about the Author:

  1. Émile Gaboriau's novels were exceptionally popular during his lifetime, with readers eagerly awaiting the release of each new installment.
  2. Gaboriau's works were translated into multiple languages, contributing to their international success and widespread recognition.
  3. The character of Monsieur Lecoq, Gaboriau's brilliant detective, is believed to have been inspired by real-life French detective Eugène Vidocq.
  4. Émile Gaboriau's writing style and themes greatly influenced other renowned authors, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Émile Zola.


Émile Gaboriau's contributions to literature, particularly detective fiction, have left an indelible mark on the genre. Through his compelling narratives, he pioneered the development of the modern detective novel, introducing readers to memorable characters and intricate plots. Gaboriau's principles, philosophy, and legacy continue to inspire writers and entertain readers worldwide, ensuring his enduring presence in the annals of literary history.

Books by Émile Gaboriau

File No. 113 Cover image

File No. 113

Fiction Novel
Truth Mystery Crime Thriller Deception Justice Suspense Life Secret

In this, the reader is plunged into a world of suspense, crime, and a relentless pursuit of truth. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century Paris, this captivating tale follows the enigmatic detective, Monsieur Lecoq, as he tackles his most challengi...

The Count's Millions and Baron Trigault's Vengeance Cover image

The Count's Millions and Baron Trigault's Vengeance

Crime Fiction Novel
Paris Mystery Romance Detective novel Thriller Historical Fiction Corruption Classics Fantasy

In "The Count's Millions and Baron Trigault's Vengeance" by Émile Gaboriau, a gripping tale of revenge and hidden wealth unfolds in the heart of 19th-century France. Baron Trigault, a man of noble lineage, returns to Paris with a burning desire for...