Arsène Lupin 8: The Shell Shard (Aka The Woman of Mystery)
The Shell Shard, is the designated eighth book in the Arsène Lupin series by Maurice Leblanc though it does not actually feature Lupin (see publisher's note within).
As France prepares for the Great War, Paul Delroze recalls the event from his childhood that has scarred him. On a countryside trip with his father, a decorated war veteran from the Franco-Prussian War they came across a group of Germans. Their leader, a cold man with a striking resemblance to the Kaiser, quickly sends the father-son duo on their way. But before they leave, a woman approaches Paul's father and in a sudden thrust of a steel blade kills him in cold blood. Paul escapes but the face of the man is imprinted in his mind. With the two countries at war again Paul is presented with a chance for revenge. The Shell Shard is at once a story of romance, mystery and crime, that will grip present day readers as much it did readers a hundred years ago.
Maurice Marie Émile Leblanc was a French novelist and writer of short stories, known primarily as the creator of the gentleman burglar, adventurer and detective Arsène Lupin, often described as a French counterpart to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Hornung's Raffles.
Refusing the career that his father had set up for him at a card factory, Leblanc instead went to Paris in 1888, to pursue writing as a journalist. But he soon turned novelist and storyteller. His first novel, Une femme (A Woman), published in 1893 was a success and was followed by other works, such as Des couples (The Couples), Voici des ailes (Here are wings) and a play La pitié, released in 1902, which was a flop. In 1905, Pierre Lafitte, the director of the monthly Je sais tout, commissioned a short story from Leblanc, with the brief that he was to combine the appeal of A.J Raffles by Ernest William Hornung and Sherlock Holmes. The result was L'Arrestation d'Arsène Lupin (The Arrest of Arsène Lupin) which was a huge success. Two years later, the book Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar was released, and the rest was historywith one of the most successful series being born.