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The Memoirs of Detective Vidocq
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Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857) was a French criminal who became the founder and first director of the crime-detection Sûreté Nationale as well as the head of the first... More > known private detective agency. Vidocq is widely regarded as the father of modern criminology and of the French police department. He is also considered to be the first private detective. Vidocq's successes as an investigator inspired many Victorian authors who borrowed his brilliance to embody their fictional heroes. The characters of Sherlock Holmes is very much based on Vidocq; so are both Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert in Les Miserables. Dickens mentions Vidocq in Great Expectations; Melville cites him in Moby Dick; and Poe refers to Vidocq's methods in Murders in the Rue Morgue.< Less
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