RARA-AVIS: Retry: Crime Fiction History Question

From: Mbdlevin@aol.com
Date: 23 Apr 2003

I'll try resending this -- sorry. The pasted text maybe had some HTML. If it doesn't work now, I'll forget it (rather than retype).
 I'm on another list where the following query was posted. Does anyone know
 the answer (maybe Etienne Borgers)? Doesn't sound hard-boiled, but sounds
 like an interesting piece of the crime fiction history puzzle. (the now
 generally silent) Doug

I am trying to identify the title and author of some books originally written in French.

Growing up in Taiwan I read a series of detective books in Chinese. They featured a very clever detective/crook who stole money from the rich and gave the money to the poor. He constantly outwitted Sherlock Holmes, who looked like an idiot in these books. (do we detect any British-French rivalries here?) The stories are set in France, often Paris, my guess is during the 1800s. The name of the detective/crook in Chinese is ya-sen, lo-bin. Robin is probably his first name. The French author is Morris something
(Mo-li-shi, lu-bu-liang.)

I would like to locate versions of these books in English or French. My friend mentioned a website at U Chicago where people can ask questions like this. If any of you literary wizards on this list knows what I'm talking about, or a website where I can ask, I'd really appreciate it.

By the way, I am trying to order books in Chinese. If you know a good source for that, that would be great.

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