The penultimate story of Leblanc's "Eight Strikes of the Clock" collection, Footprints in the Snow is an intriguing mystery featuring a number of unexplained events. The crux of the case relies on the tracks (or lack thereof) left in the snow surrounding the isolated scene.
|Le Clos Lupin - Leblanc's home is now a museum dedicated|
to his most famous character. Source: Cultural Etretat
The local police are quick to form an explanation for the events, but when witness testimony contradicts their theory it is up to Prince Renine to once again uncover the truth.
Footprints in the Snow
The short story is available in its entirety for free at Project Gutenberg or WikiSource. If you want to read on your Kindle you can download it here (send to Kindle instructions here).
Author: Maurice Leblanc
Word Count: 9,000 (about 36 pages)
Footprints have long been a favourite trope of impossible crime authors. Leblanc's story fits within the classic mould - the prints in the snow surrounding the scene do not match the perceived series of events. While Leblanc does create a logical and (mostly) believable solution, the method used to deceive the investigators is a little tired.