Though we are all fairly familiar with a famous Victorian detective or two, Sims decided, after working on a collection of stories about the famed gentleman thief Arséne Lupin, that the era's thieves weren't getting the attention they deserved. After reading this collection, I heartily agree.
I hadn't read any of the authors in this volume except for O. Henry and his classic Christmas heartstring-puller "The Gift of the Magi" -- which couldn't be more different from his tale of frontier town trickery, "The Chair of Philanthromathematics". I also read Sinclair Lewis for the first time in this book with his RIP-worthy "The Willow Walk". Though this group of stories turned out to be more witty than terrifying, I'm still going to include it in the challenge because there's many a mystery in the volume -- even if we are viewing them from a more prosecutable angle!
"The difference between you and me is this," Cecil was saying. "You exhaust yourself by making money among men who are all bent on making money, in a place specially set apart for the purpose. I amuse myself by making money among men who, having made or inherited money, are bent on spending it, in places specially set apart for the purpose. I take people off their guard. They don't precisely see me coming. I don't rent an office and put up a sign which is equivalent to announcing that the rest of the world had better look out for itself. Our codes are the same, but is not my way more original and more diverting?" -- Arnold Bennett, "A Comedy on the Gold Coast"Keeping my hand over my purse,