The Master Criminal
Fred Merrick White$5.10 Lowest Price Guarantee (click for details)
A collection of 12 stories published serially in The Ludgate, London, Jun 1897 to May 1898, in which the criminal mastermind, Felix Gryde, conducts his nefarious criminal work -- theft, kidnapping, ransom, assassination, fraud -- and he never gets caught. The author's introduction:
"The history of famous detectives, imaginary and otherwise, has frequently been written, but the history of a famous criminal—never.
"This is a bold statement, but a true one all the same. The most notorious of rascals know that sooner or later they will be found out, and therefore they plan their lives accordingly. But they are always found out in the end. And yet there must be many colossal rascals who have lived and died apparently in the odour of sanctity. Such a character would be quite new to fiction, and herein I propose to attempt the history of the Sherlock Holmes of malefactors.
"Given a rascal with the intellect of the famous creation in question, and detection would be reduced to a vanishing point. It is the intention of the writer to set down here some of the wonderful adventures that befell Felix Gryde in the course of his remarkable career."