In the character of Eugène Valmont, Robert Barr capitalized on the popularity of detective fiction and gentlemanly sleuths, whose antecedents were Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allan Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin. His perspective, however, was distinctly ironic: Valmont’s investigations, when not completely trivial, are often failures. Barr satirized the school of literary masterminds through a firm control of the devices of the form. He was a master of burlesque narrative, in which a final reversal of the situation in point turns the suspicious events into innocent practices. Banal solutions put the supposed complications into a nonsinister perspective, offering comic resolutions within the normal complexities and deceptions of “serious” detective fiction. Barr’s consulting detective, who is anything but self-effacing, has been suggested as a model for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, first envisioned in 1916, and there are appreciable likenesses of character. Valmont’s continuing appearances in anthologies testify to the success of Barr’s inspired and offbeat creation.