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First published in 1899, The Amateur Cracksman was the first collection of stories detailing the exploits and intrigues of gentleman thief A. J. Raffles in late Victorian England. Raffles was E. W. Hornung's most famous character. Popular in its day, the book led to three later works: The Black Mask and A Thief in the Night, both collections of short stories, and Mr. Justice Raffles, a complete novel. In public a popular sportsman, in private a cunning burglar with a weakness for valuable jewelery, Arthur Raffles, with the help of his side-kick Bunny Manders, always manages to thwart the investigations of Scotland Yard's Inspector Mackenzie.