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Inspector Maigret #1

Pietr the Latvian

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The first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series.

What Maigret sought, and what he waited and watched out for, was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent.

Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious adversary and a trail of bodies, must bide his time before the answer can come into focus.

This one's a gripping translation. This Penguin Simenon series features brilliant renderings by some of today's best translators from French to English. "Pietr the Latvian," and the ones which follow, introduce the intrepid Inspector to a brand new audience.

162 pages, Paperback

First published May 1, 1931

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About the author

Georges Simenon

2,317 books1,812 followers
Georges Joseph Christian Simenon (1903 – 1989) was a Belgian writer. A prolific author who published nearly 500 novels and numerous short works, Simenon is best known as the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.
Although he never resided in Belgium after 1922, he remained a Belgian citizen throughout his life.

Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.

He is best known, however, for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Commissaire Maigret. The first novel in the series, Pietr-le-Letton, appeared in 1931; the last one, Maigret et M. Charles, was published in 1972. The Maigret novels were translated into all major languages and several of them were turned into films and radio plays. Two television series (1960-63 and 1992-93) have been made in Great Britain.

During his "American" period, Simenon reached the height of his creative powers, and several novels of those years were inspired by the context in which they were written (Trois chambres à Manhattan (1946), Maigret à New York (1947), Maigret se fâche (1947)).

Simenon also wrote a large number of "psychological novels", such as La neige était sale (1948) or Le fils (1957), as well as several autobiographical works, in particular Je me souviens (1945), Pedigree (1948), Mémoires intimes (1981).

In 1966, Simenon was given the MWA's highest honor, the Grand Master Award.

In 2005 he was nominated for the title of De Grootste Belg (The Greatest Belgian). In the Flemish version he ended 77th place. In the Walloon version he ended 10th place.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 960 reviews
Profile Image for Adrian.
574 reviews209 followers
July 25, 2022
Lunchtime Listen June 2022
Really enjoyable listen despite me reading it only 4 years ago. A big gap between the first half of the listen and the second due to almost 3 weeks of the family and twins where ny wife and I had no time to read or listen to an audiobook.
As ever these Maigret audiobooks are brilliantly read by Gareth Armstrong .

Personal Maigret Challenge April 2018
Right, well this has to be my favourite fiction book of the year, easily. I don't think I have ever read any Maigret before, but I have seen numerous different tv versions from Michael Gambon to Rowan Atkinson, and enjoyed the character.
The book itself was atmospheric and a great murder mystery, with tension building all the way through the unfortunately so brief book. I have enjoyed the latest Maigret on TV with Rowan Atkinson and was surprised to find that in the book he is a well build man not slim and wiry , that said having based my Maigret on a slim man I found this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the novel.
I shall be looking out for further Maigret novels.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
September 22, 2023
"Not that he looked like a cartoon policeman. He didn't have a mustache and he didn't wear heavy boots. His clothes were well-cut and made of fairly light worsted. He shaved every day and looked after his hands.

But his frame was proletarian. He was a big, bony man. His firm muscles filled out his jacket and quickly pulled all his trousers out of shape.

He had a way of imposing himself just by standing there. His assertive presence had often irked many of his own colleagues."

Marking the debut of Detective Chief Inspector Jules Amédée François Maigret of the Paris Police Judiciaire in 1930, this is the first of 75 novels and 28 short stories in a series. I think this may be my first Simenon and I am considering reading more, maybe all of them. Simenon is considered one of Belgium's great writers, one of the greatest detective writers of all time, so I am of course intrigued, but in this first one you get to only see the faint shape of his purposes. Maigret is a large, pipe-smoking detective, at sort of the advent of police procedurals. It is really a novella, and I understand he wanted people to be able to read this as each of them in a day.

I won't recount the story, but the point is less suspense here than how Maiget solves the crime, with some surprises in the telling, especially as things pick up a bit at the end. I wasn't really all that engaged, but I paid attention, because I will read more because others have told me of the great ones to come.
Profile Image for Dagio_maya .
933 reviews280 followers
December 15, 2020
La prima indagine del corpulento ed atipico commissario Maigret che darà il via ad una nuova modalità di concepire il romanzo giallo.

"In ogni malfattore, in ogni delinquente c’è un uomo. Ma c’è anche e soprattutto un giocatore, un avversario: ed è questo che la polizia tende a vedere in lui, è questo che, in generale, affronta.
È stato commesso un delitto o un comune reato? La lotta viene ingaggiata su dati più o meno oggettivi, come ogni problema a una o più incognite che la ragione si sforza di risolvere. "

[Mi piacciono i gialli senza ispettori/commissari ecc...
Di Simenon prediligo di gran lunga le romans durs]
Profile Image for F.R..
Author 31 books199 followers
March 17, 2016
There’s a distinct lack of glamour to this first Maigret mystery. In itself that’s interesting as this is a story centred on an international con-man and an American investor in one of the finest hotels in Paris. Surely that gives a triumphant yell of glamour. In the hands of a Leslie Charteris or an Agatha Christie, the glamour would have been buffed shiny and played up above all else. But in this novel everything is filtered through the doughty, solid presence of Inspector Maigret – a man who has no time for glamour. This is a policeman who has seen a lot of (too many) bad guys, who knows he is paid poorly and who is well aware that the successful conclusion to any criminal case means a mass of paperwork for him. In short he’s a man with no time for glamour and as such the book takes all these shiny elements and boils them down to a story of crooks and cops and very little in-between. However that filter also manages to diffuse other elements normally crucial to a crime mystery: for example, excitement. In ‘Pietr the Latvian’ a chase scene is told solely from the point of view of what Maigret has to do to achieve his objectives and how he goes about it, rather than the perils and danger involved in achieving those objectives. It does rather kill the tension. But then this is the doughty and solid Inspector Maigret, and Maigret doesn’t get excited. He has a job to do after all.

So seemingly there are flaws here (and that’s without the fact that Simenon at this point doesn’t really have the knack of creating memorable characters; beyond Maigret, and perhaps the title character, the rest are just cyphers) and yet there’s something quite compulsive about Pietr the Latvian. An engrossing police procedural, which is straight and no fuss, and sets out to do things on its own terms and – you know what – largely succeeds.
Profile Image for Toby.
836 reviews332 followers
February 27, 2015
It's the first one. Thank goodness for these Penguin reissues, I was starting to think I'd never find a copy. These early Maigret's are nothing like what the series would become, potentially Simenon had high hopes for literary success for the handful of Maigret novels he'd written before launching them as a complete work in a hail of publicity; thus explaining the more existential nature of them compared to the casual musings over a delicate meal and stiff drink that would characterise the later works.

Of the early books Pietr is the most impressive as a stand alone roman dur but it's not really what I've come to look for in a Maigret, unfortunately. Essentially Maigret follows a man around Paris for 160 pages after a murder on a train, the whole time learning to identify and sympathise with the criminal. That's pretty typical stuff for the series but the eventual plot is so convoluted and revealed in such strange and unlikely ways that it all feels a bit rushed and flat.

I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out that Christopher Priest had read this novel, such are the similarities with his very famous work.
Profile Image for Bill.
945 reviews161 followers
February 6, 2017
A pipe, a hat & a warm stove......welcome to the world of Inspector Maigret. Simenon's first Maigret novel, published in 1930, is a very enjoyable tale full of interesting characters, plot twists & even a bit of action. So, this is what I've been missing all these years. Mind you, I don't want to like him too much. It seems there are 75 novels & 28 short stories in the series. I'd better make some room on the bookshelves.
April 22, 2023

خب تصور اشتباهی داشتم که اولین کتاب، اطلاعات کاملتری از سربازرس مگره ارائه میدهد، مثل همیشه گنده، مرموز و آرام.

1.Pietr le Letton ... (تعقیب کلاهبرداری بانفوذ و ناشناس)
3.The Late Monsieur Gallet (فروشنده دوره‌گرد مرده) مگره و دیوار سنگی ⭐⭐⭐⭐
4.The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (خودکشی و جنایات گذشته) مگره و یکصد چوبه‌ی دار ⭐⭐⭐⭐
41.Maigret and the Man on the Bench (مقتولی با هویت دروغین حتی از خانواده) مگره و مرد نیمکت‌نشین ⭐⭐⭐⭐
52.Maigret Has Scruples دلواپسی های مگره to-read
53.Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses مگره و شاهدان گریزان to-read
59.Maigret and the Saturday Caller (سرقت جواهرات و مرد گمشده) مشتری شنبه‌ها ⭐⭐⭐⭐
73.Maigret and the Loner (قتل پیرمردی ولگرد ولی دارا) مگره و مرد تنها ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Susan.
2,700 reviews594 followers
August 29, 2014
Although I am a great fan of crime novels published between the wars (this was published in 1930) I have never read the Inspector Maigret novels. This is the first in a long running series, reprinted by Penguin, featuring the stolid Detective Chief Inspector. The book opens with Maigret receiving a telegram from the International Criminal Police Commission, warning him of the imminent arrival of the notorious conman Pietr the Latvian. Armed with a description, Maigret heads for the Gare du Nord, where he believes he identifies the criminal leaving the train – only to find that there is a corpse discovered in the train who also matches Pietr’s physical description.

Much of this short novel is spent with Maigret doing old fashioned legwork and stakeouts. You sympathise with the fact that he has just got the stove in his office to the right temperature, when he has to set out in the cold and rain yet again, as events unfold. The man who he witnessed leaving the train is settled in the exclusive Hotel Majestic consorting with millionaires; people seem to disappear and reappear, change names and appearance and yet Maigret is patient and gradually unravels the mystery.

This is a darker read than most mysteries set in that Golden Age of 1930’s mysteries. We travel from luxurious hotels and theatres to seedy boarding houses and there is true despair in some of the characters we meet. I feel glad that I have finally met the character of Maigret and discovered his fictional world and feel sure that I will read on in the series. This is not stylistically full of flowery prose, but it is compellingly written, with a realistic sense of the underworld and Maigret as a determined and –often sympathetic - investigator.
Profile Image for Julian Worker.
Author 35 books377 followers
September 4, 2022
Georges Simenon is a wonderful writer whose stories are so easy to read, you barely notice the pages passing by in front of your nose. Everything feels so natural and effortless.

Places are established, people are described, situations are played out and all as though you were watching them and not reading at all.

This is Simenon’s first novel featuring Inspector Maigret, a taciturn detective who receives notice from Interpol that a notorious conman, Pietr the Latvian, is en route to Paris.

Maigret plans to intercept him at the train station, but when the detective arrives he finds there are several suspects—some living, and some dead—who meet the description he's been provided with.

The inspector has to use all his deductive powers to find this enigmatic Lett.
5,311 reviews117 followers
August 9, 2023
3 Stars. My second Maigret and my second favourite. But still good. It's the first in a long series - issued as a serial in 1930 and then a book in 1931. A touch disappointing, yet there's something intriguing which will surely hold readers. It's Maigret himself. Dogged and determined, he captures one's fascination. Not a friendly man nor does he have the idiosyncrasies of Holmes or Poirot. What stayed with me? The feeling of inevitability that his target will not escape. He seeks a known fraudster, Pietr the Latvian. The International Criminal Police Commission (Interpol) has notified DCI Maigret that the con artist is travelling from Krakow via Bremen and Amsterdam, and is now on the train to Paris in car 5, compartment G263. What does he look like? Maigret meets the train at the Gare du Nord looking for a man fitting the description. Then a body is found in car 5. Is it Pietr? Or possibly a sea captain always absent when the con man's location is known? Or is he the dapper man meeting a millionaire and his wife for dinner at the Hotel Majestic? Regrettably, there are some anti-Semitism interludes. We'll check out #2. (November 2020)
Profile Image for Geevee.
360 reviews215 followers
December 11, 2020
Maigret is challenged mentally and physically in this enjoyable case. Pietr the Latvian, a much sought after criminal, is the buzz on the international police telegraph but then a body is found.

What does this mean for the case? Is everything as it seems?

As we travel to shady bars, high-class hotels, rundown apartments and a remote seaside fishing village, Maigret needs his wits and his physical strength to see him through.

Published in 1930. My copy with 162 pages is the 2013 Penguin Classics edition.
Profile Image for Jim.
2,100 reviews699 followers
October 5, 2013
This is a re-read for me. The same reason I re-read it made me change my rating from four stars to five. There is something amazing to me about this first mystery by Georges Simenon to be published to be not only complicated by masterful. Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett is called by several names: In France, it was published as Pierre-le-Leton. In English it goes by the names Suite at the Majestic, The Strange Case of Peter the Lett, The Case of Peter the Lett, and the title shown above.

I keep coming back to Simenon's mysteries, both his Maigret novels and his non-Maigrets. Both are uniformly excellent, but I find myself being drawn to Maigret because he is, in the end, more enigmatic than the master criminals he goes up against:
"Good Lord! Is this the way you search for someone?" she snapped, turning to Maigret. "I'm told you're from the police. My husband may have been killed.... What are you waiting for?"

The heavy gaze that he turned on her was a hundred percent Maigret. Utterly calm. Utterly indifferent. As though he had just heard a fly buzzing. As though he were looking at some completely commonplace object.
Superintendent Maigret of Flying Squad #1 is a large man who sucks the air out of whatever room he enters. He is also cerebral to the nth degree. We don't always see what the man is thinking, and the fun is in waiting for the case to come clear.

And this case is a doozie. It starts with an Interpol memo warning of the approach by train of Peter the Lett. Maigret meets the train, sees Peter get off, and then is surprised to find there has been a murder on the train of a man who resembles Peter the Lett. We follow the case to the soggy port of Fécamp, where a drunken Russian named Swann is married to a young mother. This Russian bears a slight resemblance to Peter the ... you guessed it ... Lett.

Maigret has a difficult time deciding when to arrest Peter because the evidence against him is too flimsy. In the end, he haunts him, putting himself in front of him, though his ribs are aching from a patched=up bullet wound. The last few chapters, as Maigret stalks and eventually nails his prey are fascinating.

Profile Image for The Frahorus.
841 reviews86 followers
May 2, 2020
Pietr il Lettone, ovvero la prima indagine del commissario Maigret. A Georges Simenon, mentre era in gita nella sua barca, gli venne in mente un uomo massiccio con una pipa in bocca, un commissario, con una bombetta, un pesante cappotto con il collo di velluto... e aveva anche una vecchia stufa di ghisa nel suo ufficio. Ed ecco nascere proprio lui, il celebre commissario Maigret! Simenon ha scritto, in totale, 76 romanzi e 26 racconti di questo simpatico e paziente commissario di polizia francese.

All'interno di un treno viene ritrovato il cadavere di un uomo e si pensa possa essere quello di un famoso criminale internazionale: Pietr il Lettone. Maigret si accorge, sullo stesso treno, di un tipo sospetto e lo pedina, visto che sembra somigliare al già citato Pietr. Questo uomo si trasferisce all'Hotel Majestic e si incontra con un ricco americano. Il commissario scoprirà, durante le indagini su Pietr, che egli possa essere ancora in vita e vivere due vite: una nei panni dell'alcolizzato Fédor Yourovitch il quale vive nel quartiere ebraico a Parigi e lo sprezzante Olaf Swaan che vive a Fécamp. Quale sarà il vero Pietr?

Già col primo romanzo sul commissario Maigret veniamo catturati dalla narrazione di Simenon: egli riesce a farci appassionare all'indagine del Nostro che scopriamo subito preferire agire di istinto. Peccato che la trama risulta un po' contorta ed inverosimile in alcune parti. E già da qui scopriamo come il commissario, pieno di umanità, riesca a comprendere e quasi a giustificare le motivazioni dell'assassino.
Profile Image for Julie.
2,015 reviews38 followers
May 3, 2022
I enjoyed the descriptions and details of this new-to-me author, Georges Simenon. This is the first in the series and I will continue with further volumes. Here is our introduction to Detective Chief Inspector Maigret of the Flying Squad working on the case of Pietr the Latvian:

"Inevitably Maigret was a hostile presence in the Majestic. He constituted a kind of foreign body that the hotel could not assimilate." He seemed out of sorts with his colleagues also, as they seemed to object to his "assertive presence." His frame is described as "proletarian" or in other words, working class. He was what we might refer to as 'common.' To add insult to injury, Maigret's "pipe was nailed to his jawbone. He wasn't going to remove it just because he was in the lobby of the Majestic."

Maigret is described as being "completely unruffled" and "cool as a cucumber," while various characters around him tend to lose their cool, perhaps in response to his lack of reaction. Upon being questioned by Maigret and stared at by him as if she were "something quite ordinary," a response she was unaccustomed to, "Mrs Mortimer Levingston threw a fit."

Other phrases I enjoyed:

"He flicked cigar ash into the water and then sailed off to the library."

"Because of the mud, the man hitched up his trouser legs, showing faded grey cotton socks that had been clumsily darned."

"there was another package tied up with string" - this reminds me of packages that arrived from my grandma from England during the 1980s and 1990s. She sent all kinds of goodies wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.

And here is a lovely description of the ocean: "Waves raised their crests high, tottered, crashed down and retreated from the foamy hollow before renewing their attack on the breakwater."
Profile Image for Nancy Oakes.
1,938 reviews751 followers
August 9, 2017
When I finally was able to finish this book, I really wanted to go right away to the next one in the series, but it will keep for a few days.

Not only did I have fun playing armchair detective with this one because it is indeed a puzzler, but just as the book was starting to wind down and the solution to the case at hand about to be revealed, I surprised myself when I realized that what comes out of the last few pages is actually the very stuff of Simenon's excellent romans durs, in which, as John Banville noted in the New York Review of Books in 2015,

"... a man who has spent his life in servitude to family, work, society, suddenly lays down his burden -- 'Lord, how tired he was now!' -- and determines to live for the moment, and for himself, in full acceptance of the existential peril his decision will expose him to."

Although I won't reveal the "existential peril" at play here, I will say that while many readers may see Pietr the Latvian, or for that matter any of the Maigret mysteries as yet just another police procedural, it goes well beyond that into examining just what it is underneath someone's exterior self that leads him or her to do what they do. In short -- I get the feeling that as I travel through the Maigret mysteries, I'll find myself in the mind of a policeman who genuinely understands human nature, and that's a place I want to be.

While anyone considering reading this book should be aware of the times in which this book was written because there is some definite racial/ethnic stereotyping being done here, I can definitely recommend the novel to crime readers of all sorts.
Profile Image for Raffa.
202 reviews57 followers
December 26, 2022
Che dire? Meraviglioso! 😍
È il mio primo libro di Simenon che leggo, il mio primo Maigret, e davvero mi sono chiesta perché mai abbia atteso così tanto per godermelo.

Ascoltato in audiolibro dalla lettura strepitosa di Giuseppe Battiston. Bravissimo!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Che aggiungere? Colpi di scena, intrighi, casi umani. Certo, mi viene da pensare che forse il commissario abbia commesso qualche azzardo o violazione in più di una scena…. Ma glielo perdono. Simenon mi ha tenuto incollata alle sue pagine e tanto basta.

Interessanti anche gli spunti di geostoria, che stimolano il lettore ad un approfondimento, o almeno invogliano i più pigri ad una ricerca su Google! 🥰

Profile Image for Ivonne Rovira.
1,945 reviews201 followers
January 25, 2014
Georges Simenon’s creation, Chief Inspector Maigret, differs considerably from your average Golden Age detective from across the Channel or across the Pond.

Also published under the title of Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett and The Strange Case of Peter the Lett, this introduction to Maigret reveals a closed-mouth, almost taciturn man, large and infinitely patient and persistent. Police are tracking a cocky criminal mastermind with the eponymous nickname, Pietr the Latvian, but, when following this dashingly well-dressed man onto a train, Maigret sees him leave the train, but a perfect double, dressed as a common factory worker, is found dead in the train’s washroom. Who is the dead man? And who was the man who left the train? And who is to blame?

Maigret’s debut tale isn’t for those who crave non-stop action and grow frustrated with French existentialist musings; however, for those who find that a soupçon of Sartre provides a piquant flavor to one’s roman noir, Pietr the Latvian may be just your French bill of fare.
Profile Image for Nigeyb.
1,245 reviews283 followers
September 26, 2018
I've recently rediscovered Georges Simenon having not read him for many decades. I'd only ever read his Maigret books so started with a couple of his Roman Durs (hard novels) - both The Mahé Circle and The Hand are excellent.

Pietr the Latvian (1930) was the first book in the Maigret series. I enjoyed it. A somewhat convoluted plot was, at times, a little hard to follow however the whole thing was helpfully deconstructed at the end.

It's enjoyable and undemanding fare, not a patch on the two Roman Durs, but that won't stop me from reading more of them because Maigret is such a wonderful character: laconic, insightful, determined and steadfast. I'm glad to be reacquainted.

Profile Image for Ellen.
975 reviews129 followers
September 2, 2021
Pietr the Latvian (Maigret #1) by Georges Simenon.

Where has this author been all my life? Maigret is relentless in his pursuit through towns, villages, countries throughout Europe. The dark halls, majestic hotels, slums...nothing and no one stops Maigret.

Stop denying yourself the utmost pleasure of a Detective Inspector Maigret novel. There's none better.
Profile Image for Klinta.
334 reviews160 followers
March 9, 2022
There was a lot less mystery and suspense than I expected, but overall it was a decent read. In the beginning I didn't even notice how I was sucked into the book until half was already done. The end was dragging but at the same time felt rushed and the conclusion itself didn't really satisfy me.

It felt like a modern work. I just wish it would be a bit richer.
Profile Image for Chris.
757 reviews108 followers
March 15, 2020
The first in the Inspector Maigret series. An early police procedural, and noir in it's atmospheric feel. The Inspector is tracking an international scam artist, and dead bodies seem to turn up fairly regularly in his search. It is an interesting plot that had a few twists to it.
Published in 1930, one understands that following evidence is time-consuming & surveillance is rudimentary at best and poor Maigret is often caught in the rain trying to do his job when he'd much rather be drinking beer & smoking his pipe in front of his stoked office stove.
When Maigret was frustrated by only having circumstantial evidence on a few suspects, it made me think about how different & easier it is to tie someone to a crime with modern forensics. In one scene in particular with a women, there was all kinds of evidence that could now be easily collected & analyzed that would have had her "dead to rights".
All in all, I liked Maigret and the author's writing. I look forward to reading this series.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
539 reviews49 followers
October 16, 2022
Kommissar Maigret soll am Pariser Bahnhof Gare du Nord für Interpol einen europaweit gesuchten Großbetrüger abfangen, der unter dem Namen „Pietr der Lette“ bekannt ist. Doch als Maigret ihn am Bahnhof gerade ins Auge fassen kann, gibt es einen Notfall: Im Zug wird eine Leiche entdeckt. Maigret, der ja gerade zufällig am Tatort ist, eilt zur Hilfe. Doch – große Überraschung: Der Tote auf der Zugtoilette sieht aus… wie Pietr der Lette! Kann das sein? Maigret hat ihn doch gerade auf dem Bahnsteig gesehen! Es beginnt die Suche nach dem Balten… durch Pariser Edelhotels und kleine französische Fischerdörfer. Doch schon kurze Zeit später beginnen die Mitwisser zu sterben… kann Maigret Pietr den Letten und sein weit verstricktes Betrügernetz überführen?

Schon lange stand dieser alte Krimi-Klassiker auf meiner Leseliste (#7 auf meinem Goodreads-tbr!) und als ich diesen Sommer bei Dussmann war, fiel mir zufällig die neue Ausgabe des Atlantik-Verlags ins Auge.

Insgesamt fand ich ihn – wie bei Klassikern des Kriminalromans so häufig – eher mittelspannend, aber irgendwie wollte ich dann doch wissen, was es mit den verschiedenen Persönlichkeiten des Pietr auf sich hat. Außerdem hätte ich mich noch etwas mehr dafür interessiert, was er denn nun eigentlich alles angestellt hat. Das wird nur am Rande kurz erwähnt. Alles in allem ein eher unspektakulärer Krimi, aber das ist bei den heutigen Gewaltfantasien in Krimis auch mal wieder nett.
Mit Maigrets Angewohnheit, den Ofen in seinem Büro immer voll anzuheizen, passt das Buch auch super in kalt-feuchte Herbsttage.

Nicht so gut hat mir die Beziehung zwischen Maigret und seiner Frau gefallen, auch wenn wir wenig davon gesehen haben. Er wirkt halt wie der große Macher, dem immer alles wichtiger ist als sie und sie wirkt wie ein kleines Hausmütterchen, das täglich mit einem warmen Abendessen darauf wartet, dass (oder ob) ihr Mann heimkommt.

Ja, wahrscheinlich werde ich hin und wieder mal einen Teil der Reihe lesen, ist ganz nett und geht relativ schnell. Ob Maigret seinen Klassikerstatus verdient hat, kann ich nach einem Buch noch nicht sagen.

Profile Image for Elizabeth (Alaska).
1,321 reviews440 followers
September 25, 2017
As can be seen in the GR title, this is the first in a series. I think this series can be read in any order, but I hoped to get a full introduction to Inspector Maigret, and I was not disappointed. There is a lot of plot, as one might expect. The mystery was different. There was a bit more to the other non-reappearing characters than I might have expected, although to suggest they are fully fleshed would be an exaggeration. The prose is good - it isn't so complex as to get in the way of the story, nor is it so over simplified as to be annoying.

The characterization of Maigret does not have him quite fully fleshed, but nearly so. He is completely unlike Hercule Poirot, and yet there were moments when I thought of that character. Poirot and Maigret appeared on the literary scene at about the same time. They are both diligent - and somewhat smarter than others. Maigret is a huge man, Poirot more diminutive. Maigret is a Deputy Chief Inspector of the Flying Squad. Not that I know what the Flying Squad is, or what equivalent might be in the US, but he does work in an official capacity, not as a private detective as does Poirot.

I do like French literature and as much as I like Poirot, I think I like Maigret slightly better. Simenon writes other than Maigret mysteries, and he was very prolific. Even if I were 40 years younger, I might not find myself getting to his entire output, but I will most happily read more of him. The best in this genre gets 4-stars from me, and this one just barely crosses that line.
Profile Image for Rosenkavalier.
234 reviews95 followers
February 21, 2012
La teoria della crepa

Appassionato lettore di Simenon, ma non molto amante dei gialli, non avevo mai approcciato un "Maigret", forse diffidando della monumentale serialità del filone, che conta (credo) oltre settanta titoli.
Ho approfittato della ripubblicazione in ebook della collana per investigare sul caso del celebre Commissario.
"Pietr il lettone" mi ha sorpreso per il clima decisamente più da noir psicologico che da racconto d'investigazione, non privo di qualche gratuita asprezza nella descrizione degli stranieri, in particolare degli abitanti del quartiere ebraico di Parigi (nel 1932, probabilmente, era considerato normale usare certe deliberate rudezze).
La finezza nelle descrizioni è tutta simenoniana, come la fenomenale pagina in cui Maigret viene faticosamente) inscritto nel contesto del lussuoso hotel Majestic come un massiccio corpo estraneo incappottato in mezzo al jetset in smoking.
Resta davvero impresso il personaggio del titolo, portatore di un segreto che è anche il plot-twist del racconto (e quindi non ne parlerò), criminale internazionale tutto d'un pezzo, ma che come tutti nasconde una crepa, una crepa che rende possibile al poliziotto intravvedere l'uomo dietro il giocatore.
Profile Image for Martin.
327 reviews143 followers
March 18, 2019
It took a typhoon to lead me to this book.

My wife and had sailed to Ormoc City on the Philippine island of Leyte when the typhoon struck leaving us stranded.

We wanted to return to our home on the tiny island of Pilar, but the ferry captains would not sail for several days. So we stayed at the Don Felipe Hotel, a nice place that had seen better days. In the restaurant I met a fellow westerner. We talked of our interests and I found that he also liked to read similar books. He had just been watching the TV series of Inspector Maigret, which he recommended.

After the typhoon had passed we sailed home and I looked up the TV series. They interested me so much that I got the first book of Inspector Maigret.

As usual the Book versus Movie Law was correct - the book was better than the movie.

As detective stories go, you the reader are given many clues as to who did the murder. The author George Simenon went one better by giving me a fully descriptive tale of the detective as well. By the time I had reached the end where all was explained I had also lived the life of a Paris detective.

I'm very glad that George Simenon has written so many more books of Inspector Maigret!

Profile Image for Razvan Banciu.
1,093 reviews64 followers
May 15, 2023
The first novel involving Maigret and one of the poorest (The Yellow Dog included) of the series. Much darkness, a lot of chaos, a less convincing plot, not to mention that even Maigret is a work in progress. Fortunately, his " evolution" was bright enough in order to make him one of the classics. And a very loved one indeed...
Profile Image for آرمین نصرتی.
12 reviews3 followers
August 18, 2022
گشت و گذار با مگره تو پاریس خوش گذشت.
کشش و اتفاق های پشت هم و ترجمه روان ،داستان جذابی بود .
اواسط کتاب جوری رویداد ها پشت هم صف می شن که خواننده می مونه با یک عالمه معما و مگرهٔ دست تنها.
قلم ژرژ سیمنون رو دوست دارم
در درون هر خلافکار، در بطن هر مجرم،یک انسان نهفته است. اما،و از آن مهمتر ، یک قمار باز وجود دارد ، یک حریف ، و این همان کسی است که پلیس می کوشد بیابدش ، و معمولاً به او هجوم می برد . «صفحه ۴۳»

صبح یکی از مشتری های متشخص ماژستیک گفته بود :« ترو خدا این را نگاه کنید !...»بعله °این° یک مامور پلیس بود ، که سعی می کرد نگذارد تبهکاران بزرگ به اعمال خلافشان ادامه دهند ، و با سر سختی می کوشید انتقام مرگ همکارش را بگیرد که در همان هتل مجلل به قتل رسیده بود !
°این° مردی بود که کت و شلوارش را به خیاط های انگلیسی سفارش نمی داد ، وقت نداشت هر روز صبح پیش مانیکوریست برود و ، از سه روز پیش ، نتوانسته بود به غذا هایی که زنش برایش می پخت لب بزند ، و همسر صبورش از اینکه نمی دانست او کجاست چه و بر سرش می آید گله و شکایتی نمی کرد .
°این° کمیسری طراز اول بود که ماهی دو هزار و دویست فرانک مواجب می گرفت ، و وقتی پرونده ای بسته می شد و قاتلین به زندان می افتادند ، باید می نشست و صورت حساب همه هزینه هایش را می نوشت و قبضها و رسید ها را با سنجاق ضمیمه اش می کرد ، بعد نوبت به جر و بحث با صندوق دار می رسید !
مگره نه ماشین داشت ، نه میلیون ها پول ، نه همکاران متعدد. اگر به خود اجازه می داد یک یا دو مامور را به کاری بگمارد ، بعدا باید ضرورت این اقدام را توجیه می کرد . پیوتر لتونیایی، در سه قدمیش ، با اسکناس پنجاه فرانکی پول آنچه را نوشیده بود می پرداخت و باقیش را انعام می داد . جنون بود یا قپی آمدن یا یک جور کلک بازی ! سپس ، وارد پیراهن فروشی می شد و بی شک برای تفنن ، نیم ساعت را صرف انتخاب دوازده کراوات و سه دست ربدوشامبر می کرد ، کارت ویزیتش را روی پیشخان می گذاشت و بیرون می آمد ، در حالی که فروشنده ی آراسته با شتاب تا خیابان بدرقه اش می کرد .«صفحه ۱۰۵»
Profile Image for Sharon Barrow Wilfong.
1,117 reviews3,946 followers
October 31, 2018
It's interesting to me how different each Maigret is. Simenon is not a formulaic mystery writer.

This story was written in 1931 so was, no doubt, an early effort; however, I am impressed with how mature the writing is. Also, considering the year, Maigret refers to the rumblings of history in the background, the communism settling in in Russia, the ever increasing disenfranchisement of European Jews.

The story starts with a murder in a train. The international crook, Pietr Lett, whom Maigret has been waiting for, is found dead in the bathroom. Upon investigating, it appears he had been chloroformed and stabbed in the heart with a hat pin. Lett is a notorious and dangerous criminal. How did this happen?

But then Maigret gets word that Lett is in Paris and going to meet with an international businessman from America at the Hotel Majestic. So then who is this dead man who looks exactly like Lett?

The book has a much more existential feel than other mysteries, even other Maigret mysteries. Maigret thinks many things over that the reader is an audience to. We see him struggle with anger, sorrow, a feeling of impotency and despair.

Maigret is no Superman. He is able to solve his mysteries while maintaining an abject attitude. But in the end, Mrs. Maigret is waiting with a clean, well lit house and warm food and a glass of wine.
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