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Min ven Maigret by Georges Simenon
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Min ven Maigret (original 1949; edition 1964)

by Georges Simenon

Series: Maigret (58)

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334733,013 (3.81)12
Member:timspalding
Title:Min ven Maigret
Authors:Georges Simenon
Info:[Kbh.] : Carit Andersen, [1964].
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My Friend Maigret by Georges Simenon (1949)

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» See also 12 mentions

English (5)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All (7)
Showing 5 of 5
Maigret receives a phone call from the sun-drenched Mediterranean island of Porquerolles, at the tip of the south of France, and learns that a man going by the name of Marcellin has been killed. Maigret is being informed because Marcellin spoke of him as a friend. But were they really friends? Even if that isn't the case, Maigret will still go down and investigate. At the very least, it will be a change of scenery from the gloomy rainy sidewalks of Paris.

I read this in the original French, which is my second language. I probably missed some jokes, allusions, or clever turns of phrase, but I was able to follow the story for the most part. The atmosphere of Porquerolles shone through and the whole book felt suffused in sunlight. (I only just looked up pictures of the island now -- it is a gorgeous place.) Another interesting touch was having Maigret play host to an English detective from Scotland Yard. Maigret was constantly second-guessing himself and overanalyzing everything the Englishman said, which was amusing, at least for me for some reason. I'm not sure whether it would have been possible to guess who done it -- the solution as explained by Maigret sounded convoluted, but that could have been because I wasn't picking up everything. Nevertheless, I liked the book and would like to read it again sometime. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Apr 27, 2016 |
Slightly pedestrian Maigret from 1949, but the Mediterranean setting makes a nice change. Maigret and the Scotland Yard officer who is studying his methods are summoned to solve a murder on the island of Porquerolles. The victim claimed to be an old friend of the Commissaire's. ( )
  thorold | Jun 30, 2011 |
I agree with BooksPlease that the number of characters in this book made the story confusing- but I also enjoyed the setting and the observations on the behaviour of Mr. Pyke, the Scotland Yard detective. ( )
  Twitcher | Jan 4, 2010 |
Maigret leaves a rainy Paris for the balmy Mediterranan island of Porquerolles, three miles from the French coast, where he investigates the murder of Marcellin (also known as Marcel Picaud), a thug, drunkard, thief and pimp - in other words a ”mauvais garcon”. He is accompanied by Mr Pyke, a British detective who is shadowing Maigret to studying his method of working.

There are so many characters in My Friend Maigret that I got confused part way through this book and had to go back to sort out in my mind who they all were. Maigret, however, didn’t have the same problem as he talked to them all in connection with the murder.

The main point of interest for me was not who did the murder as the character of Marcellin remains indistinct throughout the book; he is just a small-time crook who claimed to be Maigret’s friend and that appears to be why he was killed. No one has left the island since the murder took place and at first there are no obvious suspects but gradually as Maigret meets and talks to the local people he discovers the truth and through analysis and intuition solves the crime. The interest for me lay in the relationship between Maigret and Mr Pyke, the very proper British detective, and in the location on the island of Porquerolles.

Maigret and Pyke are very different characters,and Maigret feels inhibited and irritated by his presence. He worries about whether Pyke is criticising him for drinking, smoking and his general behaviour - was he acting as a detective should? He almost seems to develop an inferiority complex and be feeling very self-conscious. He looks at himself in the mirror and tells himself “That’s the divisional chief inspector!”

Much is made of the differences between the French Maigret and the English Mr Pyke - in the food and drinks they like, their style of clothes, and the way they speak - Maigret vague and thoughtful, whereas Mr Pyke is methodical and speaks in clipped precise sentences.

Maigret’s vagueness is enhance on the island where the heat makes him feel sleepy and he loses the desire to work. Porquerolles, set in a silky sea that is an incredible blue, is conjured up by the sights, sounds and smells that Simenon scatters throughout the book. There are the smells of food, bouillabaise and saffron oil, wine, mimosa, eucalyptus and fresh coffee; and the sound of bells on Sunday, the noise of the boules players, the laughter and conversation in the Grand Hotel and the sound of the sea.

My thoughts as I finished this book were that it’s not so much a crime or detective story, but it’s really a study of Maigret himself, and of life on a small Mediterranean island. ( )
2 vote BooksPlease | Jun 14, 2009 |
I am a recent convert to Georges Simenon. Penguin recently put out a series of his Maigret mysteries that have lovely art deco covers and a slim, squarish paperback profile that I am a sucker for. They fit perfectly in my purse and have lovely black and white photos of French urban scenes from the first half of the 20th century. I am the target market, obviously, becuase I am obsessed. ( )
  kates | Mar 24, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georges Simenonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cañameras, F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tlarig, M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'You were standing in the doorway of your club?'
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Originally published in French as: Mon ami Maigret in 1949. Variously translated in English as:
(1) My Friend Maigret, translated by Nigel Ryan (1956) (also published with the title The Methods of Maigret in the USA (1957)) and;
(2) My Friend Maigret, translated by Sean Whiteside (2016).
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143112848, Paperback)

Three vintage Maigret novels by legendary mystery author Georges Simenon

One of the world 's most successful crime writers, Georges Simenon has thrilled mystery lovers since 1931 with his matchless creation Inspector Maigret. In My Friend Maigret, Inspector Maigret investigates the murder of a small- time crook on a Mediterranean island. Told in Simenon's spare, unsentimental prose, Inspector Cadaver is a haunting exploration of provincial hypocrisy and snobbery, in which Maigret encounters a rival sleuth from his past. In Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard, Simenon's tenacious detective pieces together the life of a man who for three years lived a secret life-until he is found stabbed to death in an alleyway.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When a small-time crook is murdered on the Mediterranean island of Porquerolles it transpires he had fervently declared his friendship with Maigret beforehand. The famous French detective, with a Scotland Yard observer in tow, must travel there to investigate.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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