London Review - 09/12/2020 - John Clegg - On the 9th January next year, Penguin will publish the 75th and final Inspector Maigret novel, Maigret and Inspector Charles. It’s been a remarkable project - the series has been entirely retranslated (wherever I’ve checked against the old green Penguins the new translations have been much livelier). I’ve been reading them on and off throughout the project, but earlier this year I decided I’d finally make a conscious effort to read the lot, and can report that they’re absolutely wonderful, and far better read in bulk than intermittently.
For a start, you notice how very different they are from each other; they take in almost every permutation of the ‘crime novel’, from gangster thriller to police procedural to careful forensic investigation to intense psychological thriller to whodunnit. It is also impossible to tell, until you’ve finished, exactly what sort of story you’ve been reading; Simenon is adept at misdirection, and several times the crime which gets satisfactorily resolved at the end is one which you’ve not been paying attention to...>>>
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