Maigret in Holland by Georges SimenonMaigret in Holland by Georges Simenon
Series: Inspector Maigret #8
Published by Mariner Books on January 16, 2003 (first published 1931)
Source: Purchased
Genres: Vintage Mystery
Pages: 180
Format: Paperback
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three-half-stars

On his latest case, Maigret finds himself in the town of Delfzijl investigating the murder of a teacher. He is presented with two clues-a sailor's cap in the bathtub and a Manila cigar butt-and a gaggle of suspects, including a flirtatious farmer's daughter, an angry lawyer, a larcenous ship owner, an unaccountably frightened cadet, and a pompous criminologist with a revolver. The Inspector, in turn, is preoccupied with a suspicious pathway lit by a lighthouse beam, which leads him to wonder if this is the kind of spot where secret lovers might be discovered...

Maigret in Holland was perhaps not my best choice for my first Maigret read, but it was the only one the used bookstore in town had. Maigret is not in France here, he’s been called to Holland where a French national is being detained under suspicion of murder. Maigret does not speak any Dutch, which slows his investigation some. He interviews the main characters in the story with varying degrees of success depending on their knowledge of the French language.

The small town and characters are described well, wanting to keep their secrets and the status quo. Maigret is intelligent and observant. I’d like to read another when he is on his home turf.

About Georges Simenon

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.

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2 Comments

  • Maigret? A name I knew but struggled to think where from and then it came to me. Not alas an author I’ve come across or books I’ve read but I remember a tv series of this name … based on the books???
    Not a book that shouts Read Me but then again, never say never, there is nothing about it that would rule me out reading it. I’m wondering why you are questioning if this was the best choice for your first Maigret read.

    • I think that it might have been better to read one where Maigret is in his own country and doesn’t have the language barrier that comes up in this one.

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