Maigret Has Doubts
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One of the world’s most successful crime writers, Georges Simenon has thrilled mystery lovers around the world since 1931 with his matchless creation Inspector Maigret.
A phenomenal author and his phenomenal character Georges Simenon was by many standards the most successful author of the 20th century, and the character he created, Inspector Jules Maigret, who made him rich and famous, ranks only after Sherlock Holmes as the world's best known fictional detective. There is nothing commonplace about the life of Georges Simenon, and he and his works have been the subject of innumerable books and articles. The Maigret stories are unlike any other detective stories — the crime and the details of unraveling it are often less central to our interest than Maigret's journey through the discovery of the cast of characters... towards an understanding of man. Simenon said he was obsessed with a search for the "naked man" — man without his cultural protective coloration, and he followed his quest as much in the Maigrets as in his "hard" novels.
Although most of Simenon's work is available in English, it was originally written in French. Simenon was born and raised in Belgium, and while Paris was "the city" for him, the home of Maigret, he was 'an international,' a world traveler who moved often and lived for many years in France, the United States, and Switzerland.
Because he wrote in French, and for the most part lived in French-speaking countries, most of the books and magazine articles about him were written in French as well. Unlike his own books however, many of these have never been available in translation. Because Simenon lived to be nearly 90, and left a legacy of hundreds of books — from which more than 50 films have been made, along with hundreds of television episodes — there is much to collect, to examine, to display and discuss. (trussel.com)
Dining at the Pardons', M tells the story of a case from a few years back, in which Adrien Josset was found guilty and executed for the murder of his wife, Christine Josset. She had been much wealthier than he, and had set him up in business. M had had but one chance to interview him before the Examining Magistrate, Judge Coméliau, having decided he was guilty, took over the case. Josset claimed he found his wife in her room, stabbed many times, and panicked, feeling he would be accused, and left the house, taking with him a dagger he thought would implicate him, which he claimed he threw off a bridge. He wandered around, drank heavily, and finally changed his mind and reported the crime to the local police station. It became known that he had a mistress, his young secretary, Annette Duché, and that the night before there had been a confrontation with her father, Martin Duché. When the father returned to his town, he was confronted by a newspaper reporter, and committed suicide, further moving public opinion against Josset. It became even stronger when it came out that his Annette had had an abortion. A few years later M heard that a drifter, Popaul, who had supposedly been an occasional lover of Christine's had claimed to have killed her, but it was never confirmed. (trussel.com)
Tomorrow morning divers will go down for it and they’ll find it.” The man was silent. “Did you kill Christine?” “No.” “Yet you took the trouble to go all the way to the Pont Mirabeau to throw your knife into the Seine.” “No one will believe me, not even you.” The “not even you” was a compliment to Maigret. “Tell me the truth.” “It was when I went home and put my suitcase away. I saw the dagger in my room…” “Were there any bloodstains on it?” “No. At that time I was thinking of what I
the afternoon. And it was spring then, too, the end of April or the beginning of May. When the Inspector arrived at the Quai that morning he had heard nothing about the case, and he was only called at ten o’clock, first by the Inspector at the Auteuil police station, then by Coméliau, the Examining Magistrate. There was some confusion about everything that day. The Auteuil police claimed that they had informed Police Headquarters in the early hours of the morning, but for one reason or another
for Josset had reached the Auteuil Police Station at half past three, and the van had been sent to Rue Lopert a few moments afterward, when he was just beginning to make his statement. Maigret had passed this report on to Coméliau. A little later the Magistrate asked him to come to his office, where he was sitting alone. “Have you read it?” “Of course.” “Has anything struck you?” “One point. I’ll tell you about it later.” “What strikes me is that Josset has told the truth about most things,
Monsieur Lalinde smoked very black cigars continuously throughout the interview, those little Italian cigars people call coffin nails.” “I don’t see the connection.” “I expect he smokes at night, too, in his armchair. If that is so, he almost certainly finds he needs to drink.” “He could have everything within reach.” “Of course. He is seventy-six, according to the report.” The Magistrate still didn’t understand. “I wonder,” Maigret continued, “if he didn’t at any time have to relieve his
eat?” “I’m not hungry. Perhaps I might have another glass of beer?” “Were you drunk last night?” “That’s what they asked me about most this morning. I must have been at one point, but my memory isn’t any the less clear for it.” “I didn’t want to read the statement you made at Auteuil, which I have here.” Maigret flicked over the pages carelessly. “Would you like to change any of it?” “I told the truth, perhaps in rather strong language because of the detective’s attitude. As soon as he