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I suppose someone like Simenon who wrote so many Maigret detective stories would have introduced a number of variations to the simple murder mysteryReading the series in the publication order of the original books you get a sense of perspectivePenguin Classics have ensured that new translations have been made of each title so each story comes to you almost as freshIt is amazing that the police procedural has not become stale Sure there are familiar aspects his boys his favoured detectives His pipe and need to ground himself through time spent with his wifeMaigret Hesitates is an example of the author presenting something fresh A variation on the theme that others have subseuently copied or developedIn this novel Maigret is involved with the family before the murder is committed responding to the threat via anonymous lettersHe hopes through his involvement that he can prevent a crime deter such a drastic outcome He is certain after two days spent with the family employees and servant that within the group is the letter writer a murderer and potential victim Yet in this back to front and inverted case he has not sense of achievement just foreboding and a troubled moodI loved this dilemma Maigret is faced with Is it a hoax? Does the murderer want to be stopped? It makes for a different emphasis and makes our detective and therefore the reader to think and act in less formulaic waysYet the richness of these stories is still all here The weather and how this effects the people the actions characters undertake and what people wear Maigret’s meals and love of fine food but mostly simple earthy dishes from sea or field The drinks the detective takes yet remaining sober on the jobAlso Simenon is adding reflective pieces within his writing about preparing for retirement the best aspects of the job and Maigret’s own career choicesThese layers are subtle but they imbue a sense of life and originality that means these stories remain fresh and entertaining so many years later Clearly not my favorite Maigret I thought it stretched an idea that wasn't sufficiently interesting to begin with Skip this one; there are plenty to choose from It is difficult for me to explain the appeal of a Maigret book; they often don't have the who dunnit clever puzzle type plots but rather the reader like the detective inspector himself just witnesses the whole thing unfold One is left with the sense of inevitability And yet the reader well me at least is captivated This later book in the series is a great example of the tone and mood that is so typical of a Maigret book; where tone mood point of view inner dialogue and reflection are all given emphasis than the sensationalism of crime An interesting mystery featuring Maigret and his trusted lieutenants scrambling to avert a possible murder and asking pretty philosophical uestions along the way for example Is someone guilty if they are not of a sound mind?My Rating 45 Inspector Maigret receives a series of letters warning of a murder that is going to take place The letters do not reveal who will die when it will happen or who will do it Maigret must trace the letters back to their source before it is too latePenguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations'His artistry is supreme' John Banville'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century Simenon was uneualled at making us look inside though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian Maigret has received anonymous letters warning him that a murder will soon be committed The upmarket Parisian address from which the letters were written is soon discovered the uality of the paper stock gives it away However the intended victim and the perpetrator remain a mystery Maigret visits the extensive apartment of a top Paris lawyer and his family plus their servants and tries to get to the bottom of the situation His hesitation and discomfort are down to his concern that the whole thing may just be a hoax In the end of course someone is killed and Maigret manages to solve the crime The dysfunctional household the lawyers excessive focus on arcane details of the French criminal code the spoilt children the weird relationship between servants and employers and then the neurotic obsessed mistress of the household make Maigret very uncomfortable Simenon intended this as a further exercise in amateur psychiatry I suppose but to be honest it doesn't really come off and the story rather drags in the middle The denouement is blindingly obvious so in many ways there is no real crime solving mystery in this story at all Not a great example of the series Simenon is getting old and rather tired now Michael's listTranslated from French this Inspector Maigret is a recurring character for this authorPerhaps something was lost in the translationThe descriptions failed to draw me in and I was underwhelmed when the assumed murderer confessedThis from the final page says it allAre you going to make an arrest Superintendent??I don't knowDo you know who is guilty?I don't know He was being honest as he reflected on the part of the story that dealt with the legalities of an insanity plea and documentation needed for such Sheesh Unsatisfying ending despite the lame sounding gimmick it's built around Maigret investigates a crime that'snot been committed yet this worked incredibly well it's little than an unobtrusive background element through much of the story and there's never any serious suggestion that it'll come to nothing but it allows you to feel engaged with the characters and ensures the victim is than just a body the dénoument itself was a bit uninteresting but not to the point that it marred the rest of the novel I love Maigret and I love the genre so it's a biased review from me Beautifully crafted and suspenseful I could have done with the story being a little rounded it did seem to tie up relatively uickly for a Maigret and I felt a couple of the minor characters could have been brought into play a bit ; Simenon is so good at building character layer by layer and this could have been developed a bit but maybe that's because I just want to read Maigret As always Simenon delves deeply into psychiatric disorderA brilliant lawyer who is a total social misfitHis wife how hates hemA young secretary who is his loverAnd a murder but was the perpetrator sane???