Friday 26 July 2019

Maigret and the Ghost #62 by Georges Simenon

Reading a Maigret or two during Paris in July has now become one of those things that I look forward to with a great deal of anticipation each year. Because of this though, I now associate Maigret with dreary, winter nights and rainy days (although not so much of the rain this year). My last two Maigret's, which were both set in Paris in high summer, had me all turned upside down and seasonally confused.

Fortunately Maigret and the Ghost takes us back to winter in Paris, and it feels like the seasons (if not the months) are back in sync for now.

This was mid-November and it had rained all day. Maigret hadn't left the stiflingly hot atmosphere of his office since eight o'clock the previous morning. Before crossing the courtyard, he turned up the collar of his overcoat.

I classify these crime stories as cosy, simply because even though people die we don't then have detailed forensic information or grisly crime scenes raked over by specialists using all sorts of forensic jargon. This type of gory story seems to dominate many of the modern crime stories, which is why I don't read (or watch) them. It's not my thing.

The Maigret's are pure detective story. The books are about the man, more than the crime. He is our hero that we come to admire, if not love, with each book. We get to know his techniques and his moods. The pleasure in reading comes from watching Maigret untangle the clues. His psychological methods and intuition become familiar and reliable.

In this case, we see Maigret, weary after coming off an all-nighter solving another unrelated crime, suddenly being informed of a shooting incident involving an inspector from a neighbouring precinct. Maigret quickly realises that his colleague was onto something big and that time is of the essence to stop another major criminal act from taking place. Art smuggling, forgeries, kidnapping and blackmail are the crimes with missing witnesses, nosy neighbours and deceptive suspects the spanners in the works.

It may be a little weird to say a crime novel was a lot of fun, but when Simenon gets it right, watching Maigret piece it all together is such a joy. This is one of the Maigret's where Simenon gets out of the way and lets Maigret do all the work instead.

Highly recommended.

  • 1. The Strange Case of Peter the Lett, The Case of Peter the Lett, Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett (1931)
  • 2. The Crime at Lock 14, Maigret Meets a Milord, Lock 14 (1931)
  • 3. The Death of Monsieur Gallet, Maigret Stonewalled (1931)
  • 4. The Crime of Inspector Maigret, Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets (1931)
  • 5. A Battle of Nerves, Maigret's War of Nerves, A Man's Head (1931)
  • 6. A Face for a Clue, Maigret and the Concarneau Murders, Maigret and the Yellow Dog, The Yellow Dog (1931)
  • 7. The Crossroad Murders, Maigret at the Crossroads (1931)
  • 8. A Crime in Holland, Maigret in Holland (1931)
  • 9. The Sailor's Rendezvous (1931)
  • 10. At the "Gai Moulin", Maigret at the "Gai Moulin" (1931)
  • 11. Guinguette by the Seine, Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine, The Bar on the Seine (1931)
  • 12. The Shadow in the Courtyard, Maigret Mystified (1932)
  • 13. Maigret and the Countess, The Saint-Fiacre Affair, Maigret Goes Home, Maigret on Home Ground (1932)
  • 14. The Flemish Shop, Maigret and the Flemish Shop (1932)
  • 15. Death of a Harbo(u)r Master, Maigret and the Death of a Harbor Master (1932)
  • 16. The Madman of Bergerac (1932)
  • 17. Liberty Bar, Maigret on the Riviera (1932)
  • 18. The Lock at Charenton (1933)
  • 19. Maigret Returns (1934)
  • 20. Maigret and the Hotel Majestic (1942)
  • 21. Maigret in Exile (1942)
  • 22. Maigret and the Spinster (1942)
  • 23. To Any Lengths, Signe Picpus, Maigret and the Fortuneteller (1944)
  • 24. Maigret and the Toy Village (1944)
  • 25. Maigret's Rival, Inspector Cadaver (1944)
  • 26. Maigret in Retirement (1947)
  • 27. Maigret in New York, Inspector Maigret in New York's Underworld, Maigret in New York's Underworld (1947)
  • 28. A Summer Holiday, No Vacation for Maigret, Maigret on Holiday (1948)
  • 29. Maigret's Dead Man, Maigret's Special Murder (1948)
  • 30. Maigret's First Case (1949)
  • 31. My Friend Maigret, The Methods of Maigret (1949)
  • 32. Maigret at the Coroner's (1949)
  • 33. Maigret and the Old Lady (1950)
  • 34. Madame Maigret's Own Case, Madame Maigret's Friend, The Friend of Madame Maigret (1950)
  • 35. Maigret's Memoirs (1951)
  • 36. Maigret and the Strangled Stripper, Maigret in Montmartre, Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper (1951)
  • 37. Maigret Takes a Room, Maigret Rents a Room (1951)
  • 38. Inspector Maigret and the Burglar's Wife, Maigret and the Burglar's Wife (1951)
  • 39. Inspector Maigret and the Killers, Maigret and the Gangsters (1952)
  • 40. Maigret's Revolver (1952)
  • 41. Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard, Maigret and the Man on the Bench (1953)
  • 42. Maigret Afraid (1953)
  • 43. Maigret's Mistake (1953)
  • 44. Maigret Goes to School (1954)
  • 45. Inspector Maigret and the Dead Girl, Maigret and the Young Girl (1954)
  • 46. Maigret and the Minister, Maigret and the Calame Report (1955)
  • 47. Maigret and the Headless Corpse (1955)
  • 48. Maigret Sets a Trap (1955)
  • 49. Maigret's Failure (1956)
  • 50. Maigret's Little Joke, None of Maigret's Business (1957)
  • 51. Maigret and the Millionaires (1958)
  • 52. Maigret Has Scruples (1958)
  • 53. Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses (1959)
  • 54. Maigret Has Doubts (1959)
  • 55. Maigret in Court (1960)
  • 56. Maigret in Society (1960)
  • 57. Maigret and the Lazy Burglar (1961)
  • 58. Maigret and the Black Sheep (1962)
  • 59. Maigret and the Saturday Caller (1962)
  • 60. Maigret and the Dosser, Maigret and the Bum (1963)
  • 61. Maigret Loses His Temper, Maigret's Anger (1963)
  • 62. Maigret and the Ghost, Maigret and the Apparition (1964)
  • 63. Maigret on the Defensive (1964)
  • 64. The Patience of Maigret, Maigret Bides His Time (1965)
  • 65. Maigret and the Nahour Case (1967)
  • 66. Maigret's Pickpocket (1967)
  • 67. Maigret Takes the Waters, Maigret in Vichy (1968)
  • 68. Maigret Hesitates (1968)
  • 69. Maigret's Boyhood Friend (1968)
  • 70. Maigret and the Killer (1969)
  • 71. Maigret and the Wine Merchant (1970)
  • 72. Maigret and the Madwoman (1970)
  • 73. Maigret and the Loner (1971)
  • 74. Maigret and the Flea, Maigret and the Informer (1971)
  • 75. Maigret and Monsieur Charles (1972)
  • A Maigret Christmas
Book 14 of 20 Books of Summer Winter
Sydney 19℃
Dublin 23℃


  1. Nice. I do want to read more of this series, to get to know the man more. I do get how these can be "fun", ha ha ha.

  2. Maigret is like an Agatha Christie. Good old fashion detectives. The stories are not so full of gory details, but more on clues and following them. Great books.
    You have done very well with your books of summer. You will sure make the 20. Alas, I will not make the same. Holiday time does not generate a lot of reading on my part,

    1. I think because it's actually winter here, I can get a lot of reading done - early nights, miserable weekends lying on the lounge, long bubble baths to warm up...! And now I've got a nasty cold, so resting with a good book is the perfect remedy (if I can stay awake long enough).

  3. I read my first Maigret this week. I was astonished at its brevity---only 144 pages. I could easily read it at one sitting.

    1. Yes, most of them are pretty quick and easy to read Deb. Part of their delight :-)


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