Review: The Saint-Fiacre Affair, 1932 (Inspector Maigret #13) by Georges Simenon. Trans: Shaun Whiteside

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Penguin Classics, 2014. Format: Paperback edition. First published in French as L’affaire Saint-Fiacre by Fayard, 1932. This translation first published in 2014. ISBN: 978-0-141-39475-6. 160 pages. There are two previous English translations of this novel. The first one, by Margaret Ludwig, was originally published under the title of The Saint-Fiacre Affair (aka Maigret and the Countess) in the two novel volume with the overall title of  Maigret Keeps a Rendez-Vous (in the UK by Routledge, 1940, and in the USA by Harcourt, 1941). The second, by Robert Baldick, was originally published by Penguin Books, UK, 1967 as a paperback under the title Maigret Goes Home (aka Maigret on Home Ground).

cover.jpg.renditionbis.460.707Book description: The last time Maigret went home to the village of his birth was for his father’s funeral. Now an anonymous note predicting a crime during All Souls’ Day mass draws him back there, where troubling memories resurface and hidden vices are revealed.

My take: In this new instalment of Maigret’s mysteries, our Detective Chief Inspector of the Police Judiciaire returns to the village in which he spent his childhood to unravel the enigma hidden behind a piece of paper sent to the Police of Moulins that reads: ‘I wish to inform you that a crime will be committed at the church of Saint Fiacre during first mass on All Souls’ Day’. I don’t wish to add anything more to the plot in order not to spoil your reading pleasure, if you finally follow my advice and read this book. One of its strengths lies in its originality. In this sense I would like to add that the investigation revolves around a murder that cannot be criminally prosecuted. With this brief introduction, I hope to have sparked your interest in this novel. I would not like to fail to mention that it has a carefully elaborated plot, excellent prose –as always, and, like most books in the series if not all, it can be read in one sitting. If you had already read it, I’ll be delighted to get to know your opinion in the comments here below. Highly recommended.

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

About the author: Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium. At sixteen he began work as a journalist on the Gazette de Liège. He moved to Paris in 1922 and became a prolific writer of popular fiction, working under a number of pseudonyms. In 1931 he published the first of the novels featuring Maigret, his most famous and enduring creation.

About the translator: Originally from Northern Ireland, Shaun Whiteside graduated with a First in Modern Languages from King’s College, Cambridge, and translates from German, French, Italian and Dutch, having previously worked as a business journalist and television producer. His translations from German include works by Freud, Schnitzler, Musil and Nietzsche, and, most recently, My Father’s Country by Wibke Bruhns (2009), The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink (2011) and Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar (2011). His translation of Magdalena the Sinnerby Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Award. He is a former Chair of the Translators Association, and lives in London with his wife and son, where he sits on the PEN Writers in Translation committee, the editorial board of New Books in German, and the Advisory Panel of the British Centre for Literary Translation, where he regularly teaches at the summer school. (Source: Goethe Institut and Wikipedia)

The Saint-Fiacre Affair has been reviewed at Crime Review, The Rap Sheet, and at Simenon Froum.

Penguin UK publicity page

Penguin US publicity page

Georges Simenon Website

The Saint-Fiacre Affair 

Maigret of the Month: January, 2005

Tout Simenon


Maigret’s Journeys in France

El caso Saint-Fiacre de Georges Simenon

Descripción del libro: La última vez que Maigret regresó a su casa, al pueblo que lo vio nacer, fue por el funeral de su padre. Ahora una nota anónima que predice un crimen durante la misa del Día de los difuntos lo lleva de regreso hasta allí, donde recuerdos perturbadores saldrán a la luz descubriendo vicios que habían permanecido ocultos hasta entonces.

Mi opinión: En esta nueva entrega de los misterios de Maigret, nuestro Detective Inspector Jefe de la Policía Judiciail regresa al pueblo en el que pasó su infancia para desentrañar el enigma escondido detrás de un pedazo de papel enviado a la Policía de Moulins que dice así: “Quiero informarles que se cometerá un crimen en la iglesia de San Fiacre durante la primera misa del Día de los difuntos.” No quiero añadir nada más a la trama para no estropear el placer de su lectura, si finalmente siguen mi consejo y leen este libro. Un de sus puntos fuertes radica en su originalidad. En este sentido, quisiera añadir que la investigación gira en torno a un asesinato que no puede ser perseguido penalmente. Con esta breve introducción, espero haber despertado su interés por esta novela. No me gustaría dejar de mencionar que tiene una trama cuidadosamente elaborada, una prosa excelente, como siempre y, como la mayoría de los libros de la serie, se puede leer de una sentada, Si usted ya lo ha leído, estaré encantado de conocer su opinión en los comentarios mas abajo. Muy recomendable.

My rating: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon nació en Lieja, Bélgica. A los dieciséis años comenzó a trabajar como periodista en la Gaceta de Lieja. Se trasladó a París en 1922 y se convirtió en un prolífico escritor de novelas populares, utilizando un sinnúmero de seudónimos. En 1931 publicó, bajo su verdadero nombre, la primera de las novelas portagonizadas por Maigret, su creación más célebre y perdurable.

13 thoughts on “Review: The Saint-Fiacre Affair, 1932 (Inspector Maigret #13) by Georges Simenon. Trans: Shaun Whiteside”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: