Maigret Takes a Room, 1951 (Inspector Maigret #37) by Georges Simenon (Trans: Shaun Whiteside)

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

Penguin Classics, 2016. Format: Paperback. Length: 176 pages. First published in French as Maigret en meublé by Presses de la Cité, 1951. This translation was first published in 2016. ISBN: 978-0-241-20684-3. ASIN: B01FTGII4E. There is a previous English translation by Robert Brain, published in 1960, under the same title aka Maigret Rents a Room.

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707Book description: When one of his best inspectors is shot, Maigret decides to book himself into Mademoiselle Clément’s well-kept Paris boarding house nearby in order to find the culprit.

My take: While on night duty keeping an eye on a robbery suspect, Janvier is taken to Cochin hospital severely wounded. Fortunately, his life is going to be soon out of danger. ‘He [Maigret] didn’t want to ask Lucas what had happened in front of Madame Janvier. He couldn’t leave them either. Apart from Lucas –his right hand man– Janvier had always been his favourite inspector. He had had him with him as a very young man, as Lapointe was now and he still sometimes called him young Janvier.’ This was a case in which Maigret had been barely involved personally. Five days earlier, two men went into a little night club in Montparnasse,the Stork, when it was about closing time and robbed the evening revenues. Three hours later, thanks to a trifling detail, one of the robbers could be identified, a young man by the name of Émile Paulus who lived hosted at Mademoiselle Clément’s boarding house on Rue Lhomond. The landlady claimed that she had not seen him coming out of the house, assuming that he must have left the house early in the morning. The boarding house was searched on the first day and went under surveillance for four days, with no result at all, up until Janvier was shot on his chest.  Maigret, taking advantage that his wife is out of Paris caring her ailing sister, decides to book himself into Mademoiselle Clément’s boarding house. Soon Maigret finds out where Paulus was hiding. But when it all seems to be over, we realise that, in fact, it was only beginning.

As it is often the case in Maigret mysteries, both the investigation and the solution of the case relies fundamentally in a careful attention to the most insignificant details together with a deep knowledge of human nature. What I particularly enjoyed in this story is the excellent portrait of the characters involved. In a sense, what we find in this instalment is the most human dimension of Maigret and, if only for this reason, it’s worth reading. 

My rating:  A (I loved it)

About the author: Georges Simenon wrote one hundred and ninety-one novels with his name, and an indeterminate number of novels and stories published under pseudonym, as well as memoirs and dictated texts. Commissaire Maigret is the protagonist of seventy-five of these novels and thirty-one short stories, all published between 1931 and 1972. Famous throughout the world and already recognized as a master, today no one doubts that he is one of the best writers of the 20th century,

About the translator: Shaun Whiteside has translated over fifty books from German, French, Italian and Dutch, including novels by Amélie Nothomb, Luther Blissett, Wu Ming and Marcel Möring. His translations of Freud, Musil, Schnitzler and Nietzsche are published by Penguin Classics, and his translation of Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize. His most recent translations include The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink, Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar, Perlmann’s Silence by Pascal Mercier and Robert Enke: A Life Too Short by Ronald Reng, winner of the 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year. A former chair of the Translators Association, 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. He lives in London. (Source: English Pen)

Maigret Takes a Room has been reviewed at FictionFan’s Book Reviews, and at Crime Review.

Penguin UK publicity page

Penguin US publicity page

Georges Simenon Website

Maigret en meublé 

Maigret of the Month: February, 2007

Tout Maigret


Maigret a pensión aka Maigret en la pensión, de Georges Simenon

Descripción del libro: Cuando disparan a uno de sus mejores inspectores, Maigret decide alojarse en la bien cuidada pensión de Mademoiselle Clément en París para encontrar al culpable.

Mi opinión
: Mientras hace guardia de noche vigilando a un sospechoso de robo, Janvier es llevado al hospital de Cochin gravemente herido. Afortunadamente, su vida pronto estará fuera de peligro. “Él [Maigret] no quería preguntarle a Lucas qué le había pasado frente a Madame Janvier. Él tampoco podía dejarlos. Aparte de Lucas, su mano derecha, Janvier siempre había sido su inspector favorito. Lo había tenido con él cuando era muy joven, como ahora lo era Lapointe, y todavía lo llamaba algunas veces el joven Janvier.” Se trataba de un caso en el que Maigret apenas si había participado directamente. Cinco días antes, dos hombres entraron en un pequeño club nocturno en Montparnasse, el Stork, a la hora del cierre y robaron la recaudación de la noche. Tres horas más tarde, gracias a un detalle insignificante, se pudo identificar a uno de los ladrones, un joven llamado Émile Paulus, que vivía alojado en la pensión de Mademoiselle Clément en la Rue Lhomond. La casera afirmó que no lo había visto salir de la casa, suponiendo que debía haber salido de la casa por la mañana temprano. La pensión fue registrada el primer día y estuvo bajo vigilancia durante cuatro días, sin ningún resultado, hasta que Janvier recibió un disparo en el pecho. Maigret, aprovechando que su esposa estaba fuera de París cuidando a su hermana enferma, decide hospedarse en la pensión de Mademoiselle Clément. Pronto Maigret descubre dónde estaba escondido Paulus. Pero cuando todo parece haber terminado, nos damos cuenta de que, de hecho, solo estaba comenzando.

Como a menudo es el caso en los misterios de Maigret, tanto la investigación como la solución del caso se basan fundamentalmente en una cuidadosa atención a los detalles más insignificantes, junto con un profundo conocimiento de la naturaleza humana. Lo que disfruté particularmente en esta historia es el excelente retrato de los personajes involucrados. En cierto sentido, lo que encontramos en esta entrega es la dimensión más humana de Maigret y, aunque solo sea por esta razón, vale la pena leerla.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon escribió ciento noventa y una novelas con su nombre, y un número indeterminado de novelas e historias publicadas bajo seudónimo, así como memorias y textos dictados. El comisario Maigret es el protagonista de setenta y cinco de estas novelas y treinta y un relatos breves, todos publicados entre 1931 y 1972. Famoso en todo el mundo y ya reconocido como maestro, hoy nadie duda de que es uno de los mejores escritores del siglo XX,

8 thoughts on “Maigret Takes a Room, 1951 (Inspector Maigret #37) by Georges Simenon (Trans: Shaun Whiteside)”

  1. Thanks for the link! 😀 I thoroughly enjoyed this one too, especially the character of the landlady. I haven’t read many of them yet, but this is one of my favourites so far…

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