Month: November 2018

2019 Release Dates of New Maigret Penguin Classics

Maigret Defends Himself (Inspector Maigret #63) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: For the first time in his career Inspector Maigret receives written summons to the Prefect’s office where he learns that he has been accused of assaulting a young woman. With his career and reputation on the line, Maigret must fight to prove his innocence. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret on the Defensive. Release date 03/01/2019

Maigret’s Patience (Inspector Maigret #64) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis Maigret finds himself back on the Rue des Acacias just ten days after cracking another case there. This time it is the murder of a criminal Maigret has known for over twenty years and one he always suspected was behind a string of jewellery robberies in the city. Maigret’s patience is tested as he eliminates neighbour by neighbour in his hunt for the murderer. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret Bides His Time. Release date: 07/02/2019

Maigret and the Nahour Case (Inspector Maigret #65) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: Maigret is called to the home of professional gambler, Felix Nahour, who has been found shot dead by his chambermaid. Maigret is shocked to recognise a photo of the man’s wife who becomes the main suspect. All signs point to her guilt but Maigret suspects there might be more to this complicated affair. Release date: 07/03/2019

Maigret’s Pickpocket (Inspector Maigret #66) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: A pickpocket steals Maigret’s wallet only to return it the following day, on the condition that he visit the thief’s apartment. When the thief leads Maigret to the body of his dead wife he becomes embroiled in an unusual murder case. Release date: 04/04/2019

Maigret Hesitates (Inspector Maigret #67) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: 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 late. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret on the Defensive. Release date: 02/05/2019

Maigret in Vichy (Inspector Maigret #68) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: Maigret and his wife takes a much needed holiday to Vichy, where they quickly become used to the slower pace of life. When a woman, who they regularly pass by on their daily strolls, is murdered Maigret can’t help but offer his assistance to the local Inspector, a former colleague of Maigret’s. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret Takes the Waters. Release date: 06/06/2019

Maigret’s Childhood Friend (Inspector Maigret #69) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: When a long lost friend pays a visit to Maigret’s office, he is shocked to learn that the man’s roommate has been murdered. With the help of his old friend, Maigret delves into the life of the victim and finds a complex web of relationships that leads him to the culprit. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret’s Boyhood Friend. Release date: 04/07/2019

Maigret and the Killer (Inspector Maigret #70) by Georges Simenon. Synopsis: When a tape recorder is found on a murder victim, Inspector Maigret hopes this will be the clue he needs to track down the killer. Published: 01/08/2019

No release dates announced yet and final titles unknown so far:

Maigret and the Wine Merchant (Maigret Series #71) by Georges Simenon. (Septemeber 2019)

Maigret and the Madwoman (Maigret Series #72) by Georges Simenon (October 2019)

Maigret and the Loner (Maigret Series #73) by Georges Simenon (November 2019)

Maigret and the Informer (Maigret Series #74) by Georges Simenon (December 2019)

Maigret and Monsieur Charles (Maigret Series #75) by Georges Simenon (January 2020)

My Book Notes: Maigret’s Secret, 1959 (Inspector Maigret #54) by Georges Simenon (Trans: David Watson)

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

Penguin, 2018. Format; Kindle Edition. File Size: 3500 KB. Print Length: 160 pages. ASIN: B076HF4QN2. ISBN: 978-0-241-30388-7. First published in French as Une confidence de Maigret by Le Figaro in serial form between August 24 and September 15, 1959 (20 episodes). The original book edition was published by Presses de la Cité in September 1959. The book was written between April 26 and May 3, 1959 in Noland, Échandens (canton of Vaud), Switzerland. This translation first published  2018. The first English version appeared in 1968 as Maigret Has Doubts and was published by Hamish Hamilton. Lyn Moir was the translator for this and all subsequent English versions. The first American version was published in 1982 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Caution! Not to be confused with Maigret’s Doubts, originally published as Les scrupules de Maigret in 1959, aka Maigret Has Scruples.

imageOpening paragraph: The maid had just placed the rice pudding in the middle of the round table, and Maigret hat to make an effort to look both surprised and delighted as a blushing Madame Pardon cast him a mischievous glance.

Book description: At a dinner party, Maigret recounts an old case in which Adrien Josset is found guilty and executed for the murder of his wife, Christine. As the case develops under the controlling hand of the magistrate, all clues point to Josset’s guilt yet Maigret is left unconvinced following his one interview with him. Years after the case, Maigret still doubts the true identity of the murderer.

My take: The Maigrets are in the habit of getting together with Dr Pardon and his wife to have dinner together, either at their home or at theirs. On one of these occasions, Maigret recounts in confidence Dr Pardon a case that took place several years ago that he can’t removed from his head. The circumstances surrounding the death of Christine Josset remain still unclear. Her husband, Adrien Josset, however was soon considered the main suspect. Monsieur Josset always maintained that he found his wife already death in her bedroom, stabbed several times. He panicked and couldn’t think straight, until he eventually ended up denouncing the crime at the local police station several hours later. It also happened that that same evening Adrien Josset, surprised by his mistress’ father, had confessed him he was going to ask his wife for a divorce to marry his daughter. Besides, there was the fact that Adrien Josset was a man of humble condition and, although he had achieved business success and had become manager in a pharmaceutical company, it was no secret this was due to a large extent to his wife’s fortune. In any case, the newspapers soon echoed the case, public opinion straight away found Adrien Josset guilty and Judge Coméliau, the Examining Magistrate, made no qualm about separating inspector Maigret from the case, to take over the investigation himself  personally. Despite the time elapsed, Maigret still wonder whether he acted properly. 

Maigret’s Secret is a rather unusual book in the series. even though it contains many standard features with the rest of the books, specifically with the last instalments in Presses de la Cité cycle, however it contains several very original aspects. The story is being told in a long  flashback covering two different encounters between Inspector Maigret and Dr Pardon, to which several inner thoughts of Maigret himself are added. And the reader will also discover some of the most intimate opinions of Maigret himself on several topics. And that, not to mention, the changes that were taking place at the time the book was written like, for instance, the role and strength of the media or of the tabloids, to be more precise. I would like to conclude by saying that I have particularly like the open ending of the story that, in my view, gives rise to different interpretations. In essence, a reading I have much enjoyed, funny at times, that I strongly recommend.

One time, comparing the Paris police’s famously tough grillings with the equally well-known American ‘third degree’, Maigret had suggested that the suspects most likely to get away with it are the idiots. … What he had been trying to say, in fact, was something that he still believed to be true: that a simple-minded man is naturally mistrustful, always on the defensive; he uses the minimum number of words to answer questions, makes no attempt at plausibility and later, when confronted with his self-contradictions, is not knocked off his stride but sticks firmly to his statement. On the other hand, the intelligent man feels the need to explain himself to clear up all doubts in the mind of his interrogator. In an effort to sound convincing, he anticipates questions, provides an excess of detail and, by trying hard to construct a watertight story, ends up getting caught out.

Later, looking back on this moment, he [Maigret] would wonder why it is that certain people are unpleasant from the start, for no obvious reason.

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

About the Author: Georges Simenon (1903 — 1989), French-language Belgian novelist whose prolific output surpassed that of any of his contemporaries and who was perhaps the most widely published author of the 20th century. He began working on a local newspaper at age 16, and at 19 he went to Paris determined to be a successful writer. Typing some 80 pages each day, he wrote, between 1923 and 1933, more than 200 books of pulp fiction under 16 different pseudonyms, the sales of which soon made him a millionaire. The first novel to appear under his own name was Pietr-le-Letton (1929; The Strange Case of Peter the Lett), in which he introduced the imperturbable, pipe-smoking Parisian police inspector Jules Maigret to fiction. Simenon went on to write 74 more detective novels and 28 short stories featuring Inspector Maigret, as well as a large number of ‘psychological novels’ to which he denominated ‘romans durs’). His total literary output consisted of about 425 books that were translated into some 50 languages and sold more than 600 million copies worldwide. Many of his works were the basis of feature films or made-for-television movies. In addition to novels, he wrote three autobiographical works. Despite these other works, Simenon remains inextricably linked with Inspector Maigret, who is one of the best-known characters in detective fiction. Simenon, who travelled to more than 30 countries, lived in the United States for more than a decade, starting in 1945; he later lived in France and Switzerland. At the age of 70 he stopped writing novels, though he continued to write, or to dictate, nonfiction. (Source: Britannica and own elaboration)

About the Translator: David Watson is dedicated to book editing in all fields: fiction/non-fiction, academic, literary and commercial. Translating (literary and other) from French. David Watson speaks German as well, has a PhD in French and offers also proofreading and indexing services.

Maigret’s Secret has been reviewed at Crime Review.

Penguin UK publicity page

Penguin US publicity page

Une confidence de Maigret 

Maigret of the Month: July, 2008 

Une lecture existentielle d’Une Confidence de Maigret de Georges Simenon by Waclaw RAPAK

Una confidencia de Maigret, de Georges Simenon

Primer párrafo: La doncella acababa de colocar el arroz con leche en el centro de la mesa redonda, y Maigret tuvo que hacer un esfuerzo para parecer sorprendido y, a la vez, encantado mientras una ruborizada Madame Pardon le echaba una traviesa mirada.

Descripción del libro: Durante una cena, Maigret relata un antiguo caso en el que Adrien Josset es declarado culpable y ejecutado por el asesinato de su esposa, Christine. A medida que el caso se desarrolla bajo el estricto control del magistrado, todas las pistas apuntan a la culpabilidad de Josset, pero, tras un única entrevista con él, Maigret no queda convencido del todo. Años después del caso, Maigret todavía duda sobre la verdadera identidad del asesino.

Mi opinión: Los Maigret tienen la costumbre de reunirse con el Dr. Pardon y su esposa para cenar juntos, ya sea en su casa o en la de ellos. En una de estas ocasiones, Maigret relata en confianza al Dr. Pardon, un caso que tuvo lugar hace varios años y que no puede quitarse de la cabeza. Las circunstancias que rodearon la muerte de Christine Josset aún no están claras. Su esposo, Adrien Josset, sin embargo, pronto fue considerado el principal sospechoso. Monsieur Josset siempre sostuvo que encontró a su esposa ya muerta en su habitación, apuñalada varias veces. Se asustó y no pudo pensar con claridad, hasta que finalmente terminó denunciando el crimen en la comisaria local varias horas después. También sucedió que esa misma noche Adrien Josset, sorprendido por el padre de su amante, le había confesado que iba a pedirle el divorcio a su esposa para casarse con su hija. Además, estaba el hecho de que Adrien Josset era un hombre de condición humilde y, aunque había alcanzado cierto éxito en los negocios y se había convertido en gerente de una compañía farmacéutica, no era ningún secreto que esto se debía en gran medida a la fortuna de su esposa. En cualquier caso, los periódicos no tardaron en hacerse eco del caso, la opinión pública enseguida encontró a Adrien Josset culpable y el Juez Coméliau, el juez de instrucción, no dudó en separar al inspector Maigret del caso, para hacerse cargo de la investigación personalmente. A pesar del tiempo transcurrido, Maigret todavía se pregunta si actuó correctamente.

Una conficencia de Maigret es un libro bastante inusual en la serie. A pesar de que contiene muchas características habituales con el resto de los libros, específicamente con las últimas entregas del ciclo Presses de la Cité, sin embargo contiene varios aspectos muy originales. La historia se cuenta en un flashback largo que cubre dos encuentros diferentes entre el inspector Maigret y el doctor Pardon, a los que se agregan varios pensamientos internos del propio Maigret. Y el lector también descubrirá algunas de las opiniones más íntimas del propio Maigret sobre varios temas. Y eso, por no mencionar, los cambios que se estaban produciendo en el momento en que se escribió el libro como, por ejemplo, el papel y la fuerza de los medios de comunicación o de los tabloides, para ser más precisos. Quisiera concluir diciendo que me ha gustado especialmente el final abierto de la historia que, en mi opinión, da lugar a diferentes interpretaciones. En definitiva, una lectura que he disfrutado mucho, divertida a veces, que recomiendo encarecidamente.

Una vez, al comparar los famosos duros interrogatorios de la policía de París con el igualmente conocido “tercer grado” estadounidense, Maigret había sugerido que los sospechosos con más probabilidades de salirse con la suya son los idiotas. … Lo que él estaba tratando de decir, de hecho, era algo que aún creía cierto: que un hombre de mente simple es desconfiado, siempre está a la defensiva; usa el número mínimo de palabras para responder a las preguntas, no hace ningún esfuerzo por ser creible y, más tarde, cuando se ve enfrentado a sus propias contradicciones, no se apea del burro sino que se agarra con fuerza a su declaración inicial. Por otro lado, el hombre inteligente siente la necesidad de explicarse para aclarar todas las dudas en la mente de su interrogador. En un esfuerzo por parecer convincente, anticipa las preguntas, proporciona un exceso de detalles y, al esforzarse por construir una historia indestructible, termina viéndose atrapado.

Más tarde, echnado una mirada a este momento, él [Maigret] se preguntaría por qué ciertas personas son desagradables desde el primer momento, sin ninguna razón aparente.

Mi valoración: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Acerca del autor: Georges Simenon (1903 – 1989), novelista belga en lengua francesa cuya prolífica producción superó la de cualquiera de sus contemporáneos que fue quizás el autor más publicado del siglo XX. Comenzó a trabajar en un periódico local a los 16 años, y a los 19 años se fue a París decidido a convertirse en escritor de éxito. Escribiendo unas 80 páginas cada día, publicó, entre 1923 y 1933, más de 200 libros de ficción popular bajo 16 seudónimos diferentes, cuyas ventas pronto lo convirtieron en millonario. La primera novela que apareció bajo su propio nombre fue Pietr-le-Letton (1929; Pietr, el Letón), en la que presentó al imperturbable e incomparable inspector de policía de París Jules Maigret a la ficción. Simenon escribió 74 novelas de detectives más y 28 cuentos protagonizadas por el Inspector Maigret, así como una gran cantidad de “novelas psicológicas” a las que denominó “romans durs“. Su producción literaria total consistió en unos 425 libros que se tradujeron a unos 50 idiomas y vendieron más de 600 millones de copias en todo el mundo. Muchas de sus obras sirvierons de base a largometrajes y películas para la televisión. Además de novelas, escribió tres obras autobiográficas. A pesar de estos trabajos, Simenon sigue inextricablemente vinculado al inspector Maigret, uno de los personajes más conocidos de las novelas de detectives. Simenon viajó a más de 30 países y vivió en los Estados Unidos durante más de una década, a partir de 1945. Más tarde, regresó a Europa y vivió primero en Francia y después en Suiza. A la edad de 70 años dejó de escribir novelas, aunque siguió escribiendo o dictando obras de no ficción. (Fuente: Britannica y elaboración propia).

OT: El Retiro Park and The Glass Palace Jaume Plensa Invisibles Exhibition

This morning, during a short stroll by The Retiro Park, a brief visit to Jaume Plensa Invisibles exhibition at The Glass Palace

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Considered one of the most important current sculptors, Jaume Plensa is internationally renowned for his projects in public spaces. Jaume Plensa creates sculptures and installations that unify individuals through connections of spirituality, the body, and collective memory.

As a multidisciplinary artist and one of the foremost Spanish artists internationally, Jaume Plensa (1955, Barcelona, Spain) has also experimented with etchings, drawing, sound, video and even stage design, collaborating with the company La Fura del Baus on four classical operas. He has also lived and worked in Germany, Great Britain, France and the USA, making sculptures and installations for public spaces in the aforementioned countries and in many others, such as Italy, Japan, Canada, Sweden and Thailand.

His work has been displayed in museums worldwide, including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, and the Museum of Modern Art, Helsinki. Moreover, he has received numerous Spanish and international awards like the prestigious Velázquez Award for the Arts in 2013.

In this instance, the invisible forms the essence of his intervention in the Palacio de Cristal: a group of steel mesh sculptures which take the space to draw the incomplete faces of figures hanging in the air, intersected by light and suspended in time.

Curated by João Fernandes, this project is in conjunction with a retrospective at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (MACBA) and features works stretching from the 1980s to the present day in a survey which reflects the dialogue, repeated across Plensa’s career, between the representation of the human figure and abstraction. (Source: Madrid Official Tourism Website)

OT: Beckmann. Exile Figures Temporary Exhibition

The National Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, with the collaboration of the Community of Madrid, presents the temporary exhibition Beckmann. Exile Figures, until 27 January 2019.

For additional information click here.

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Max Beckmann was born in Leipzig in 1884 and studied at the School of Fine Arts in Weimar. In 1904 he moved to Berlin, where he soon made a name for himself as one of the most outstanding artists of his generation. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 he volunteered for the Army as a medical orderly. In 1915 he was discharged from military service and settled in Frankfurt. During the immediate postwar period he resurfaced to become one of the main figures in the German art world of his time and was appointed as a professor at the prestigious Städelschule. After the arrival of the Nazi party in power he was expelled from his post and lived in a sort of inner exile in Berlin, under cover of the anonymity of the big city. In 1937 some of his best known pictures were included in the Degenerate Art exhibition, organized by the Nazis to stigmatize modern art. Beckmann felt threatened and left Germany to go an live in Amsterdam. Unfortunately the German Army invaded Holland in 1939 and the painter had to resign himself to living not only in exile but in semi-clandestinity. After the end of the war he settled in the United States. He died in New York in 1950. (Source: Exhibition program)

Max Beckmann at Wikipedia

Next in the Pipeline

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I’m currently reading Sarah Ward’s A Deadly Thaw (DC Childs #2).


Next, the following titles are waiting for me:

Slow Horses: (Jackson Lamb Thriller #1) by Mick Herron

Outsider in Amsterdam (Grijpstra & de Gier Mystery) (Amsterdam Cops) by Janwillem van de Wetering

Insidious Intent (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan #10) by Val McDermid

Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito

Downfall by Margot Kinberg

The Trespasser (Dublin Murder Squad #6) by Tana French

Herejes by Leonardo Padura

Paradime by Alan Glynn

A Fine Line (Guido Guerrieri #5) by Gianrico Carofiglio

Fever by Deon Meyer

Not an impossible task, but quite demanding giving my reading speed and the time available. I’m afraid the books TBR in my shelves or in my Wish List will have to wait.

My last acquisitions:

Greeks Bearing Gifts (Bernie Gunther #13) by Philip Kerr 

The Given Day (Coughlin #1) by Dennis Lehane

The Neon Rain (Dave Robicheaux, #1) by James Lee Burke

Coffin Road by Peter May

Vanish in an Instant by Margaret Miller

Three Weeks Dead (DI Hannah Robbins, #5) by Rebecca Bradley

On my wish list

Big Sister (Varg Veum) by Gunnar Staalesen, trans.: Don Bartlett

Friends and Traitors (Inspector Troy series) by John Lawton

The Gravediggers’ Bread by Frédéric Dard, trans.: Melanie Florence

Cold Breath (Gunnhildur Mystery Book 7) by Quentin Bates

London Rules (Jackson Lamb Thriller #5) by Mick Herron

The Pallampur Predicament (Superintendent Le Fanu Mystery Series #2) by Brian Stoddart

The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indridason, trans.: Victoria Cribb

On the Java Ridge by Jock Serong

Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard, trans.: Isobel Dixon

The Lost Man by Jane Harper 

The Seagull (Vera Stanhope Book 8) by Ann Cleeves

The Darkness (Hidden Iceland Book 1) by Ragnar Jónasson, trans.: Victoria Cribb

A Necessary Evil (Sam Wyndham Book 2) by Abir Mukherjee

Snap by Belinda Bauer

Watch Her Disappear (Zigic & Ferreira 4) by Eva Dolan

Gallows Court by Martin Edwards

Los casos del comisario Croce de Ricardo Piglia

The Cold Summer (Pietro Fenoglio Book 1) by Gianrico Carofiglio, trans.: Howard Curtis

Dark Sacred Night (Harry Bosch Series Book 21) by Michael Connelly

The Man Who Came Uptown by George Pelecanos

In a House of Lies (Inspector Rebus 22) by Ian Rankin

The Shadow Killer by Arnaldur Indridason, trans.: Victoria Cribb

Cuando sale la reclusa de Fred Vargas, tra.: Anne-Hélène Suárez Girard

La transparencia del tiempo (Serie Mario Conde) de Leonardo Padura

The Witch Elm by Tana French

The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri