Coming soon… Reprint of the Year Awards


book-awardKate Jackson on her blog crossexaminingcrime.com has decided this year, with the help of a few blogging buddies and her dear readers of course, to set up an award to pick out the very best of vintage mysteries reprinted this year.

My contribution to her idea can’t be other but a mention to the Maigret mysteries reprinted this year by Penguin in new translations.

The titles are:

  1. Maigret Travels. (tr. Howard Curtis) 176 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (51) Penguin Books. London. Original title Maigret voyage (Presses de la Cité, 1958)
  2. Maigret’s Doubts. (tr. Shaun Whiteside) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (52) Penguin Books. London.  Original title Les Scrupules de Maigret (Presses de la Cité, 1958)
  3. Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses. (tr. William Hobson) 176 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (53) Penguin. London.  Original title Maigret et les témoins récalcitrant (Presses de la Cité, 1959)
  4. Maigret’s Secret. (tr. David Watson) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (54) Penguin Books. London. Original title Une confidence de Maigret (Presses de la Cité, 1959)
  5. Maigret in Court. (tr. Ros Schwartz) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (55) Penguin Books. London. Original title Maigret aux assises (Presses de la Cité, 1960)
  6. Maigret and the Old People. (tr. Shaun Whiteside) 176 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (56) Penguin Books. London. Original title Maigret et les vieillards (Presses de la Cité, 1960)
  7. Maigret and the Lazy Burglar. (tr. Howard Curtis) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (57) Penguin Books. London.Original title Maigret et le voleur paresseux (Presses de la Cité, 1961)
  8. Maigret and the Good People of Montparnasse. (tr. Ros Schwartz) 160 pages.Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (58) Penguin Books. London.  Original title Maigret et les braves gens (Presses de la Cité, 1962)
  9. Maigret and the Saturday Caller. (tr. Sian Reynolds) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (59) Penguin. London. Original title Maigret et le client du samedi (Presses de la Cité, 1962)
  10. Maigret and the Tramp. (tr. Howard Curtis) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (60) Penguin Books. London. Original title Maigret et le clochard  (Presses de la Cité, 1963)
  11. Maigret’s Anger. (tr. William Hobson) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (61) Penguin Books. London. Original title La Colère de Maigret (Presses de la Cité, 1963)
  12. Maigret and the Ghost. (tr. Ros Schwartz) 160 pages. Penguin Classics – Inspector Maigret (62) Penguin Books. London. Original title Maigret et le fantôme (Presses de la Cité, 1964)

Murielle Wenger and Stephen Trussel on Maigret’s World: A Reader’s Companion to Simenon’s Famous Detective write about this time period as follows:

Maigret tend un piège (1955) is the first written by Simenon after his definitive return to Europe, and it inaugurates in a way a “turning point” in his character’s career, in the sense that the Chief Inspector’s investigations will tend more an more to approach the author’s questions with regard to Man, his responsibility and fate, and the legitimacy of the judiciary and the police machine. The titles of the upcoming novels reflect well this evolution: Un échec de Maigret (1956), Les Scrupules de Maigret (1958) and Maigret hésite (1968). After two novels with a little “lighter” (a lightness also felt in the titles Maigret s’amuse (1956) and then Maigret voyage (1958), the first written on Swiss soil, at Echandes, and in which the author “amuses himself” by leading his character from one corner of France to another, and to Switzerland, as he himself has just done) Les Scrupules de Maigret (1957) is not only a novel where the Chief Inspector ask himself questions about the responsibility of criminals, and of Man in general, but it’s also atypical in the sense that the investigation the Chief Inspector leads is made before the crime rather than after. The following novels will reflect anew all these questions: the effects of aging (Maigret et les témoins récalcitrant 1958), the position of Man in the face of the judiciary Une confidence de Maigret and Maigret aux assises, both 1959). Themes we will see taken up again, supplemented by others, in the novels of the last part of the saga, like the deepening relationship between Maigret and his wife, the refined culinary tastes of the Chief Inspector, and the reminiscence of his childhood. And sometimes Simenon, wanting to treat a theme in a “psychological novel,” doesn’t do so, and uses his Chief Inspector to accomplish his project (as is the case of Maigret et les vieillards, written in 1960). More and more, Maigret novels and “non-Maigret novels” get closer to each other in their themes and approaches.

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3 thoughts on “Coming soon… Reprint of the Year Awards

    1. I presume you refer to this period. My favourites so far will be Maigret’s Doubts and Maigret and the Old People and I have also enjoyed very much Maigret’s Anger, Kate. Thanks

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