There was a moment, between Quai des Orfevres and Pont Marie, when Maigret paused, so briefly that Lapointe, who was walking beside him, paid no attention.
Happy Bastille Day! Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!
Picking up a Maigret is like falling into a soft, cosy blanket with a tray of strong cheeses, biscuits and a robust red wine to hand. Comforting and sustaining at the same time!
Maigret and the Tramp is book 60 of 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring the French detective, Jules Maigret.
A tramp known as ‘the Doc’, is beaten over the head, tossed into the Seine and left for dead. He is fished out and saved just in time, though, by two nearby bargees.
This case brings Maigret back into the area of Paris, around Pont Marie, that was his early policing beat. He is overcome by memories and a sense of nostalgia throughout this case. Maigret is mellowing with age, or perhaps it’s the ‘limpid’ spring days that cause him to approach this case rather differently than usual.
Madame Maigret is usually the last to know about the cases that her famous husband is working on. This time, though, he accepts her help and confides in her about its progress. Maybe it’s because the tramp did not die, a victimless crime, in Maigret’s eyes. The media was not interested either. It was like a criminal investigation without a criminal. For Maigret, this case almost felt like a holiday.
It is a damn fine thing that Penguin has done, bringing all the Maigret’s back to life, with new covers and translations. With only seven under my belt, to date, I have years of Maigret pleasure ahead of me. Most of the books come in at around the 150 page mark, making them novellas really. It also means you can read them in one or two sittings very easily. Perfect for rainy days and lockdowns.
It’s hard to know what’s true from what’s more or less true. Not that she lies. She arranges the truth to make it the way she’d like it to be.
Paris in the spring time!
Favourite of Forget:
All the Maigret’s are completely forgettable. The storylines blur into one. But Maigret, and his ever patient and understanding wife, are now part of my fictional family. I may only catch up with them once a year, but we immediately fall back into a familiar, caring relationship.
- 23. Signe Picpus (1944)
- 30. Maigret’s First Case (1948)
- A Maigret Christmas (1951) | short stories
- 43. Maigret’s Mistake (1953)
- 44. Maigret Goes to School (1953)
- 46. Maigret and the Minister (1955)
- 60. Maigret and the Tramp (1962)
- 61. Maigret’s Anger (1962)
- 62. Maigret and the Ghost (1963)
- 70. Maigret and the Killer (1969)
Book 9 of 20 Books of
Summer Winter and Book 1 of Paris in July.
Book: Maigret and the Tramp #60 Alternate Titles: Maigret and the Dosser, Maigret and the Bum, Maigret et le clochard Author: Georges Simenon Translator: Howard Curtis ISBN: 9780241303993 Published: 15 October 2018 (originally published 1962) Publisher: Penguin Classics Format: Paperback
- This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.