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Lock 14 (Inspector Maigret Mysteries) Paperback – July 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Maigret Mysteries
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143037277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143037279
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Maigret ranks with Holmes and Poirot in the pantheon of fictional detective immortals. -- People

[Simenon was] a writer who, more than any other crime novelist, combined a high literary reputation with popular appeal. -- P. D. James

About the Author

Georges Simenon (1903–1989) began work as a reporter for a local newspaper at the age of sixteen, and at nineteen he moved to Paris to embark on a career as a novelist. He went on to write seventy-five Maigret novels and twenty-eight Maigret short stories.


Robert Baldick translated many volumes from the French for Penguin Classics, including volumes by Diderot, Flaubert, and Verne, and wrote a biography of Huysmans. He died in 1972.


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Customer Reviews

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Amazing how this stands the test of time.
Lisa KB
Very engaging, a good story that was not predictable, and the detective, Maigret, was a very believable detective, with good old fashion sleuthing skills.
M. Smith
This is an excellent Maigret, with an ultimately likeable cast of sots and sinners.
Patto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By book yeti on April 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Acclaimed author, Georges Simenon, once again weaves a capturing tale of mystery and suspense, with the astute Inspector Maigret at the wheel. A series numbering over 100 books, the Inspector Maigret series - after a long stint of unavailability - has, thankfully, been reintroduced by Penguin Books to readers hankering for good mysteries. With an intriguing plot and a cast of believable characters, Lock 14, set early on in the Maigret series), is a swift but gratifying read.

Brusquer and less loquacious than Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, Inspector Maigret is all business as he takes on a new case that is sure to perplex even the most skilled of sleuths.

Set in France, in the region of a lock located on a busy section of canal, Lock 14, recounts the underhanded goings-on along these extensive waterways. With commercial barge interchange in the lock, coupled with high-class yachts and tourist boats, which were often gathered in close proximity, the result was an aquatic melding pot of working class and "upper crust" societies.

The varying degrees of society in the vicinity of Lock 14 have apparently collided, on a rainy April day, when two dockmen stumble upon the cadaver of elegantly-clad Mary Lampson while rummaging under the hay in a stable; 5 hours dead from apparent strangulation. Inspector Maigret is called to piece things together. First to be interviewed is the dead woman's husband, Sir Walter Lampson, an Englishman and retired colonel of the Indian Army, whose pleasure craft is docked near Lock 14. The Inspectors sharp instincts are alerted when Lampson, along with fellow passengers of his yacht - who seem only bent on a life devoted to decadence - appear oddly aloof and indifferent to the murder.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig VINE VOICE on October 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Georges Simenon is the author of over 100 Inspect Maigret mystery stories. They were immensely popular in the 1930s through the 1960s but seem to have fallen out of view in the last few decades. Penguin Books has begun to reissue some of those mysteries. They are all fun books to read and Simenon's "Lock 14" is no exception.

Originally published in 1931, Lock 14 is set in a canal in France at a time when commercial barge traffic was a primary means of transporting cargo. The canals were filled with a mix of commercial and tourist traffic which effectively created a mix of upper and working class personalities. Lock 14 begins, as most such mysteries do, with a dead body. A young woman is found dead in a pile of muck, murdered in a stable near Lock 14. She was from a party of seemingly wealthy tourists leading a `debauched' life on the river. Inspector Maigret is called to the scene. He must sort through the muck and find the killer. There are many suspects and more murders soon follow. The rest of the book is devoted to Maigret's attempt to sort out the facts from fiction and find the killer. To reveal any more would spoil the plot.

Simenon's Inspector Maigret mysteries are often compared to Christie's Hercule Poirot mysteries. There are many resemblances to be sure. Both follow typical `plot guidelines' for detective stories; they involve numerous suspects and a conflict between the intelligent observations of the hero and the less astute detective work of the local constabulary. There are some major differences however worth noting. The chief differences seem to me to be Simenon's darker touch and his more diverse selection of `characters'.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Sollami on March 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This, my second foray into the works of Simenon, yielded the same satisfying read as the first. Written when Simenon was 28 years old, "Lock 14" sketches shady doings and murder along the extensive barge system in France, where dozens of ships of all sizes and shades pass all day and much of the night in all kinds of weather. What impresses me so much here is Simenon's skillful writing which, with precise strokes, draws exact pictures of scene after interesting scene. All the senses are tapped to give the reader a feeling of the atmosphere, while standing outside the action is Inspector Maigret, absorbing each bit of information into his keen and ever-active mind.

The story line is clever. I had no idea what to make of the first elegant body found in a filthy stable under a bundle of straw. And, in 1931 when this work was written, Simenon did not spare us a host of self-indulgent and jaded characters whose pursuit of pleasure was their main preoccupation. Simenon seems to have an existentialist's outlook. He takes what life gives him and, without judgment, returns it to us as the state of how things are. Here he is on women, "Charming creatures, whose first impulse is always good...They are full of good intentions...The trouble is that life, with its acts of cowardice, its compromises, its insistent needs, is stronger...." I think this is how he felt about all of us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Smith on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was the first Georges Simenon book I have read. French friends of mine had been telling me that I had to try some of his mysteries, so I randomly picked this one. It was a great read. Very engaging, a good story that was not predictable, and the detective, Maigret, was a very believable detective, with good old fashion sleuthing skills. It is a short book, and a really nice one to curl up with a snowy or rainy afternoon.
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