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Showing 1-10 of 13 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 17 reviews
on August 10, 2017
Not my most favorite Maigret as far as a mystery goes. It is not what you'd call a fast moving storyline. BUT in typical Simenon fashion, it is beautifully and descriptively written. I lost myself in this mid 1900' s seaside town in the summer time and looked forward to visiting it every time I opened the book! Depends on what you want in a book, but Simenon is always worth the read!
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on March 9, 2017
Inspector Maigret is an intriguing character and it is his character that brings one back to these novels.
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As I understand it the term "observer effect" stands for the proposition that the act of observing changes the act of the person or thing being observed. In Georges Simenon's "My Friend Maigret" we get a story in which "observer effect" is fully in play. The result is another good Simenon "Maigret" mystery.

"My Friend Maigret" open with the good Inspector Maigret going about his normal routine in Paris. Much to Maigret's chagrin he finds himself in the company of one Inspector Pyke of Scotland Yard who accepted an invitation from the chief of the Paris police to come to Paris to see the great Maigret at work. As luck would have it Maigret is advised that a murder has been committed in Porquerolles, an island of the coast of Provence in the south of France. This would normally not be of interest to the Paris police but on the night of the murder the victim (a small-time career criminal) had been heard bragging about his good friend Inspector Maigret. So Maigret finds himself getting on a train and ferry, with Inspector Pyke in tow, to the warm and sunny island to conduct an investigation.

The investigation/plot is pretty standard fare for detective mysteries. There is a murder and a small set of potential killers from a wide variety of backgrounds. What sets "My Friend Maigret" apart from the run of the mill story is the exotic location, Simenon's spare but arch writing, and Maigret's ongoing self-consciousness derived from being observed constantly by the quiet British observer.

All in all this was a pretty good story but far from being one of Simenon's best Maigret mysteries. Nonetheless, average Simenon remains a cut above the average for this genre. Fans of Simenon and Maigret should enjoy "My Friend Maigret". However, as someone who gladly prmotes Maigret at every opportunity, I don't think this would be a good introduction for a reader new to the Maigret mysteries. I think Lock 14 (Inspector Maigret Mysteries),Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard (Inspector Maigret), or Inspector Cadaver (Inspector Maigret Mysteries)would make for a better starting point for anyone interested in Maigret. Once Maigret has a chance to grow on you, "My Friend Maigret" will make for an enjoyable read. L.Fleisig
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on May 25, 2013
This is one of Maigtret's fish-out-of-water experiences--investigating a murder without his team on an island off the coast of the French Riviera. His coping with the weather and the locals add immeasurably to the mystery.
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on January 23, 2014
Another Maigret, this one set on a small island off the French coast, invoking its unique character and drawing razor-sharp portraits of the main characters. The identity of at least one of the guilty parties is clear about 2/3 through the book but it's fascinating to watch Inspector Maigret bait and set his traps.
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on March 29, 2014
fabulous fast read, really liked the story. the atmosphere is fantastic, and there is a surprise at the end. It is old-fashioned but good and not gruesome.
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on January 12, 2013
I have not read one of Simenon's books that I haven't enjoyed. You will soon find that Inspector Maigret is like an old friend who's company you enjoy a lot.
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on November 25, 2012
This was the 1st Maigret mystery book that I've read. It was well written and a page turner.He's a fascinating investigator.
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on November 6, 2013
The more I read this novel, the more it felt like an episode of the 1970s TV detective series 'Columbo', albeit with a Mediterranean flavor.

Inspector Maigret is prompted to leave Paris to take up the case of a small-time crook, who was murdered after boasting aloud at a crowded public establishment of his "friendship" with Maigret. So, in company with a French-speaking Scotland Yard detective (named Pike, who was visiting Maigret's jurisdiction from the UK to observe his counterpart's investigative methods), Maigret travels by train to a small Mediterranean island off the coast of Southern France, where the murder had taken place.

There are a number of suspects: a rich, old Englishwoman who lives on a yacht berthed in the harbor; her companion Philippe, a rather vain sort with an exaggerated sense of self-importance; Charlot, a conceited loudmouth who fancies himself a know-it-all; a young Dutch nihilist and painter not much given to talking; a retired British major living the expatriate life; Monsieur Emile, a rather mousy man who lives with a controlling mother; and Ginette, an aging prostitute and an old acquaintance of Maigret whom he had helped years ago escape from a dangerous relationship with the same thief, whose murder Maigret is now investigating.

The story unfolds in an almost leisurely fashion as if in keeping with the languid atmosphere of the island. This is a book best enjoyed in one's quiet hours with a drink (whichever one suits your tastes) or in bed with the overhead lamp alit.
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on November 7, 2010
This is Simenon at his most amazing. The book as a book is terrific. As a piece of writing, incomparable. Keith
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