Books

Maigret and the Headless Corpse

Georges Simenon (and others)

When a man's headless body is pulled from the Canal Saint Martin, Maigret and his colleagues are puzzled. In a chance encounter at a local cafe Maigret uncovers the truth behind this disturbing murder in an intriguing story of an estranged family, adulterous affairs and a secret inheritance.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.


'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.


'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

The Pitards

Georges Simenon

'Read him at your peril, avoid him at your loss' Sunday Times

Captain Lannec has finally managed to buy his own ship with the financial help of his in-laws, the Pitards - and they've never let him forget it. When his temperamental wife Mathilde insists on coming along on the ship's first voyage, Lannec becomes increasingly unnerved by her presence, especially when he receives an anonymous note saying he won't make it back to port. As they hit a storm in the Atlantic, jealousy, spite, snobbery and suspicion are churned up in the boat's stiflingly close quarters...

First published in 1935, The Pitards was one of the first novels Simenon wrote when he shelved his famous Maigret series in order to strike out in a new direction and make a name for himself as a literary writer rather than a creator of genre fiction. This gripping evocation of life at sea revolves around class and the tense unravelling of relationships, powerful themes that Simenon would return to throughout his writing career.

Maigret and the Minister

Georges Simenon (and others)

In book forty-six of the new Penguin Maigret series, Maigret finds himself drawn into an unsavoury world of political corruption, scandal and cover ups when he is summoned to a clandestine meeting by a desperate government minister one evening.

'Once alone in his office, he went over and opened the window as if being in charge of this case made him gasp for a breath of fresh air... It made him feel almost fond of the petty thieves, maniacs, swindlers and offenders of all kinds that he usually had to deal with.'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret and the Dead Girl

Georges Simenon (and others)

Maigret and his fellow inspector Lognon find themselves trying to out-manoeuver each other when they investigate the case of a mysterious young woman whose new life in Paris is tragically cut short.

Maigret wouldn't have admitted that what intrigued him most was the victim's face. All he had seen of it so far was one profile. Was it the bruises that gave her that sullen air? She looked like a bad-tempered little girl. Her combed-back brown hair was very smooth but naturally wavy. The rain had diluted her make-up a little and, instead of making her older or uglier, it made her younger and more appealing.


Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.


'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

Maigret Goes to School

Georges Simenon (and others)

When a school teacher from a small coastal town near La Rochelle asks Maigret to help prove he is innocent of murder, the Inspector returns with him to his insular community and finds the residents closing ranks to conceal the truth.

'What was he doing there? A hundred times, in the middle of an investigation, he'd had the same feeling of helplessness or, rather, futility. He would find himself abruptly plunged into the lives of people he had never met before, and his job was to discover their most intimate secrets. This time, as it happened, it wasn't even his job. He was the one who had chosen to come, because a teacher had waited for him for hours in the Purgatory at the Police Judiciaire.'


Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

Maigret's Mistake

Georges Simenon (and others)

In book forty-three Maigret's fascination with a charismatic brain surgeon nearly blinds him to the truth at the heart of a case involving a mysterious young woman in a luxury Paris apartment block.

'Maigret had questioned thousands, tens of thousands of people in the course of his career, some occupying important positions, others who were more famous for their wealth, and others still who were considered the most intelligent of international criminals.

Yet he attached an importance to this interrogation he had attached to no previous interrogation, and it wasn't Gouin's social position that overawed him, or his worldwide fame.'


Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

Maigret is Afraid

Georges Simenon (and others)

In book forty-two Maigret's impromptu visit to an old college friend draws him into a murky investigation in a small provincial town ruled by snobbery, fear and intimidation.

'This was natural. It is the same everywhere. Rarely, however, had Maigret had such a strong sense of a clique. In a small town like this, of course there are the worthies, who are few and who inevitably meet each other several times a day, even if it is only in the street.

Then there are the others, like those who stood huddled on the sidelines looking disgruntled.'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

Maigret and the Man on the Bench

Georges Simenon (and others)

When Maigret discovers an unexpectedly flamboyant detail about an otherwise unremarkable man, the inspector is determined to uncover what lies beneath the stuffy appearance of his Parisian household.

'He was wearing a dark suit, a beige raincoat and on his feet, which were twisted at an odd angle, he wore yellow-brown shoes, which seemed out of keeping with a day as colourless as this.
Apart from his shoes he looked so ordinary that he would have passed completely unnoticed on the street or on one of the numerous café terraces on the boulevard.'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret's Revolver

Georges Simenon (and others)

When Maigret's prized gun goes missing, he must travel to London on the trail of a troubled young man on the run...

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters

Georges Simenon (and others)

In book thirty-nine of the new Penguin Maigret, the Inspector learns that his hapless colleague Lognon is being menaced by some notorious American mobsters, and he makes it his mission to bring them to justice - despite threatening warnings that he is out of his depth.

'You're a good soul, inspector, and when you're up against the second-rate criminals you get here in Paris, you're a crack policeman. But this business isn't for you. These guys play rough and they may hurt you. Just drop it! What concern is it of yours, anyway?'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Inspector Maigret and the Killers.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret and the Tall Woman

Georges Simenon (and others)

A visit from the tall, thin woman he arrested many years ago - now married to a hapless burglar - leads Maigret on a tortuous investigation in which he struggles with a formidable suspect.

'When he had set them to work, Maigret had had a merry, almost fierce glint in his eye. He had set them loose on the house like a pack of hounds on the trail of a scent, encouraging them not with his voice, but by his whole attitude . . . would events have played out in the same manner, if the man from Rue de la Ferme hadn't been a heavyweight like him, both physically and psychologically?'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret and the Burglar's Wife.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret Takes a Room

Georges Simenon (and others)

When one of his best inspectors is shot, Maigret decides to book himself into Mademoiselle Clément's well-kept Paris boarding house nearby in order to find the culprit.

'What he thought he had discovered, in place of the joyful candour that she usually displayed, was an irony which was neither less cheerful nor less childish, but which troubled him ... He wondered now if his exultation wasn't down to the fact that she was playing a part, not just to deceive him, not just to hide something from him, but for the pleasure of acting a part'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By

Georges Simenon (and others)

A brilliant new translation of one of Simenon's best loved masterpieces.

'A certain furtive, almost shameful emotion ... disturbed him whenever he saw a train go by, a night train especially, its blinds drawn down on the mystery of its passengers'

Kees Popinga is a respectable Dutch citizen and family man. Then he discovers that his boss has bankrupted the shipping firm he works for - and something snaps. Kees used to watch the trains go by to exciting destinations. Now, on some dark impulse, he boards one at random, and begins a new life of recklessness and violence. This chilling portrayal of a man who breaks from society and goes on the run asks who we are, and what we are capable of.

'Classic Simenon ... extraordinary in its evocative power' Independent

'What emerges is the bare human animal' John Gray

'Read him at your peril, avoid him at your loss' Sunday Times

The Snow Was Dirty

Georges Simenon (and others)

A brilliant new translation of Simenon's critically acclaimed masterpiece.

'And always the dirty snow, the heaps of snow that look rotten, with black patches and embedded garbage ... unable to cover the filth.'

Nineteen-year-old Frank - thug, thief, son of a brothel owner - gets by surprisingly well despite living in a city under military occupation, but a warm house and a full stomach are not enough to make him feel truly alive in such a climate of deceit and betrayal. During a bleak, unending winter, he embarks on a string of violent and sordid crimes that set him on a path from which he can never return. Georges Simenon's matchless novel is a brutal, compelling portrayal of a world without pity; a devastating journey through a psychological no-man's land.

'Among the best novels of the twentieth century' New Yorker

'An astonishing work' John Banville

'So noir it makes Raymond Chandler look beige' Independent

The Hand

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of George Simenon's taut, devastating psychological novel set in American suburbia. The inspiration for the new play by award-winning playwright David Hare.

'I had begun, God knows why, tearing a corner off of everyday truth, begun seeing myself in another kind of mirror, and now the whole of the old, more or less comfortable truth was falling to pieces'

Confident and successful, New York advertising executive Ray Sanders takes what he wants from life. When he goes missing in a snow storm in Connecticut one evening, his closest friend begins to reassess his loyalties, gambling Ray's fate and his own future.

'The romans durs are extraordinary: tough, bleak, offhandedly violent, suffused with guilt and bitterness, redolent of place . . . utterly unsentimental, frightening in the pitilessness of their gaze, yet wonderfully entertaining' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independen

Maigret at Picratt's

Georges Simenon (and others)

A young cabaret dancer in a black silk dress leads Maigret into a seamy world of nightclubs, drug addiction and exploitation on the streets of Montmartre.

'He opened the door for her and watched her walk away down the huge corridor, then hesitate at the top of the stairs. Heads turned as she passed. You sensed she came from a different world, the world of the night, and there was something almost indecent about her in the harsh light of a winter's day'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret and the Strangled Stripper and Maigret in Montmartre.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret's Memoirs

Georges Simenon (and others)

Maigret sets the record straight and tells the story of his own life, giving a rare glimpse into the mind of the great inspector - and the writer who would immortalise him.

I can still see Simenon coming into my office the next day, pleased with himself, displaying even more self-confidence, if possible, than before, but nevertheless with a touch of anxiety in his eyes ... He trumpeted these last words as if they were a sensational discovery. 'Making it seem truer than life, that's the crux of it. Well, I've made you truer than life.'

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Madame Maigret's Friend

Georges Simenon (and others)

Madame Maigret takes the lead in a disturbing investigation in this new translation, book thirty-three of the new Penguin Maigret series.

When he got to his door, he was surprised not to hear any noise in the kitchen and not to smell any food. He went in, crossed the dining room, where the table had not been laid, and at last saw Madame Maigret, in her slip, busy taking off her stockings. This was so unlike her that he could find nothing to say, and when she saw him standing there wide-eyed, she burst out laughing.

Inspector Maigret's wife turns sleuth after a strange encounter in a Paris square leads her on the trail of a woman in a white hat, and towards a grisly tale of deception and greed.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret and the Old Lady

Georges Simenon (and others)

Maigret uncovers some troubling family politics in this new translation, book thirty-three of the new Penguin Maigret series.

'He had realized that it was her eyes as much as her vivacity that made her look so young. They were of a blue that was paler than the September sky over the sea and still had an expression of surprise, of wonderment'

When a charming elderly widow appeals to him for help, Inspector Maigret travels to a seaside village in Normandy - uncovering a lost fortune and some poisonous family politics.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Maigret at the Coroner's

Georges Simenon (and others)

Maigret grapples with the American justice system on a trip to Arizona in this new translation, book thirty-two of the new Penguin Maigret series.

The FBI man was convinced, in short, that Maigret was a big shot in his own country but that here, in the United States, he was incapable of figuring out anything . . .well, Maigret happened to believe that men and their passions are the same everywhere.

Maigret is touring the United States to observe American policing methods, when a visit to a coroner's inquest in Arizona draws him into the tragic story of a young woman and five airmen in the desert.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations.

'His artistry is supreme' John Banville

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

Georges Simenon

Biography

Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. He is best know in Britain as the author of the Maigret novels and his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.