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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

1. Pietr the Latvian

Georges Simenon (and others)

The first novel which appeared in Georges Simenon's famous Maigret series, in a gripping new translation by David Bellos.

Inevitably Maigret was a hostile presence in the Majestic. He constituted a kind of foreign body that the hotel's atmosphere could not assimilate.
Not that he looked like a cartoon policeman. He didn't have a moustache and he didn't wear heavy boots. His clothes were well cut and made of fairly light worsted. He shaved every day and looked after his hands.
But his frame was proletarian. He was a big, bony man. His firm muscles filled out his jacket and quickly pulled all his trousers out of shape.
He had a way of imposing himself just by standing there. His assertive presence had often irked many of his own colleagues.

In Simenon's first novel featuring Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces the true identity of Pietr the Latvian.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as The Case of Peter the Lett and Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

2. The Late Monsieur Gallet

Georges Simenon (and others)

The second book in the new Penguin Maigret series: Georges Simenon's devastating tale of misfortune, betrayal and the weakness of family ties, in a new translation by Anthea Bell.

Instead of the detail filling itself in and becoming clearer, it seemed to escape him. The face of the man in the ill-fitting coat just misted up so that it hardly looked human. In theory this mental portrait was good enough, but now it was replaced by fleeting images which should have added up to one and the same man but which refused to get themselves into focus.

The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet's death all seem fake: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family's grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret Stonewalled and The Death of Monsieur Gallet.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

3. The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien

Georges Simenon (and others)

The third book in the new Penguin Maigret series: Georges Simenon's haunting tale about the lengths to which people will go to escape from guilt, in a compelling new translation by Linda Coverdale.

A first ink drawing showed a hanged man swinging from a gallows on which perched an enormous crow. And there were at least twenty other etchings and pen or pencil sketches that had the same leitmotif of hanging.
On the edge of a forest: a man hanging from every branch.
A church steeple: beneath the weathercock, a human body dangling from each arm of the cross. . . Below another sketch were written four lines from François Villon's Ballade of the Hanged Men.

On a trip to Brussels, Maigret unwittingly causes a man's suicide, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to shoot himself.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets and The Crime of Inspector Maigret.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

4. The Carter of 'La Providence'

Georges Simenon (and others)

The fourth book in the new Penguin Maigret series: Georges Simenon's tragic tale of lost identity, in a gripping new translation by David Coward.

What was the woman doing here? In a stable, wearing pearl earrings, her stylish bracelet and white buckskin shoes! She must have been alive when she got there because the crime had been committed after ten in the evening.
But how? And why? And no one had heard a thing! She had not screamed. The two carters had not woken up.

Inspector Maigret is standing in the pouring rain by a canal. A well-dressed woman, Mary Lampson, has been found strangled in a stable nearby. Why did her glamorous, hedonistic life come to such a brutal end here? Surely her taciturn husband Sir Walter knows - or maybe the answers lie with the crew of the barge La Providence.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Lock 14 and Maigret Meets a Milord.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

5. The Yellow Dog

Georges Simenon (and others)

The fifth book in the new Penguin Maigret series: Georges Simenon's gripping tale of small town suspicion and revenge, in Linda Asher's timeless translation.

There was an exaggerated humility about her. Her cowed eyes, her way of gliding noiselessly about without bumping into things, of quivering nervously at the slight­est word, were the very image of a scullery maid accustomed to hardship. And yet he sensed, beneath that image, glints of pride held firmly in check. She was anaemic. Her flat chest was not formed to rouse desire. Nevertheless, she was strangely appealing, perhaps because she seemed troubled, despondent, sickly.

In the windswept seaside town of Concarneau, a local wine merchant is shot. In fact, someone is out to kill all the influential men and the entire town is soon sent into a state of panic. For Maigret, the answers lie with the pale, downtrodden waitress Emma, and a strange yellow dog lurking in the shadows...

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as A Face for a Clue.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

6. Night at the Crossroads

Georges Simenon (and others)

NOW A MAJOR ITV DRAMA

A new translation of Georges Simenon's sensational tale of deceit and back-stabbing in an isolated community, book six in the new Penguin Maigret series.

'She came forward, the outlines of her figure blurred in the half-light. She came forward like a film star, or rather like the ideal woman in an adolescent's dream. 'I gather you wish to talk to me, Inspector . . . but first of all please sit down . . .' Her accent was more pronounced than Carl's. Her voice sang, dropping on the last syllable of the longer words.'

Maigret has been interrogating Carl Andersen for seventeen hours without a confession. He's either innocent or a very good liar. So why was the body of a diamond merchant found at his isolated mansion? Why is his sister always shut away in her room? And why does everyone at Three Widows Crossroads have something to hide?

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret at the Crossroads and The Crossroad Murders.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

7. A Crime in Holland

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Georges Simenon's novel set in a tranquil town on the dutch coast, book seven in the new Penguin Maigret series.

'Just take a look,' Duclos said in an undertone, pointing to the scene all round them, the picture-book town, with everything in its place, like ornaments on the mantlepiece of a careful housewife . . . 'Everyone here earns his living. Everyone's more or less content. And above all, everyone keeps his instincts under control, because that's the rule here, and a necessity if people want to live in society'

When a French professor visiting the quiet, Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they're letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer, Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased and a notorious local crook.

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

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

8. The Grand Banks Café

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Georges Simenon's gripping novel set in an insular fishing community, book eight in the new Penguin Maigret series.

It was indeed a photograph, a picture of a woman. But the face was completely hidden, scribbled all over in red ink. Someone had tried to obliterate the head, someone very angry. The pen had bitten into the paper. There were so many criss-crossed lines that not a single square millimetre had been left visible.

On the other hand, below the head, the torso had not been touched. A pair of large breasts. A light-coloured silk dress, very tight and very low cut.

Sailors don't talk much to other men, especially not to policemen. But after Captain Fallut's body is found floating near his trawler, they all mention the Evil Eye when they speak of the Ocean's voyage.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as The Sailors' Rendezvous.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

9. A Man's Head

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Georges Simenon's atmospheric novel set in the bustling streets of Paris, book nine in the new Penguin Maigret series.

Slowly the Czech was becoming animated, but in a muted way, so typical of the man. Maigret now noticed his hands, which were long, surprisingly white and dotted with freckles. They seemed to reach out and take part in the conversation.
'Let's be clear that it's not your professionalism which I question. If you understand nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, it's because from the very start you've been working with facts which had been falsified.'

Maigret sets out to prove the innocence of a man condemned to death for a brutal murder. As his audacious plan to uncover the truth unfolds, he encounters rich American expatriates, some truly dangerous characters and their hidden motives.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret's War of Nerves and A Battle of Nerves.

'Maigret emerges as a master of intuition and imagination, who moves in a world rendered intensely real in Simenon's incomparable prose' Christopher Hirst, Independent

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

10. The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin

Georges Simenon (and others)

The city of Simenon's youth comes to life in this new translation of this disturbing novel set in Liège, book ten in the new Penguin Maigret series.

In the darkness, the main room is as vast as a cathedral. A great empty space. Some warmth is still seeps from the radiators. Delfosse strikes a match. They stop a moment to catch their breath, and work out how far they have still to go. And suddenly the match falls to the ground, as Delfosse gives a sharp cry and rushes back towards the washroom door. In the dark, he loses his way, returns and bumps into Chabot.

Maigret observes from a distance as two boys are accused of killing a rich foreigner in Liège. Their loyalty, which binds them together through their adventures, is put to the test, and seemingly irrelevant social differences threaten their friendship and their freedom.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret at the "Gai-Moulin".

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

11. The Two-Penny Bar

Georges Simenon (and others)

Previously published as The Bar on the Seine

A forgotten crime comes to light in the Parisian summer in Georges Simenon's twisted tale. Book eleven in the new Penguin Maigret series.

'A radiant late afternoon. The sunshine almost as thick as syrup in the quiet streets of the Left Bank . . .
there are days like this, when ordinary life seems heightened, when the people walking down the street, the
trams and cars all seem to exist in a fairy tale.'

A story told by a condemned man leads Maigret to a bar by the Seine and into the sleazy underside of respectable Parisian life. In the oppressive heat of summer, a forgotten crime comes to light.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel is a revised translation, previously published as The Bar on the Seine.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

12. The Shadow Puppet

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of this gripping domestic tragedy, set in Simenon's very own neighbourhood. Book twelve in the new Penguin Maigret series.

One by one the lighted windows went dark. The silhouette of the dead man could still be seen through the frosted glass like a Chinese shadow puppet. A taxi pulled up. It wasn't the public prosecutor yet. A young woman crossed the courtyard with hurried steps, leaving a whiff of perfume in her wake.

Summoned to the dimly-lit Place des Vosges one night, where he sees shadowy figures at apartment windows, Maigret uncovers a tragic story of desperate lives, unhappy families, addiction and a terrible, fatal greed.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret Mystified and The Shadow in the Courtyard.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

13. The Saint-Fiacre Affair

Georges Simenon (and others)

Maigret's past comes to life in this vivid new translation of this evocative novel, set in the Inspector's home town. Book thirteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

Maigret savoured the sensations of his youth again: the cold, stinging eyes, frozen fingertips, an aftertaste of coffee. Then, stepping inside the church, a blast of heat, soft light; the smell of candles and incense.

The last time Maigret went home to the village of his birth was for his father's funeral. Now an anonymous note predicting a crime during All Souls' Day mass draws him back there, where troubling memories resurface and hidden vices are revealed.

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

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

14. The Flemish House

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of this chilling novel, set on the Belgian border. Book fourteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

She wasn't an ordinary supplicant. She didn't lower her eyes. There was nothing humble about her bearing. She spoke frankly, looking straight ahead, as if to claim what was rightfully hers.

'If you don't agree to look at our case, my parents and I will be lost, and it will be the most hateful legal error...'

Maigret is asked to the windswept, rainy border town of Givet by a young woman desperate to clear her family of murder. But their well-kept shop, the sleepy community and its raging river all hide their own mysteries.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as The Flemish Shop.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

15. The Madman of Bergerac

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Simenon's tense novel, book fifteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

He recalled his travelling companion's agitated sleep - was it really sleep? - his sighs, and his sobbing. Then the two dangling legs, the patent-leather shoes and hand-knitted socks . . . An insipid face. Glazed eyes. And Maigret was not surprised to see a grey beard eating into his cheeks.

A distressed passenger leaps off a night train and vanishes into the woods. Maigret, on his way to a well-earned break in the Dordogne, is soon plunged into the pursuit of a madman, hiding amongst the seemingly respectable citizens of Bergerac.

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

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

16. The Misty Harbour

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Georges Simenon's gripping tale of lost identity. Book sixteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

A man picked up for wandering in obvious distress among the cars and buses on the Grands Boulevards. Questioned in French, he remains mute . . . A madman? In Maigret's office, he is searched. His suit is new, his underwear is new, his shoes are new. All identifying labels have been removed. No identification papers. No wallet. Five crisp thousand-franc bills have been slipped into one of his pockets.

A distressed man is found wandering the streets of Paris, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. The answers lead Maigret to a small harbour town, whose quiet citizens conceal a poisonous malice.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Death of a Harbour Master.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

17. Liberty Bar

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Georges Simenon's devastating novel set on the French Riviera, book seventeen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

It had a smell of holidays. The previous evening, in Cannes harbour, with the setting sun, had also had the smell of holidays, especially the Ardena, whose owner swaggered in front of two girls with gorgeous figures..

Dazzled at first by the glamour of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Riviera as he retraces the final steps of a local eccentric.

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

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

18. Lock No. 1

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of Georges Simenon's novel set in claustraphobic provincial town, book eighteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

Cars drove past along with the trucks and trams, but by now Maigret had realised that they were not important. Whatever roared by like this along the road was not part of the landscape. ... What really counted was the lock, the hooting of the tugs, the stone crusher, the barges and the cranes, the two pilots' bars and especially the tall house where he could make out Ducrau's red chair framed by a window.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as The Lock at Charenton.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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

19. Maigret

Georges Simenon (and others)

A new translation of this gripping novel which sees the inspector brought out of his peaceful retirement, book nineteen in the new Penguin Maigret series.

Maigret shrugged his shoulders, buried his hands in his pockets and went off without answering. He had just spent one of the most wretched days in his life. For hours, in his corner he had felt old and feeble, without idea or incentive. But now a tiny flame flickered. 'You bet we'll see' he growled.

Maigret's peaceful retirement in the countryside is disrupted when a relative unwittingly embroils himself in a crime he did not commit and the inspector returns to Police Headquarters in Paris once again.

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

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'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