Maigret and the Idle Burglar
Set against a high-profile hunt for the latest criminal gang to hit Paris, Maigret is determined to track down the murderer of a quiet crook of the old school, for whom he cannot help feeling affection and respect. In Maigret's careful recreation of the life of this gentle and eccentric burglar, Simenon beautifully depicts Maigret's insight, compassion, and melancholic nostalgia.
My Friend Maigret
Maigret is going about his work in rainy Paris, followed around by Inspector Pyke who has come from Scotland Yard to study the famous French detective's methods. Routine is disturbed when Maigret receives a telephone call from the island of Porquerolles off the Mediterranean coast. A small-time crook has been murdered, the night after he had fervently declared his friendship with Maigret in front of a large group of the island's inhabitants. Maigret and Inspector Pyke leave the greyness of Paris for the sunshine of Porquerolles where Simenon creates a wonderfully evocative atmosphere of the square and café, the brilliant sea, the humidity in the air and the life and individuality of each of the inhabitants on the small island.
The Yellow Dog
The small French town of Concarneau is a summer resort. In winter it becomes the deserted, rainswept scene for a series of murder attempts that attract the interest of Maigret. While his assistant Leroy uses "science" and "deductions" to trace the murderer, Maigret's instincts unerringly guide him to the real killer past a labyrinth of fascinating characters: a paranoid failed medical doctor turned real-estate shark; a passive, working class waitress whose heart secretly burns a torch of passion; an aristocratic politician who pressures Maigret to "make some arrests"; and a snarling stray dog that knows the murderer's real identity.
The Bar on the Seine
Simenon wrote over 50 novels in the Maigret series, each providing the world-weary, pipe-smoking detective with an interesting murder which he solves with an unusual method of investigation, relying on experience, intuition and ruthlessness. Simenon writes in a terse French, skillfully using few words to describe things seen or felt. He is a matchless writer about France - both the France loved by tourists and its seamy, brutal underside. THE BAR ON THE SEINE is a classic example of his art.
The Man who Watched the Trains go By
Of Simenon's many novels, certain titles stand out as classics. This terrifying reconstruction of a madman's mind is one of them. Known in the little Dutch town of Groningen as a respectable family man, Kees Popinga is the managing clerk of a reputed shipping firm. But when the company collapses under dubious circumstances just before Christmas, taking all his money with it, something snaps in Popinga's mind. From the shell of this model citizen emerges a calculating paranoiac, capable of random acts of violence - even murder. The fugitive Popinga makes his way to Paris, playing a bizarre game of cat and mouse with the police - determined to force a hostile world to recognize his newfound criminal genius ...In The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By, Simenon created a compelling portrait of a man pushed too far, vividly reconstructing the effect on a mind in the spiralling grip of madness.