Some of Bev's Favorite Quotes...



Attention All Challengers! S0....life here on the Block has been, shall we say, challenging since I got back from vacation. I cam back to work to no computer (not hooked up after our office move) and my laptop at home has gone on strike. It looks like the Check-in Posts for the Just the Facts & Mount TBR challenges will wind up happening at the end of July instead of the regularly scheduled mid-point. But they are coming. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Maigret's Christmas: Review

Okay...so it really shouldn't take four days to read a book of short stories.  But Maigret's Christmas by Georges Simenon certainly needed the time.  It doesn't help that things get crazy around the holiday season--both at home and at work.  Goodreads is now gleefully telling me that I'm three books behind (like I don't know that I haven't been reading fast enough)...

That's a long-winded way of telling you all that I'm not going to spend a lot of time on most of my reviews for the rest of the year.  Read more or write up reviews....hmmm.  Think I better get reading so I can meet the last six challenges on the list.


So...Maigret's Christmas didn't really flow for me.  I enjoyed all of the stories save the last one ("Maigret in Retirement") well enough, but the collection just didn't knock my socks off.  The best ones were those that focused on children...from the little girl who is sure that she had a visit from Father Christmas to the choirboy who helps Maigret solve a murder to a father's son who is willing to track a villain through Paris to prove his father is NOT a murderer and to collect a large reward in the bargain.  I particularly enjoyed the last one.  The boy has been learning from the pulp detective stories he reads and uses police call boxes to mark his trail as he pursues the culprit.


Simenon is excellent at description and captures the atmosphere of Paris exactly.  He also gives us good psychological studies of his characters--both the pursuer and the pursued. Decent mysteries and clever solutions.  Three and a half stars.

5 comments:

David P. Simmons said...

I often suggest this collection to newcomers who want to sample Maigret. The stories may not be the best, but they are representative of the series. Curiously, the call box story, which I like the most, doesn't involve Maigret.

nigel.holmes said...

The call box story is used as an episode in the only episode of the old Maigret series I've ever seen. From looking round the internet it looks like it's "Seven Little Crosses" from 1962. If Maigret wasn't in the original, they must have added him to make the story fit the series.

Yvette said...

I'm sorry you didn't fall in love with this book, Bev. I must say, I loved it. It was my introduction to Maigret and I enjoyed the stories so much I went on to read some of the novels as well. It's usually on my list of good Christmas mystery reading.
Oh well, you know what Emerson said:
'No two people read the same book.' So true. So true. :)

Bev Hankins said...

Yvette: Three and a half stars is still pretty good--better than average. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I wanted to.

David P. Simmons said...

You’re right, Nigel. The full title of this short novel is “Sept petites croix dans un carnet.” It translates as “Seven Little Crosses in a Notebook.” It was written in 1950. The major cop is Saillard, who is a Maigret-like figure.