One thought on “Maigret Mystified”

  1. The building’s officious concierge realizes that Monsieur Couchet is dead when she notices him behind his lighted frosted window not having moved for a long time. The image of Courbet as a shadow puppet lingers with Chief Inspector Jules Maigret for the length of the novel, and he begins to think of the investigation as shadow puppets in a drama, and readers will, too.Couchet has built a pharmaceutical empire, Doctor Rivière's Serums, and leaves a fortune. So who would want the affable, gener [...]

  2. Sometimes all you want is popcorn. I don't read Maigrets for the plots, I read them for the misery. The Shadow Puppet was first published in 1932 and is, as usual, comically bleak.It was sad. So sad that it almost made you want to give up on being a man, on living on this earth, even though the sun shines over it for several hours a day and there are real birds flying freely!Most of the characters are pathetic, grotesque. They seethe with petty resentment.The old woman before him had a malevolen [...]

  3. ToutSimenon:Raymond Couchet a été assassiné dans le bureau directorial, près du laboratoire de sa firme, au fond de la cour d'un immeuble situé place des Vosges. Une importante somme d'argent a été volée. 4* Pietr the Latvian (Maigret, #1)3* The Carter of 'La Providence' (Maigret, #2) 3* The Late Monsieur Gallet (Maigret, #3)4* The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (Maigret, #4) 3* A Man's Head (Maigret #5) 4* The Yellow Dog (Maigret #6) 4* The Night at the Crossroads (Maigret #7) 2* A Crime i [...]

  4. Georges Simenon's early Maigret mysteries are almost uniformly splendid. Maigret Mystified, originally L'ombre chinois, was published in 1932, side by side with a number of other great titles. The original French title means "Shadow play," and it was particularly appropriate considering the circumstances of the story. A murder takes place in a courtyard which contains apartments and a medical laboratory. Inspector Maigret concentrates his investigation on the residents of the courtyard, plus two [...]

  5. Lately I’ve learnt quite a lot from reading crime fiction of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Holly Roth has taught me a lot about psychological depth and the pacing of a storyline in particular - progression. Progression of a storyline is a very important thing for the reader. If the story is not progressing the reader will quickly lose interest. I recently abandoned a book after 100 pages. I scanned through another 100 pages and even from such a brief look I could see that the storyline was not p [...]

  6. This is a typical Maigret story. The Chief Inspector has not clear idea and allows the case to unfold before him through patient well structured questoning. It is through understanding people rather than forensic clues. As usual the more notorious less cultured characters appear in the best light; Maigret likes the victim for how he treats others and the most scorn is shown to the more previledged classes. However a crime has been committed and the policeman will not rest until the truth is expo [...]

  7. Maigret solves another squalid murder. The intertwined characters would be pitiable if only so many of them were not also morally corrupt, greedy, and spineless. There are two likable people. One is the victim and the other loses what little chance she had in life.It was sad. So sad it almost made you want to give up on being a man, on living on this earth even though the sun shines over it for several hours a day and there are real birds flying freely!

  8. لدي اهتمام متزايد بقراءة القصص البوليسية مؤخراً. خيال الظل، هذه القصة جيدة لكنها لم تعجبني كثيراً، أحداثها ليست مشوقة بالقدر الذي يثيرك حتى النهاية لمعرفة القاتل.

  9. My son gave me the first Simenon book when I went on a tour of France. He said that Simenon was one of the first great french mystery writers. And I just continue to read them. I guess it is that thing about once having started a series, I have the obsession to read the whole series. It must be that because I do not find that I am very much impressed with Maigret as a detective. His solutions to the crimes are always in his head and the read does not know what is going on. (At least, I never kno [...]

  10. The twelfth Maigret novel. A good'un. A cast restricted to the 28 inhabitants of an apartment block where a man is found shot. Complex relationships between first and second families, wives, mistresses, concierge, etc. Maigret persists in this claustrophobic atmosphere, and there is a stunning twist! Wonderful.

  11. Simenon non delude mai!Un racconto molto piacevole, che oltre al classico omicidio, coinvolge amanti, melodrammi in famiglia e i rapporti di buon/cattivo vicinato.Il tutto reso da uno stile semplice e diretto, che ben si addice al tono della storia.Bene, davvero!

  12. I have lately read som reviews of Maigret books. I remember the TV-series from when I was very young and I really liked them. The books never came my way though, and when I found one in a second hand shop, I quickly grabbed it.This mystery was first published in 1932. Although the writing is old, it does not feel old fashioned. I quite enjoyed the story and the way he was solving the crime.An industrialist, Raymond Couchet is shot dead in his office one evening. The office is situated in an apar [...]

  13. Apesar de se tratar, evidentemente, de um romance policial, não é possível o classificar como um "mistério". Os detalhes do crime não se revelam a partir da análise de evidências sólidas, como nas obras de Doyle, ou do raciocínio aguçado do protagonista, como nas de Agatha Christie, mas aparecem quase que naturalmente, através da própria narrativa. Assim, Maigret se torna pouco mais que um mero espectador dos dramas previsíveis e pouco originais dos personagens envolvidos na trama. [...]

  14. Not so much food or wine in this book almost none, in fact. Strange. Was Simenon nursing a terrible hangover at the time? I wonderI loved this otherwise-traditional Maigret adventure, though -- pensive, meditative, thoughtful, and mostly holding off from any investigation whatsoever -- but really hated the translation. So many sentences required two or three readings to unravel their awkward / confused translations. Favorite sentence, though: "He had a pasty complexion, red-rimmed eyes and soft [...]

  15. Good Old CrochetMaigret finds himself liking a murdered man that he never met while he looks for his murderer among 28 residents of what an American would call an apartment complex. This Simenon novel has especially strong character portraits of sad and nasty people.

  16. Another Maigret mysteryAs ever a fast read, this time Maigret has been drawn in to solve a murder of a man that has many suspects, with things to hide and multiple possible motives.

  17. The best thing about the Shadow Puppet is the storyline. The characters aren't all that great, but the plot is fascinating. An enjoyable one all in all

  18. There were some nice ideas here but it really felt like a sketch for a novel rather than a novel. For editions like this one penguin ought to bundle a couple of books together

  19. Il ritorno di Maigret a un’indagine completamente metropolitana segna l’aggiunta di un tocco di claustrofobia in più alle consuete tematiche dei sepolcri imbiancati, della borghesia bacata, delle vite bruciate dalla bramosia di denaro. Un piccolo imprenditore viene ucciso nel suo ufficio a Place de Vosges: il commissario scopre che ha una moglie, un’amante e un’ex-consorte che vive assieme a un secondo marito dalla debole personalità nello stesso stabile dove è sita l’azienda del de [...]

  20. "There is a type of smoking which is aggravating for the person watching the smoker: with each puff his lips part sensuously making a little 'puk" sound. And the smoke isn't puffed out in front, but escapes slowly and forms a cloud around the face. Maigret smoked like this and his head nodded from right to left and left to right to the rhythm of the train". - From "The Shadow Puppet""The Shadow Puppet" takes place in a particularly creepy setting. The apartments at 61 Place des Vosges are home t [...]

  21. I'm on a bit of Maigret binge at the moment. This one is brilliant, and the translation comes over nicely (not that I've read the original, but it doesn't seem too clunky as translations can sometimes be).It's a variation on the locked room mystery, as Couchet is found dead at his desk, and the concierge is convinced the murderer can only have been someone in the apartment block looming above the office.What I liked was the sense of place - I've been to Place des Vosges, so I could picture this [...]

  22. Another early Maigret story. (Simenon published ten in 1931, only six in 1932: he was obviously getting lazy.) The story is straightforward – there is a murder, Maigret investigates, Maigret identifies the murderer – but it is one of my favourites. There are a number of suspects, but Simenon’s no Agatha Christie, there aren’t red herrings and numerous clues pointing to different characters: there is basically only one clue, the window through which the murder could have been seen – whi [...]

  23. I think this is one of Simenon's better Maigret books. It has many of the typical features and characters that make the Maigret series so enjoyable. It all starts with the discovery of the body of Mr. Couchet seated in front of his empty safe in a building near the Place des Vosges. Maigret discovers that Mr.Couchet's business success had come after decades of ill-fated commercial ventures. He meets the three women in Mr. Couchet's life : his sour first wife who divorced him because of his earli [...]

  24. Maigret is in Paris - investigating the murder of a businessman, found shot and robbed. He has a colourful background. A frustrated first wife (divorced when he was still poor) who lives in a flat above his office, together with her hen pecked husband. A somewhat well-to-do second wife living off his business earnings. A son from the first marriage, drug addled and the lover of prostitutes. Plus a mistress - a music hall dancer, with whom there seems to be genuine affection. Throw in a courtyard [...]

  25. Il commissario Maigret si trova davanti ad un delitto: un uomo d'affari, ricco imprenditore, viene trovato assassinato nei suoi uffici. Indagando il commissario trova il testamento del defunto che divide il suo consistente patrimonio diviso tra tre donne: la sua prima moglie, la seconda mogle e l'attuale compagna. Suo figlio è estromesso dall'eredità, un ragazzo che è dedito alle droghe e nella vita non fa altro che vivere per drogarsi e chiedere soldi al padre.Uno di loro è l'assassino, ma [...]

  26. A short take:The story in this installment is more typical of the genre: a body, a limited suspect pool, some interviews and then the solution. If this had been the first Maigret I read, I might have wondered how the character continued in 70-odd other books.Then again: since I have read over dozen other entries from the series, I am very fond of Maigret and enjoyed watching him work through the case, especially in some of the interview scenes. As I read on, I feel like I'm experiencing the care [...]

  27. Stampato nel 1932, L'ombra cinese si rivela molto più piacevole del primo romanzo avente come protagonista Maigret, ovvero La prima inchiesta di Maigret.Questa volta il commissario deve occuparsi dell'assassinio di un uomo ucciso in un laboratorio che comunica con un palazzo.L'elemento più degno di nota è proprio il microcosmo costituito dalla palazzina, con una interessante galleria di personaggi: un ex-ambasciatore e la moglie; una vecchia pazza che urla non appena la sorella la lascia sola [...]

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