The first annual omnibus edition in the new Penguin Inspector Maigret series, comprising four titles from the series so far: Pietr the Latvian, The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, The Carter of La Providence and The Grand Banks Cafe. Additional material includes the original French first edition covers, art directed by Georges Simenon himself.
Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels.
'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.' - The Guardian
'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness.' - The Independent
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
GEORGES SIMENON (1903–1989) was born in Liège, Belgium. Best known in the English-speaking world as the author of the Inspector Maigret books, his prolific output of more than four hundred novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
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New York, New York 10014
Copyright © Pietr the Latvian first published, in serial, as Pieter-le-Letton, in Ric et Rac 1930
This translation first published in Penguin Classics 2013
The Carter of La Providence first published as Le Charretier de la Providence by Fayard 1931
This translation first published in Penguin Classics 2014
The Grand Banks Café first published as Au Rendez-Vous des Terre-Neuvas by Fayard 1931
This translation first published in Penguin Classics 2014
The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien first published as Le Pendue de Saint-Pholien by Fayard 1931
This translation first published in Penguin Classics 2014
Copyright 1930, 1931 by Georges Simenon Limited
Translation of Pietr the Latvian copyright © 2013 by David Bellos
Translation of The Carter of La Providence and The Grand Banks Café © 2014 by David Coward
Translation of The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien © 2014 by Linda Coverdale
GEORGES SIMENON © Simenon.tm
MAIGRET © Georges Simenon Limited
Cover photographs © Harry Gruyaert
Front cover design © Alceu Chiesorin Nunes
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About the Author
Pietr the Latvian
1. Apparent age 32, height 169 ...
2. Mixing with Millionaires
3. The Strand of Hair
4. The Seeteufel’s First Mate
5. The Russian Drunkard
6. Au Roi de Sicile
7. The Third Interval
8. Maigret Gets Serious
9. The Hit-man
10. The Return of Oswald Oppenheim
11. Arrivals and Departures
12. A Woman With a Gun
13. The Two Pietrs
14. The Ugala Club
15. Two Telegrams
16. On the Rocks
17. And a Bottle of Rum
18. Hans at Home
19. The Injured Man
The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien
1. The Crime of Inspector Maigret
2. Monsieur Van Damme
3. The Herbalist’s Shop in Rue Picpus
4. The Unexpected Visitor
5. Breakdown at Luzancy
6. The Hanged Men
7. The Three Men
8. Little Klein
9. The Companions of the Apocalypse
10. Christmas Eve in Rue du Pot-au-Noir
11. The Candle End
The Carter of La Providence
1. Lock 14
2. The Passengers on Board the Southern Cross
3. Mary Lampson’s Necklace
4. The Lover
5. The YCF Badge
6. The American Sailor’s Cap
7. The Bent Pedal
8. Ward 10
9. The Doctor
10. The Two Husbands
11. Right of Way
The Grand Banks Café
1. The Glass Eater
2. The Tan-Coloured Shoes
3. The Headless Photograph
4. The Mark of Rage
5. Adèle and Friend
6. The Three Innocents
7. Like a Family
8. The Drunken Sailor
9. Two Men on Deck
10. What Happened on the Third Day
11. The Océan SailsABOUT THE AUTHOR
Georges Simenon was born on 12 February 1903 in Liège, Belgium, and died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life. Between 1931 and 1972 he published seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short stories featuring Inspector Maigret.
Simenon always resisted identifying himself with his famous literary character, but acknowledged that they shared an important characteristic:
My motto, to the extent that I have one, has been noted often enough, and I’ve always conformed to it. It’s the one I’ve given to old Maigret, who resembles me in certain points ... ‘understand and judge not’.
Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels.
PENGUIN CLASSICSINSPECTOR MAIGRET
‘I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov’
— William Faulkner
‘A truly wonderful writer ... marvellously readable – lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the world he creates’
— Muriel Spark
‘Few writers have ever conveyed with such a sure touch, the bleakness of human life’
— A. N. Wilson
‘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’
‘A novelist who entered his fictional world as if he were part of it’
— Peter Ackroyd
‘The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature’
— André Gide
‘Superb ... The most addictive of writers ... A unique teller of tales’
‘The mysteries of the human personality are revealed in all their disconcerting complexity’
— Anita Brookner
‘A writer who, more than any other crime novelist, combined a high literary reputation with popular appeal’
— P. D. James
‘A supreme writer ... Unforgettable vividness’
‘Compelling, remorseless, brilliant’
— John Gray
‘Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century’
— John Banville
PIETR THE LATVIANTranslated by David Bellos
1.Apparent age 32, height 169 ...
ICPC to PJ Paris Xvzust Krakowvimontra m ghks triv psot uv Pietr-le-Letton Bremen vs tyz btolem.
Detective Chief Inspector Maigret ofthe Flying Squad raised his eyes. It seemed to him that the cast-iron stove in themiddle of his office with its chimney tube rising to the ceiling wasn’troaring properly. He pushed the telegram away, rose ponderously to his feet,adjusted the flue and thrust three shovels of coal into the firebox.
Then he stood with his back to thestove, filled his pipe and adjusted his stud collar, which was irritating his neckeven though it wasn’t set very high.
He glanced at his watch. Four p.m. Hisjacket was hanging on a hook on the back of the door.
Slowly he returned to his desk, mouthinga translation as he went:
International Criminal PoliceCommission to Police Judiciaire in Paris: Krakow police report sighting Pietrthe Latvian en route to Bremen.
The International Criminal PoliceCommission, or ICPC, is based in Vienna. Broadly speaking, it oversees the struggleagainst organized crime in Europe, with a particular responsibility for liaisonbetween the various national police forces on the Continent.
Maigret pulled up another telegram that was similarlywritten in IPC, the secret international police code used for communication betweenall the world’s police forces. He translated at sight:
Polizei-Präsidium Bremen to PJParis: Pietr the Latvian reported en route Amsterdam and Brussels.
Another telegram from the NederlandscheCentrale in Zake Internationale Misdadigers, the Dutch police HQ, reported:
At 11 a.m. Pietr the Latvianboarded Étoile du Nord, compartment G. 263, car 5, destination Paris.
The final message in IPC had been sentfrom Brussels and said:
Confirm Pietr the Latvian on boardÉtoile du Nord via Brussels 2 a.m. in compartment reported by Amsterdam.
Behind Maigret’s desk there was ahuge map pinned to the wall. The inspector was a broad and heavy man. He stoodstaring at the map with his hands in his pockets and his pipe sticking out the sideof his mouth.
His eyes travelled from the dotrepresenting Krakow to the other dot showing the port of Bremen and from there toAmsterdam and Paris.
He checked the time once again.Four-twenty. The Étoile du Nord should now be hurtling along at sixty miles an hourbetween Saint-Quentin and Compiègne.
It wouldn’t stop at the border. Itwouldn’t be slowing down.
In car 5, compartment G. 263, Pietr theLatvian was presumably spending his time reading or looking at the scenery.
Maigret went over to a door that openedonto a closet, washed his hands in an enamelbasin, ran a comb through thick dark-brown hair flecked with only a few silverstrands around the temple, and did his best to straighten out his tie – he’dnever learned how to do a proper knot.
It was November and it was getting dark.Through the window he could see a branch of the Seine, Place Saint-Michel, and afloating wash-house, all in a blue shroud speckled by gas lamps lighting up oneafter the other.
He opened a drawer and glanced at adispatch from the International Identification Bureau in Copenhagen.
Paris PJ Pietr-le-Letton 32 16901512 0224 0255 02732 03116 03233 03243 03325 03415 03522 04115 04144 0414705221 ...
This time he made an effort to speak thetranslation aloud and even went over it several times, like a schoolchild reciting alesson:
Description Pietr the Latvian:apparent age 32 years, height 169 cm, sinus top straight line, bottom flat,extension large max, special feature septum not visible, ear unmarked rim, lobelarge, max cross and dimension small max, protuberant antitragus, vex edge lowerfold, edge shape straight line edge feature separate lines, orthognathous upper,long face, biconcave, eyebrows thin fair light, lower lip jutting max thicklower droop, light.
This ‘word-picture’ of Pietrwas as clear as a photograph to Inspector Maigret. The principal features were thefirst to emerge: the man was short, slim, young and fair-haired, with sparse blondeyebrows, greenish eyes and a long neck.
Maigret now also knew the shape of hisear in the minutest detail. This would enable him to make a positive identificationin a milling crowd even if the suspect was in disguise.
He took his jacket off the hook andslipped his arms into it, then put on a heavy black overcoat and a bowler hat.
One last glance at the stove, whichseemed on the verge of exploding.
At the end of the corridor, on the stairlanding that was used as a waiting room, he reminded Jean:
‘You won’t forget to keep mystove going, will you?’
The wind swirling up the stairs took himby surprise, and he had to shelter from the draught in a corner to get his pipe tolight.
Wind and rain blew in squalls over theplatforms of Gare du Nord despite the monumental glass canopy overhead. Severalpanes had blown out and lay in shards on the railway tracks. The lightingwasn’t working properly. People huddled up inside their clothes.
Outside one of the ticket windows analarming travel notice had been posted:
Channel forecast: gale-forcewinds.
One woman, whose son was to catch theFolkestone boat train, looked upset; her eyes were red. She kept on telling the boywhat he should do, right up to the last minute. In his embarrassment he had nochoice but to promise not to go out on deck.
Maigret stood near platform 11 wherepeople were awaiting the arrival of the Étoile du Nord. All the leading hotels, aswell as Thomas Cook, had their agents standing by.
He stood still. Other people wereagitated. A young woman clad in mink yetwearing only sheer silk stockings walked up and down, stamping her heels.
He just stood there: a hulk of a man,with shoulders so broad as to cast a wide shadow. When people bumped into him hestayed as firm as a brick wall.
The yellow speck of the train’sheadlamp appeared in the distance. Then came the usual hubbub, with porters shoutingand passengers tramping and jostling their way towards the station exit.
A couple of hundred passengers paradedpast Maigret before he picked out in the crowd a short man wearing a broad-checkedgreen travelling cape of a distinctly Nordic cut and colour.
The man wasn’t in a hurry. He hadthree porters behind him. Bowing and scraping, an agent from one of the grand hotelson the Champs-Élysées cleared the way in front of him.
Apparent age 32, height169 ... sinus top ...
Maigret kept calm. He looked hard at theman’s ear. That was all he needed.
The man in green passed close by. One ofhis porters bumped Maigret with one of the suitcases.
At exactly the same moment a railwayemployee began to run, shouting out something to his colleague standing at thestation end of the platform, next to the barrier.
The chain was drawn closed. Protestserupted.
The man in the travelling cape wasalready out of the station.
Maigret puffed away at his pipe in quickshort bursts. He went up to the official who had closed the barrier.
‘A crime ... They’vejust found ...’
‘Carriage 5? ...’
‘I think so ...’
The station went about its regularbusiness; only platform 11 looked abnormal. There were fifty passengers stillwaiting to get out, but their path was blocked. They were getting excited.
‘Let them go ...’ Maigretsaid.
‘Let them go ...’
He watched the last cluster move away.The station loudspeaker announced the departure of a local train. Somebody wasrunning somewhere. Beside one of the carriages of the Étoile du Nord there was asmall group waiting for something. Three of them, in railway company livery.
The stationmaster got to them first. Hewas a large man and had a worried look on his face. Then a hospital stretcher waswheeled through the main hall, past clumps of people who looked at it uneasily,especially those about to depart.
Maigret walked up the side of the trainwith his usual heavy tread, smoking as he went. Carriage 1, carriage2 ... He came to carriage 5.
That’s where the group wasstanding at the door. The stretcher came to a halt. The stationmaster tried tolisten to the three men, who were all speaking at the same time.
‘Police! Where is he?’
Maigret’s presence providedobvious relief. He propelled his placid mass towards the centre of the franticgroup. The other men instantly became his satellites.
‘In the toilet ...’
Maigret hauled himself up onto the trainand saw that the toilet door on his rightwas open. On the floor, in a heap, was a body, bent double in a strangely contortedposture.
The conductor was giving orders from theplatform.
‘Shunt the carriage to theyard ... Hang on! ... Track 62 ... Let the railway policeknow ...’
At first he could only see the back ofthe man’s neck. But when he tipped his cap off its oblique angle, he could seethe man’s left ear. Maigret mumbled to himself: lobe large, max cross anddimension small max, protuberant antitragus ...
There were a few drops of blood on thelinoleum. Maigret looked around. The railway staff were standing on the platform oron the running board. The stationmaster was still talking....
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