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Maigret and the Death of a Harbor-Master (Maigret #15)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  436 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The regularity of life in a quiet village on the English Channel is broken when the local harbor-master is murdered. Inspector Maigret, down from Paris, is on unfamiliar ground here as he plunges into the harborside gloom, searching for killer and motive. Translated by Stuart Gilbert.A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Paperback, 182 pages
Published October 16th 1989 by Mariner Books (first published 1931)
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Ivonne Rovira
Dec 25, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A befuddled man — one who seemingly can’t speak or understand speech (seven or eight spoken languages plus sign language are tried) — turns up in a fashionable section of Paris at the end of October. His clothes are new (and German), but all identifying labels have been cut off. No wallet, no identity papers, but with 5,000 francs in his pocket. Odd, no?

Five days later, a young woman identifies him as Captain Yves Joris, saying she is his maid/housekeeper. After retiring from the merchant navy
Sep 19, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: francia
Il titolo del libro esprime appieno ciò in cui si dibatte il lettore nel corso della lettura del romanzo: una nebbia fitta che avvolge i personaggi, i luoghi, gli indizi del delitto. Si arriva all’ultimo capitolo senza che il mistero sia stato almeno un poco dipanato, sono le ultime pagine a diradare le brumose atmosfere e a chiarire finalmente la morte del capitano Joris, trovato vagabondo per le strade di Parigi senza documenti, non in grado di parlare e con una profonda ferita alla testa cura ...more
John Frankham
Jan 09, 2017 John Frankham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
A good Maigret, one of a number where Simenon shows his love and knowledge of the closed communities in river, canal and sea locations. In this case a tidal port, from where ships go to England and the Baltic, where the harbour-master disappears, presumed drowned, then reappears elsewhere, unable to speak, with a well-healed bullet wound in the head. Maigret takes him and his housekeeper back to the harbour to investigate. But nobody will speak up - at first, until Maigret wheedles confidences a ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A typical Maigret case where the truth always comes out through his dogged perserverance. What marks this case out is the victim is incapacitated and unable to explain what happened to him. Following a subsequent murder no-one seems to want to speak the truth nor answer Maigret's questions.
It is a complex story as it is a profound mystery which seems unfathomable before and after the murder.
I loved the setting and more of Simenon's observations of Ouistreham's fishing community which he works i
Feb 15, 2016 Betsy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the strongest in the series for me so far. Poor Maigret spends most of yet another case sodden, on the verge of being sick, and clambering around on tilting boats. The story line is unusual and the threads are woven into a satisfying pattern.
Tony Fitzpatrick
Feb 01, 2017 Tony Fitzpatrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are for each of these books alternative titles. For this one it is "Death of the Harbour master" which is not very imaginative and kind of spoils the plot. In this story, Maigret is almost caught out by a conspiracy of silence amongst the key players - and having exceeded his authority is seriously worried and frustrated by the situation. Of course he manges to solve it all, although he benefits from some extraordinary luck. The plot is fairly simple - harbour master of small port near Cae ...more
Monica Mogno
Avevo tante aspettative, invece si è rivelato noioso: nessuno si muoveva e ad un certo punto l' ho trovato irritante!
Ubik 2.0
Oct 20, 2012 Ubik 2.0 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ad ognuno il suo Simenon…

Ho scoperto molto tardi i romanzi di Georges Simenon, grazie all’insistenza di un amico che (per fortuna…) mi consigliò di leggere prioritariamente i cosiddetti “non-Maigret”. Sottolineo “per fortuna” perché se avessi cominciato da questo libro, mio primo esperimento di approccio al celebre Commissario, forse non avrei preso la “simenonite” e mi sarei perso gli undici capolavori (o comunque gran bei romanzi…) che ho letto avidamente in questi quattro anni.

“Il porto delle
Apr 20, 2014 Hans rated it really liked it
Read this during a very busy work week, so I felt like I was skimming much of the early section. Though, I didn't feel like I missed much in my partially-cursory read, I loved the later sections: (view spoiler). Oh, in the prior novel, I thought it dropped a note that referenced what his next was going to be…and why he had to push the other case to a close. T ...more
Dec 17, 2013 Muninn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
[...] Pensate ora al nostro commissario della polizia giudiziaria di Parigi. A poco servono il suo cappotto col colletto di pesante velluto e la bombetta. Anche questa volta le condizioni atmosferiche non sono favorevoli. Una fitta nebbia avvolge il piccolo scalo marittimo di Ouistreham, poco più di qualche casa, un porto, una chiusa e un canale verso l’entroterra. Le basse abitazioni dei pescatori, la fumosa osteria, la casa cantoniera, le ville sulla collina scompaiono quando alla sera la brum ...more
coccinella felice
La scorsa primavera abbiamo fatto una mini vacanza in Normandia. E quando ho scoperto che Simenon ha scritto un romanzo ambientato proprio tra le nebbie del porto di Ouistreham, dove noi avevamo affittato casa, capite bene che non potevo certo evitare di farne la "colonna sonora" della vacanza. Peccato che, al di là dell'atmosfera lugubre del porto, ottimo esercizio di stile per chi voglia provare a depurare quel famoso porto di tutte le modernità per riuscire ad incontrare Maigret, pipa in bocc ...more
Jun 22, 2014 John rated it it was amazing
Top notch. This is a really good book, even by Simenon's very high standard.

Why was the harbour master (note correct spelling) of a small Normandy port found wandering the streets of Paris six weeks after he vanished from his usual haunts? Why was he unable to speak or communicate? Where had he been shot in the head and then had expert medical treatment? Who had paid lots of money into his bank account ? Who was so scared that he might regain his memory and power of speech that they poisoned him
alessandra falca
La nebbia protagonista. Protagonista di tutto il giallo fino alla fine, dove, nell'ultimo capitolo si riesce finalmente a capire tutto. Ma non è importante. Importante rimane la nebbia, il tacere, i marinai muti fino all'ultimo minuto. Ambientato in territorio bretone, questo Maigret è completamente immerso nei fumi, completamente oscuro e il silenzio si taglia letteralmente a fette come la nebbia appunto. Buon libro, le due stelle sono giustifcate dal fatto che alla fine anch'io dopo averlo let ...more
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret
Maigret glänzt, wenn er über das Schiffer-Milieu schreibt. Beim Lesen holt man sich leicht eine Erkältung.
Grundsätzlich fehlt dem Leser bei Maigret-Romanen die Befriedigung, den Fall aus den gegebenen Informationen selbst zu lösen. Simenon konstruiert nicht nach dem Muster: Welche Indizien bleiben liegen, wenn das und das verbrochen wurde? Sondern: Wie würden die Menschen eskalieren, die das Verbrechen begangen haben, wenn man sie lang genug reifen lässt?
Nov 09, 2015 Skip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual Simenon keeps the story going, a mystery mixed with human's caught up in their own particular dilemma and intrigue. The central character, Inspector Maigret, always looking, inspecting, feeling, intuiting his way through the story. He is the kind of guy we would all enjoy sitting in a pub with, having a beer and hearing his stories, though it is always Maigret who is getting the story he is looking for.
Nov 25, 2007 Stephanie rated it liked it
I love the Maigret series, but was a little disappointed by this book. It was a bit longer-winded, meandering story, and it fell into the unfortunately common trap of adding about 50 plot lines in the last 4 pages to make an interesting ending out of a pretty boring book. Still an interesting read and well written, but I would only read it if you are trying to read all the Maigret novels--if not, start with another one (Liberty Bar or Maigret Sets a Trap are great ones to start with).
May 23, 2016 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love my Maigret books, but this one fell just a bit short. It is not as tautly paced as others I have read and wandered all over the place. Some of the characters are so enigmatic that they lack interest (unusual for a Simenon), and many inexplicable plot developments are clarified in the book's rather breathless 20 pages. Still, these little tales are always so flavorful that I am never bored, and Inspector's psychological methods are ever fascinating.

A man is found in Paris, unable to speak with a healed bullet wound in his head and nothing to identify him on his person. It is eventually determined he is from a quaint, small harbor town. Inspector Maigret goes there with the man to solve what happened, but when the man is murdered in his own home upon returning, Maigret is doggedly determined to solve the puzzle.
Dec 09, 2015 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this. Was recommended to me at the Christmas Book Fair in Pittsburgh. Originally written in French in 1932 and just translated into English in 2015, this is a detective series that I could see having been filmed in those days in black and white. Little action, mainly character development, it still read well. I will read more!
Jul 23, 2016 Ci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read-books
Simenon's work is recommended by a friend as a studying tool for French, so I took a random sampling in English to see if the structure of the story and the scope of vocabulary may be suitable for my current level of French. After reading through about 40% of this book, I decided not to pursue this detective series for my French reading.
Non trovo che i libri di Georges Simenon siano molto avvincenti e per me il commissario Maigret ha molto meno personalità che - per esempio - il detective Hercule Poirot di Agatha Christie. Però, questa storia è almeno abbastanza atmosferica : il piccolo porto, la nebbia, la pioggia, il freddo, la burrasca e invece i caffè dei marinai riempiti di fumo, caldo e trattenimento.
Filippo Bossolino
Leggermente sotto tono rispetto al resto dell'opera. Sarà che forse inizio a farci l'abitudine alle atmosfere legate a porti, chiuse, marinai ecc… La trama però è troppo contorta e tortuosa con un finale che mi ha lasciato un senso di inconcludenza.
May 14, 2013 Ffiamma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
primo maigret, regalo di un'amica. ho amato moltissimo le atmosfere francesi, gli intrighi che stanno dietro una storia prima ingarbugliata e che si dipana man mano che il libro va avanti. allo stesso tempo, il finale mi ha un po' delusa ma vorrei leggere ancora altri libri della serie.
Les Wilson
Apr 22, 2016 Les Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing that made me smile. Maigret speaks to an old man having his lunch. "Carry on eating your lunch" says Maigret, and immediately asks him another question. How can he eat his lunch and answer? Sorry, petty picking; but as I said it made me smile. Note: I didn't reduce the star rating for it!
Aug 23, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
Enjoyed the plot. Again the characters were not very likeable. Small town mentality and seamen suspicious of outsiders. I thought it was a good story and enjoyed once again the murderer getting his just desserts. Do any of the murderers ever survive in a Maigret novel?
Paul Jellinek
Dec 16, 2016 Paul Jellinek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like Chandler's "The Red Wind" and many of Simenon's best Maigret books, this one is all about the atmosphere, and the ever-present fog that permeates every chapter of this story--both literally and figuratively--will chill you to the bone.
Saverio Falcone
Il primo libro di Simenon che ho letto. Il racconto è magistralmente ben articolato. La descrizione dei personaggi, luoghi e abitudini è insuperabile. Mi aspettavo un tantino di più dalla trama e dall'intrigo. Sono deciso a continuare la lettura di Simenon in futuro.
Neus Nogué-Serrano
És el primer Simenon que llegeixo. M'ha agradat, tot i que la història no és trepidant.

En vull destacar la traducció de Carme Vilaginés. Tenint en compte que és del 1972, és una traducció molt fresca.
Relendo livros velhos.
Simenon é sempre encantador, embora a historia seja pouco actual.
Tony Thomson
Aug 31, 2015 Tony Thomson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
brilliant vintage Simenon - atmospheric
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Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.

He is best known, however, for his 75
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