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Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett (Maigret #1)

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  2,454 Ratings  ·  291 Reviews
The first audiobook which appeared in Georges Simenon's famous Maigret series, in a gripping new translation by David Bellos.

Inevitably Maigret was a hostile presence in the Majestic. He constituted a kind of foreign body that the hotel's atmosphere could not assimilate. Not that he looked like a cartoon policeman. He didn't have a moustache and he didn't wear heavy boots.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 30th 1964 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1931)
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Nov 02, 2015 F.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a distinct lack of glamour to this first Maigret mystery. In itself that’s interesting as this is a story centred on an international con-man and an American investor in one of the finest hotels in Paris. Surely that gives a triumphant yell of glamour. In the hands of a Leslie Charteris or an Agatha Christie, the glamour would have been buffed shiny and played up above all else. But in this novel everything is filtered through the doughty, solid presence of Inspector Maigret – a man who ...more
It's the first one. Thank goodness for these Penguin reissues, I was starting to think I'd never find a copy. These early Maigret's are nothing like what the series would become, potentially Simenon had high hopes for literary success for the handful of Maigret novels he'd written before launching them as a complete work in a hail of publicity; thus explaining the more existential nature of them compared to the casual musings over a delicate meal and stiff drink that would characterise the later ...more
Aug 28, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I am a great fan of crime novels published between the wars (this was published in 1930) I have never read the Inspector Maigret novels. This is the first in a long running series, reprinted by Penguin, featuring the stolid Detective Chief Inspector. The book opens with Maigret receiving a telegram from the International Criminal Police Commission, warning him of the imminent arrival of the notorious conman Pietr the Latvian. Armed with a description, Maigret heads for the Gare du Nord, ...more
Apr 30, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: france, mysteries, simenon
This is a re-read for me. The same reason I re-read it made me change my rating from four stars to five. There is something amazing to me about this first mystery by Georges Simenon to be published to be not only complicated by masterful. Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett is called by several names: In France, it was published as Pierre-le-Leton. In English it goes by the names Suite at the Majestic, The Strange Case of Peter the Lett, The Case of Peter the Lett, and the title shown above.

I keep co
Mohammad Ali

نمره ی واقعی: دو و نیم

داستانش بدک نبود. به نظرم توصیف جون کندن مگره در طول داستان بیشتر جذاب بود تا گشوده شدن گره های داستان

ترجمه هم معقوله. البته یه ویرایش باید بشه برای اشتباهات لپی، به طور خاص افتادگی ها - حتی یک مورد چند خط ترجمه نشدن. اگر با ترجمه ی انگلیسی تطبیق بدین تفاوتای بیشتری پیدا می کنین - چون مترجم انگلیسیِ نسخه ای که من پیدا کردم یه جاهای معدودی، جمله ها رو برای مفهوم شدن مفصل تر کرده و به نظرم کار خوبی کرده. به هر حال این افتادگی ها اصلا در حدی نیست که اثر رو مخدوش کنه فقط چند جا
Apr 26, 2017 Gaetano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Primo episodio (almeno ufficialmente) della fortunata e famosa serie di Simenon avente come protagonista il commissario Maigret.

Maigret era enorme e di ossatura robusta…. Aveva in particolare un modo tutto suo di piazzarsi in un posto che era talora risultato sgradevole persino a molti colleghi.

Al di là del giallo, traspare già l’indole del commissario, l’intuito istintivo, la conoscenza dell’animo umano, la tenacia nei pedinamenti ed il rapporto personale con i sospetti ed i loro famigliari. Ra
Pooya Kiani
ادبیات ژانر ... واقعا نمیدونم باید چی نوشت در مورد کتابهایی با این سبک و به این سیاق.
نمیپسندم. نمیپسندیدهم. نخواهم پسندید!
ولی اگر قرار باشه جدای از سلیقه صحبت کنیم، در گفتمان خودش کتاب قدرتمندی بود.
کاراکترها محکم. فضا ملموس. نثر روان. توصیفهای آلنپویی و تند و تیز.
کتاب الکییی نبود. خوندنش بهتر از نخوندنش بود. این برای من توی ژانر پلیسی-معمایی کافیه، شاید.
May 24, 2015 Peer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret
La foto in copertina di Brassaï, soprannominato da Henry Miller “l’occhio di Parigi”, ci aiuta a calarci nelle atmosfere e nei luoghi che verranno puntigliosamente descritti da Simenon.
In particolare si tratta del ben noto “Le Monocle” a Montmartre, il primo e certamente più famoso nightclub per lesbiche.
Ciò che mi ha colpito in questa prima “avventura” di Maigret, oltre alla trama intricata che si risolve correttamente in ogni dettaglio dal punto di vista logico, è soprattutto la capacità di ev
May 06, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up devouring Simenon. Every week I would pick up 3 new Simenon to read at the library and head home to travel to Paris and the dark, damp allies and hotels there... I can't remember if I finished all of the Maigret series, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what I did. Maigret provided me with my first realized yearning to visit a foreign city. Paris... came so alive and real for me in those books. Just as Dickens did for London, Simenon did for Paris.

I've been restless in my reading latel
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 21, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Sartre and Camus
Georges Simenon’s creation, Chief Inspector Maigret, differs considerably from your average Golden Age detective from across the Channel or across the Pond.

Also published under the title of Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett and The Strange Case of Peter the Lett, this introduction to Maigret reveals a closed-mouth, almost taciturn man, large and infinitely patient and persistent. Police are tracking a cocky criminal mastermind with the eponymous nickname, Pietr the Latvian, but, when following thi
Dec 13, 2014 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PIETR THE LATVIAN. (1930). Georges Simenon. *****.
This was without a doubt the worst book ever written by Simenon: the plot is lame and discontinuour and the characters are unbelievable. Why not a one- or two-star rating? This novel marks the first appearance of Maigret! Now it becomes a must-read for Simenon fans to see how his famous character started out and slowly evolved into the man we are most familiar with. Maigret appears as a detective superintendent of the Paris police force, and is u
Mike Jensen
Jun 26, 2009 Mike Jensen rated it it was ok
This book disappointed for several reasons. The physiological “realism” and insight that impressed me in Simenon’s writings in my twenties seem extreme and left me incredulous. After an initial death, nothing happens except that detective Maigret follows people around for 50 pages, more than 1/3 of the book's length. When something finally does happen, it is unrealistic in the way it unfolds.

Little things are not quite believable, things so small that they might soon be forgotten but they add u
Bill Lynas
Jan 19, 2017 Bill Lynas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pipe, a hat & a warm stove......welcome to the world of Inspector Maigret. Simenon's first Maigret novel, published in 1930, is a very enjoyable tale full of interesting characters, plot twists & even a bit of action. So, this is what I've been missing all these years. Mind you, I don't want to like him too much. It seems there are 75 novels & 28 short stories in the series. I'd better make some room on the bookshelves.
"Pietr the Latvian" introduces the world to Jules Maigret, Detective Chief Inspector of the Police Judiciaire in Paris for the very first time. The setting is a cool, rainy autumn afternoon in interwar Europe a little more than a decade after the end of the First World War. Simenon provides the reader with the following description of the Detective Chief Inspector: "He didn't have a moustache and he didn't wear heavy boots. His clothes were well cut and made of fairly light worsted. He shaved ev ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Rosenkavalier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
La teoria della crepa

Appassionato lettore di Simenon, ma non molto amante dei gialli, non avevo mai approcciato un "Maigret", forse diffidando della monumentale serialità del filone, che conta (credo) oltre settanta titoli.
Ho approfittato della ripubblicazione in ebook della collana per investigare sul caso del celebre Commissario.
"Pietr il lettone" mi ha sorpreso per il clima decisamente più da noir psicologico che da racconto d'investigazione, non privo di qualche gratuita asprezza nella desc
Sep 03, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it
This is the first in the Inspector Maigret mystery series. It's one of those books that you can sit down and read in a day, it's that entertaining and interesting. The case involves the mysterious Pieter the Lett, who has made his way from Russia to Paris. Little is known about him, other than a brief description. As Maigret arrives at the train station to meet him, he finds instead a murdered man. This begins a chase across France as Maigret tries to sort out who Lett is and what he's up to. Ma ...more
Mar 22, 2015 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short take:

I really enjoyed this book! Simenon knows how to establish a scene with vivid descriptions, and, being the sucker that I am for stories set between the two World Wars, I was happy to dive into these passages. I dig that Maigret's approach to detection is to focus on the human element and observe all the players in their natural settings. I also like the guy's gruff demeanor, romantic perspective, epicurean tastes and utmost dedication to his calling. What's not to like about someone
Rafa Sánchez
Oct 05, 2016 Rafa Sánchez rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimen
Buena novela policiaca, con ritmo trepidante, personajes turbios sumidos en una espiral autodestructiva que acaban desolados, como corresponde...
Sandra Bašić
Pokušat ću mu dati još jednu šansu, nije me oduševio...
Camilla P.
Georges Simenon è un autore che apprezzo moltissimo: tuttavia, paradossalmente, l’ho conosciuto soprattutto attraverso i suoi romanzi non legati al commissario Maigret, il personaggio che più l’ha reso popolare. Dato che percepivo questa mancanza come una pecca nel mio rapporto con questo autore, ho deciso di porre subito rimedio e di cominciare a leggere Le inchieste di Maigret, seguendo l’ordine di pubblicazione.
Purtroppo, credo che proprio le mie letture pregresse abbiano un po’ penalizzato
Sep 07, 2010 Mmyoung rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, maigret
It is hard to remember when reading this first of many Maigret novels and stories that it was published the year after Van Dine’s The Scarab Murder Case, the year before Queen’s The Dutch Shoe Murder and the same year as Christie’s The Sittaford Mystery. In some ways the closest equivalent to the world Simenon introduces us to is the San Francisco we get glimpses of Hammett’s novel The Maltese Falcon. Maigret is both like and unlike Sam Spade. Like Spade he is aware of, and not discomfited by, t ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
May 03, 2015 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Although I have read several of Georges Simenon’s romans durs, I have stayed away from the Maigret novels. I am not a fan of police procedurals, and my problem with whodunits is that I seldom care who did it. The culprit will be brought to justice, and the policeman or detective in charge will most often gather other characters into a room and explain how he figured it out. Not for me.

But Penguin has begun a new series of Maigret translations, and when I saw a secondhand copy of Pietr the Latvia
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
Sorry as I am to say it about one of the greats of detective fiction... but I prefer Dorothy L. Sayers (also one of the greats).

Simenon is famous for his assertion that every time he detected a beautiful phrase in his writing, he would cut it out; although naturally he did it in French (which I do not read well enough to be able to tell a beautiful phrase from an ugly one), apparently the English translation I read was a good one. It was certainly rather terse.

To be fair, I prefer a plain writi
A dark, existential, page turner, Pietr the Latvian (originally published in 1930) was the first of Georges Simenon's mysteries featuring French detective Jules Maigret. Penguin Classics is now reissuing all 75 of Simenon’s Maigret mysteries in new translations, which is good news for Maigret addicts like me. Simenon’s pulp mysteries are arguably the bleakest works of noir ever published in the genre. They play out through a fog of bad weather and tobacco smoke, and there are never any happy end ...more
La police internationale signale l'arrivée à Paris du célèbre escroc Pietr-le-Letton, qui n'a jusque-là pu être inculpé. Maigret se dispose à le filer à sa descente de L'Etoile-du-Nord. Mais alors que le suspect se rend à l'hôtel Majestic, on découvre dans le train un cadavre qui est le pur sosie de Pietr.

Ecrit à Nandy près de Morsang-sur-Seine (Seine-et-Marne). A bord de l'Ostrogoth, Delfzijl (Pays-Bas), septembre 1929 mai 1930
Didn't really grab me fully, but might have been my fault as I read it as an audiobook! And mystery/thrillers don't always work for me as audiobooks!
I was forced to read parts of this out loud in French class years ago. I suppose it'd be petty to give Commissaire Maigret 1 star for emotional damages?
Nov 11, 2014 Taha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bu kitapla ilgili aklımda 2 ihtimal var: Ya çok dandik bir kitaptı ya da o kadar üstün bir kitaptı ki, benim, anlamaya kapasitem yetmedi.
NOT:Büyük ihtimalle ilk ihtimal daha olasıdır;)
Dec 20, 2016 Elisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting for fans of whodunits. It's a classic that I'd never read before, but I was not impressed. Like a French Sherlock Holmes, the story was a little convoluted.
Marcus Speh
Oct 02, 2012 Marcus Speh rated it liked it
I finished Simenon’s (first) Maigret detective novel: somehow I know that I read this one and many others about the inspector from Paris a long time ago. It’s a thrilling tale even though the writing seems often clumsy, take for example the shouting (rather than telling) which is inserted whenever the action is heating up: something like “MAIGRET GUNNED HIM DOWN!” … you can practically hear how every letter is capitalized. What can I learn from this book? For example how inspector Maigret’s phys ...more
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Do You Even Readi...: All finished! 4 2 Apr 05, 2017 01:11PM  
  • Les Vrilles De La Vigne
  • The Journal of Jules Renard
  • Fureur et mystère
  • Aurélien
  • Le soulier de satin
  • The Interrogation
  • Under Satan's Sun
  • The Prone Gunman
  • The Horseman on the Roof
  • Voice of the Violin (Inspector Montalbano, #4)
  • The Opposing Shore
  • Il centravanti è stato assassinato verso sera
  • Gaston 1 (Gaston Définitive, #1)
  • Bloody Streets of Paris
  • Capital of Pain
  • Total Chaos
  • Testimone inconsapevole
  • L'Œuvre au noir
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
More about Georges Simenon...

Other Books in the Series

Maigret (1 - 10 of 75 books)
  • The Carter of 'La Providence' (Maigret, #2)
  • The Late Monsieur Gallet (Maigret, #3)
  • The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (Maigret, #4)
  • A Man's Head (Maigret #5)
  • The Yellow Dog (Maigret #6)
  • The Night at the Crossroads (Maigret #7)
  • A Crime in Holland (Maigret #8)
  • The Grand Banks Café (Maigret, #9)
  • The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin (Maigret #10)
  • The Two-Penny Bar (Maigret, #11)

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“He was a big, bony man. Iron muscles shaped his jacket sleeves and quickly wore through new trousers. He had a way of imposing himself just by standing there.” 0 likes
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