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Signed, Picpus (Maigret #23)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  242 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
A small, thin man, rather dull to look at, neither young nor old, exuding the stale smell of a bachelor who does not look after himself. He pulls his fingers and cracks his knuckles and tells his tale the way a schoolboy recites his lesson.

A mysterious note predicting the murder of a fortune-teller; a confused old man locked in a Paris apartment; a financier who goes fishi
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 3rd 2015 by Penguin Books (first published 1944)
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Ivonne Rovira
Jun 09, 2016 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
French police are informed that someone’s going to kill a clairvoyant at 5 o’clock on a certain day. Despite the best precautions, one Madame Jeanne is stabbed to death at that precise moment. Locked in Madame Jeanne’s kitchen is a doddering old man, one Octave Le Cloaguen. What’s his real connection to the young fortuneteller? And who killed her?

Detective Chief Inspector Maigret is frustrated both by the many pieces of this puzzle that don’t fit and by an ignoramus of an examining magistrate wh
Jul 25, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, simenon
Georges Simenon was one of a kind. Not that there aren't mystery writers under practically every bush, but Simenon brought something unique to the genre -- something I have not seen copied satisfactorily by any of the hordes that tried to follow in his footsteps.

Especially in his Inspector Maigret novels, there is a uniquely French characteristic, which is closely related to the French verb débrouiller, which means to untangle or sort out, to "defog" as it were.

About forty pages into Maigret an
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
May 17, 2013 Jayaprakash Satyamurthy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jayaprakash by:
Another perfect miniature filled with telling little observations, economical yet vivid characterisation and a lot of beer down the hatch as Maigret deals with a murder that was predicted before it happened - the murder of a fortuneteller.
Oct 19, 2015 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Sometimes reading can be like dining out on a heavy many coursed banquet; short novels or classics like a Maigret story can be as refreshing as a citrus sorbet. To cleanse your reading palate ready for the next novel that otherwise could cause you intergestion.
Maigret is a wonderful constant. He is a fine judge of people and a keen observer of social interaction and mannerisms. With a novel like this you know you are going to get a mystery that perhaps only the Chief Inspector will solve and alo
Mark Ellis
Aug 19, 2016 Mark Ellis rated it it was amazing
There are generally three categories of Maigret book-good, very good and classic. This book falls into the latter category. Murder, blackmail and fraud in the sweltering Parisian August heat. Maigret smokes his pipe and drinks his beer and sees all. Read it!
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
A murder is announced--the murder of a fortuneteller, announced by a nervous little nebbish who claims to have picked up the knowledge by chance on a piece of blotting paper in a bar. My first question was, how did he know that piece of blotting paper hadn't been sitting around for a week or more? But in those days, a surprising number of people handled their correspondence--and recieved their mail--in Paris bistros.

Halfway through the book, which I read in a couple of hours on a sleepless night
Jun 21, 2016 Steven rated it it was amazing
I would dearly love to know how Simenon imagined and constructed his incredibly convoluted plots. The masterful "Signed, Picpus" features one of the most tangled ones I have encountered yet, and it quickly becomes very confusing, with a cast of characters even more sordid than in most of the Maigret novels. I read this over a period of three days, yet I constantly had to go back to previous chapters to sort out connections, recall the specific activities of particular people, and try to figure o ...more
Kimberly Ann
I'm not sure about this.... A man reports that a fortuneteller will be murdered on a specific day & time... When the book opens, Maigret is waiting or this to happen..... Thinking how foolish he will seem if his pronouncement (from another source) is incorrect.....

The fortuneteller is indeed murdered, but she is one who is not known to the French constabulary, as she was not registered as such.

When Maigret and the Police arrive, they find a "simple" man locked in her kitchen and as the stor
Jun 09, 2016 Rhys rated it liked it
This book presents one of the more baffling cases to confront Maigret that I have yet read. Although I don't read 'Maigret' novels for the plot but for the atmosphere, the plot of this one is compelling. It was written in the 1940s and like all the 'Maigret' novels from that decade seems to be a little darker than those that came before and after. In fact Maigret doesn't at all get his own way in the end. The quality of the writing, as always, is excellent.

This is the 25th 'Maigret' novel I have
A note is found that states a fortune teller will be killed on a specific date and signed by "Picpus." This lands on the desk of Inspector Maigret who is responsible for, much to the amusement of the rest of the police department, taking steps are taken to watch local fortune tellers - without success. A fortune teller is killed. The investigation pulls together a seemingly disparate group of suspects, the investigation is successful, but the outcome leaves Maigret far from satisfied and heading ...more
Jan 06, 2009 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simenon, Georges. MAIGRET AND THE FORTUNETELLER. (1944). ****. Mademoiselle Jeanne, the fortuneteller, is found murdered in her apartment. The police find, locked in her kitchen, an old man wearing an overcoat, even though it is a boiling August day in Paris. The crime was predicted in a note found (reversed) on a blotter at a restaurant, signed by an unknown person, Picpus. The man who discovered the note while writing one of his own, brought the information to the police, but later tries to co ...more
Sep 18, 2015 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Maigret is the type of detective who notices all things, even when he doesn't know what he's noticing. He has a dour, un-readable face, and then sometimes he has a thought and his face reflect that. He tells people what to do but not what he's thinking or what any of it means.

Pros: short, French, good settings and interesting (thought possibly superficial) mood.
Cons: not much to dig into.

I imagine I will read more of these. But not in any hurry.
Sep 29, 2014 Jlnpeacock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delighting to find myself in the company of my friend, Maigret, we once again take up the task of solving a complex murder by placing one's self in another's shoes. The psychology employed is fascinating and instructive. My desire is that I could actually learn the techniques and employ them in real life. I think the trick there is to be intelligent on a higher plane than exists for me.
Nov 07, 2015 P rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
A bit more frenetic in its pace than I would like. I prefer when Simenon evokes the busy streets of the metropolis and the colorful characters who frequent its cafes and wharves. In this one, the sense of the oppressive end of summer heat was a mark of the author's skill but there were too many interconnected storylines and not enough about the clairvoyant.
Rob Smith
Nov 22, 2011 Rob Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
This is an excellent mystery. The characters in this book come alive as you read the novel. Simenon is such a skilled writer, that some development occurs only as he wants it to occur to best unfold the story. This is also, for me, one of the few recent mysteries in the past decade or so, that I didn't know who did it before the end of the book.

This is also a book that is concise, in today's terms. It's a little too easy for one's mind to meander away during most over written books today. A read
Barbara Nutting
Feb 17, 2016 Barbara Nutting rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun read - Maigret is a wonderfully understated Inspector. He must have been an inspiration for Columbo- same laid back attitude!!
French police inspector Maigret investigates murder of female fortune teller and uncovers fraud and blackmail which led to her murder.
Les Wilson
Apr 20, 2016 Les Wilson rated it really liked it
A wonderfully well written book that has translated from the French just as well. Tempted to give it 5* as its well worth 4 1/2.
Aug 18, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: maigret
Very interesting. I had a hard time relating to Maigret, but the mystery was very good.
Jill Hutchinson
May 16, 2012 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another of the short but neat little tales of Inspector Maigret of the Paris Police. In this outing, a fortuneteller is murdered and Maigret finds an befuddled old man locked in the kitchen of the murder apartment. He doesn't seem to know anything and appears to be a tramp......but it is discovered that he is a retired doctor which doesn't quite fit the image he presents. Is he the murderer or just someone who came to have their future told? There are many twists and turns before the solution is ...more
Aug 18, 2016 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret
Very good
Nov 07, 2015 Skip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like mystery novels, you can never go wrong with Simenon. Simenon pulls you in and does not let you go till that last word, leaving you to want to read more of his books. And there are many, and not only mysteries. He was one of the favorite authors of many of the intellectual set in early 20th Century, France.
Remek volt, tényleg remek! Az egyik legjobb Maigret eddig, amivel találkoztam, és a borító is gyönyörűséges. :)
Anna Rossi
Oct 22, 2013 Anna Rossi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un rompicapo di nome Picpus.
Trovare tutti i pezzi e combinarli nel modo giusto non sarà cosa semplice, ma Maigret è famoso proprio per questo.
Elementi umani, dettagli curiosi e l'immancabile fondale di Parigi che ammicca sornione mentre le indagini proseguono senza sosta: un perfetto equilibrio per un altro giallo imperdibile.
Dec 09, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a.k.a "To Any Lengths"

This is a very clever story. Rather strange but I found it hard to put down and sat up very late to finish it. Difficult to add anything to other reviews without giving the away the plot.

Simenon is s genius at character description and atmospheric build-up.

Very good indeed. Thoroughly recommended.
Maui Island
May 12, 2013 Maui Island rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is a little more convoluted that the average Maigret novel. Maigret has actually happy moments in this tale, and is able to judge the cast with his final utterance: What fools . . . What fools people are!
Feb 13, 2013 Mikee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret, simenon
An amusing little story, suitably complex. The ending, however, leaves one wanting to kill.
Nov 05, 2009 Sasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, own
A bit lacking in depth or intensity, but overall very nice
Jul 18, 2016 Botros rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Den rätta Maigretstämningen i Parismiljö.
Jan 04, 2014 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typisch Maigret verhaal in de bekende sfeer.
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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
More about Georges Simenon...

Other Books in the Series

Maigret (1 - 10 of 83 books)
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  • 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)

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