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L'ombra cinese (Maigret #12)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  349 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
«Su un angolo della scrivania c’era, aperto, il bollettino della polizia con le foto segnaletiche di una ventina di ricercati. Quasi tutte facce dai tratti bestiali, che portavano il marchio della depravazione. «“Ernst Strowitz, condannato in contumacia dal Tribunale di Caen per aver ammazzato una contadina sulla strada per Bénouville...”. «E la postilla, in rosso: «“Peric ...more
Paperback, Gli Adelphi - Le Inchieste di Maigret, 143 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by Adelphi (first published 1932)
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(showing 1-30 of 625)
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Jim Coughenour
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
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 25, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, generous
Jul 29, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, simenon
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
Debbie Robson
Aug 11, 2015 Debbie Robson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 pro ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Jun 03, 2015 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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!
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 ...more
Oct 20, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nick Jones
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 – which is also ...more
Andrea Ussy
Aug 18, 2013 Andrea Ussy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Filippo Bossolino
Dec 25, 2014 Filippo Bossolino rated it really liked it
Non il migliore ma quasi, fra i Maigret letti fino ad ora. In questo episodio, l'attenzione è riposta nelle dinamiche che possono insorgere fra parenti, ex mogli e figli in relazione ad importanti eredità dopo una morte violenta. Per di più ad aumentare maggiormente la tensione di questi personaggi tristi e meschini il tutto viene inserito nel contesto di un condominio in cui emergono ulteriori elementi per dipingere e criticare la società. In questo caso poi l'unico personaggio per cui simpatiz ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, french
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 ...more
Mar 22, 2014 Hans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of the Maigret novels feature the Inspector following a story or strange situation that no one else has the heart to care about. It was sort of refreshing to have him called to the scene of an official investigation. I especially enjoyed the mix of characters in this volume. Here are two especially nice lines:

"'Nine o'clock!' said Maigret. 'You look as if cocaine didn't suit you.'"

"She walked ahead of Maigret with the aggressive dignity of those for whom someone else's irony is the worst
Saji Connor
Nov 14, 2012 Saji Connor rated it liked it
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 chi
Dec 13, 2015 Carmen8094 rated it really liked it
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 pe
A drug-company CEO is murdered in a courtyard of apartments leaving a fortune - but also an very bitter ex-wife and her husband, a second wife, an adoring mistress and a drug-addicted son.
Christopher Roden
Not read a Maigret mystery for a while, and it was a pleasure to return to him with this splendid little story.
Feb 21, 2014 Pupilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mindent valahogy régifilmes szépiaszínben láttam-hallottam, franciául, feliratozva. :) Határozottan jó volt. Kár, hogy a szokásos italozás elmaradt, talán ha egy-két sört gurított csak le a felügyelő.
Les Wilson
Apr 27, 2016 Les Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
G S doesn't let us down in this story, and keeps us guessing to the end.
Ray Downton
An interesting detective story with good characterisation and nice detail of 1930s Paris. An incentive to read more Maigret.
Apr 12, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I didnt enough this book, got board quickly and was glad when i came to the end of the book.
Mar 03, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My edition - Maigret Mystified translated by Jean Stewart - Penguin 1964

Brilliant but quite depressing. This is more a tale of misery, jealousy and genteel poverty than a detective story. A marvelous insight into the humane character of Maigret and to Simenon's fantastic knowledge of human nature.

A fairly short book which I re-read in one sitting on a plane journey. I have read pretty well all of the Maigret books and am now trying to read them again but in chronological order.

Not to be missed
Aug 17, 2014 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chillingly delightful!
Jun 01, 2016 GhitaB rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
May 28, 2016 Oryx rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret
Maigret erforscht einen Mord in einem heruntergekommenen Wohnhaus. Und ekelt sich vor dem Milieu. Mehr denn je reicht es ihm, dass er einfach nur da ist und die Täter irgendwann einfach zusammenbrechen.
Ronan Mcdonnell
Dec 17, 2014 Ronan Mcdonnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A murder mystery which is thin on mystery. What it lacks in machination it replaces with atmosphere and an understated observation of the quotidian life in Paris of the 20's and 30's
Jan 02, 2016 Rhys rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another great 'Maigret' novel. Perhaps lighter and less substantial than some other novels in the sequence that I have recently read, but still worthwhile. Simenon was always an excellent writer.
Jun 08, 2012 Mikee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret, mystery, simenon
Wotta nice tidy little murder mystery! The usual suspects. Self-obsessed characters. A sweet mistress. Greed. Robbery. Even a crazy sister. What more could you ask for?
Jan 02, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Maigret mystery with a weird ending. Simenon's ability to create so many vivid characters in such a short book continues to impress me.
Feb 27, 2013 Nranger7 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised. Despite being written so long ago, it was an interesting mystery and didn't seem very dated.
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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 75 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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