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Pietr il Lettone (Maigret #1)

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  863 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Questo libro segna l’atto ufficiale (1931) del commissario Maigret. «La presenza di Maigret al Majestic aveva inevitabilmente qualcosa di ostile. Era come un blocco di granito che l’ambiente rifiutava di assimilare. «Non che somigliasse ai poliziotti resi popolari dalle caricature. Non aveva né baffi né scarpe a doppia suola. Portava abiti di lana fine e di buon taglio. In...more
Paperback, Gli Adelphi - Le Inchieste di Maigret, 163 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Adelphi (first published 1931)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,707)
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Jim
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...more
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 25, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Susan
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
Rosenkavalier
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...more
Mike Jensen
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...more
Rob Kitchin
Pietr the Latvian is the first book in Simenon’s famous series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Maigret, which ran for 75 novels and 28 short stories. Maigret makes for an attractive lead character, with an assertive presence and tenacity in his pursuit of justice, pushing himself and prompting others into action and mistakes. Simenon writes in a tight, all tell and no show fashion using a workmanlike prose, keeping the story moving at a fair clip, with little in the way of character developm...more
Richard
I love Maigret novels and have read them over the years as and when I could get them. I was therefore thrilled when penguin books announced they were going to release all of the inspector Maigret novels in the order they were originally published; releasing 1 of the 75 books each month.
Pietr the Latvian was originally published in 1930. Although I had read this account I have decided to return to this series and read all the books in the chronology of their accepted writing/publication.
This was...more
Kim
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...more
Marcus Speh
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
Phillip Kay
Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett was first published as Pietr-le-Letton in 1931, and translated into English by Daphne Woodward. It was the fifth Maigret, and shows the detective as much more active than he eventually became, a mere intuitive device sniffing up atmosphere and delving into motives until the criminal confesses. Here he carries a gun, is shot and seriously wounded, and travels around Europe on the track of an international cartel of unscrupulous bootleggers. If you can imagine Agatha...more
Nick Jones
The first of Simenon’s Maigret stories. It is slightly longer than the later ones and slightly more explicit about Maigret. He is described more often: not in more detail, but his bulk is emphasised time after time. And there is more explaining his methods. The later books don’t have to ram the point home, they presume we have already made Maigret’s acquaintance and his personality is revealed through his actions. (And he wears a bowler hat: maybe in early 1930s France a bowler hat had different...more
Filippo Bossolino
Il voto giusto sarebbe 3.5 ma non potendo preferisco arrotondare per difetto, considerando che saranno tanti i libri che leggerò di questo autore, con la speranza di assegnare tanti punteggi pieni…

Ritorno a leggere Simenon dopo (quasi) una ventina d'anni, e questa volta - nel limite del possibile - proverò ad andare per ordine, per lo meno con la serie su Maigret.

In questo "esordio" da protagonista Maigret ci viene descritto come un personaggio burbero, di stazza imponente, gran bevitore di bir...more
Heather
Pietr the Latvian, which was originally published in serial form in French in 1930, is the first of Georges Simenon's novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Maigret, and is the first of Simenon's novels that I've read. It's no cosy mystery: it's a gritty police procedural (albeit light on procedure) that moves back and forth between Paris and the port town of Fécamp, where Maigret goes in search of clues. Maigret is meant to be trailing Pietr the Latvian, said to be the head of an organized...more
Jim Coughenour
I'm a longtime fan of Simenon's romans dur, handsomely published over the last few years by NYRB, but up to now I'd never read a single Maigret novel. So when I discovered that Penguin is republishing all 75 novels, it seemed ungrateful not to hop in. Pietr the Latvian is the first, originally published in serial in 1930. Simenon's trademark bleakness is already in evidence, although leavened with wry humor. Here's the Inspector, stumbling around in the dark wintry surf in pursuit of the eponymo...more
Roberta
Comincio, a tempo perso, la lettura del commissario Maigret.
Mi piacciono i gialli pre-CSI, quelli dove sembra esserci un codice etico tra guardie e ladri e dove c’è poco sangue.
Questa trama coinvolge con un classico gioco delle parti ed identità reinventate. Il commissario è ingombrante al punto giusto, senza sminuire i suoi comprimari. I cattivi si pentono ed espiano le loro colpe. Forse la fine è prevedibile, ma contemporaneamente anche rassicurante.
Tony
A most enigmatic thing about the titular Lett is that (and I don't think this part is a spoiler, but if you're worried, feel free to look away now...) he isn't. Not only is he not Latvian, but there's nothing even vaguely Latvia-related in the entire book. He was ethnically Estonian (though born in Pskov), studied in Tartu, picked up an Estonian newspaper to read, etc, and though there are nods to Russia, Poland, and Lithuania at various points, throughout the book, Latvia never makes an appeara...more
Ross Cumming
This is the first Maigret novel from the series that I'be read and where better to start than the very beginning. My first memory of Maigret was through the early BBC television series of the early 60's, when as a child I was vaguely aware of the pipe smoking detective. It's taken me quite a while to get round to actually reading a Maigret novel but having dipped my toe in some more recent 'Gallic Noir' I thought it was time to have a small taster.
We are introduced to the large figure of Maigre...more
John Xero
Some fantastic scenes and set-ups in this. I very much enjoyed meeting Maigret for the first time, an impressively solid immovable rock of a character, and his 'opponent', Pietr, is the perfect foil for him.

There are moments of the writing - and whether this comes from the original, or is a result of the translation, I couldn't say - that were not to my taste. In one moment it seems to fall apart, and while this probably reflects Maigret's state of mind at that point, it didn't really work for m...more
Will
Feb 27, 2012 Will rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short mystery fans. Also those who enjoy short mysteries.
Atmospheric, dark, stormtossed, and very French, Simenon manages to create a vivid hero in this first book of a SEVENTY-FIVE book series. I enjoyed this short and easy mystery, enough to probably pick up the second at some point. I might even finish all of them by the time I'm 75.
Leslie
The later books about Maigret are stronger, not surprisingly (most writers improve with practice and a writer as prolific as Simenon could hardly help becoming more skilled), but the basic elements are all here already. Something happens, something out of place or odd or outright criminal, and then Maigret watches and waits and thinks and drinks beer and trudges about in the rain and catches trains and goes home to Madame Maigret for a plate of stew and a good sleep when the case is over. He mov...more
Craig Thompson
This detective novel is the first of 75 Detective Maigret novels Simenon wrote. His style is very terse with truncated sentences, the prose is sparse and speech is frequently meted out staccato, with ellipses and Maigret's omission of the superfluous for fact.

This helps characterise the whole book with hard-boiled grit. Maigret is at times warm and longing to be back home (especially by a fire: Simenon in an interview said he refers so much to a fire in the book because he wrote it in a cold ap...more
Jean-Luke
Having finished this book I can say that I like Maigret and I like Simenon's writing. He creates a wonderful atmosphere. The plot wasn't amazing, but I managed to get through it and have the next book in the series already at my side.
Donna
I know there are many Maigret books and I've read a few here and there. This is the first and it is a stunner. I don't know if there is a "first in the series" book as good as this except perhaps Poroit's "Mysterious Affairs at Styles." Maigret is not only the Chief Inspector, he also gets right in there with his men and tails the suspect through the night and through pouring rain. He cares about those working under him, mourns their death and is gentle with ones who make a mistake. His wife, ne...more
Anne
Was amused with this month's choice for my village book group as Simenon was still very popular in the 1970s, when I began my career in Public Libraries. But I was soon disappointed as I think this is really showing its age. A detailed who-dun-it, with an atmospheric picture of 1930s (?) Paris with all it's high and low life, Champs Élysées and grim back streets, cabs and steamy trains. But it was all action (although frequently we were waiting around for hours with Maigret and his men, on stree...more
Tim Diggles
This is Simenon's first Maigret novel from 1931. His character is not fully formed but it has the feel of the later novels. I always enjoy Simenon's writing, though here the translator has made the annoying literal translation of the calling the criminal Pietr-le-Letton, Pietr the Lett, which breaks the flow of sentences through the book. A minor moan. It's full of wonderful descriptions of place and atmosphere which are concise and unassuming, he knew how to write about trains. Most of all it i...more
Diego González
Primera novela del inspector Maigret, publicada en 1931. La compré y leí por esa razón, pero la verdad es que me deja frío. Básicamente, alguien muere y Maigret se pone a seguir gente durante medio libro sin que uno sepa demasiado bien por qué demonios lo hace. Luego hay confrontaciones psicológicas y deducciones que en su día debieron resultar literariamente impecables pero que ochenta años después resultan casi cómicas.

Si uno no está muy metido en el contexto histórico y literario de la época...more
pierlapo  quimby
Il primo Maigret, la cui figura monolitica, invasiva e spesso fradicia di pioggia riempie le pagine di un buon romanzo.
Proustitute
My first Maigret and the first Maigret.

������It was interesting to see many of the existentialist themes with which Simenon grapples in his other work here in a procedural format. While the noir genre does deal with anxieties about identity and gender, in Simenon���s hands noir is a cultural critique of all of these anxieties brought to a head between the two World Wars.

In Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett, Maigret faces the brick wall most detective face: circumstantial evidence. While he tries to...more
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...more
Mmyoung
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
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9693
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
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