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Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett

(Inspector Maigret #1)

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  3,901 ratings  ·  471 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 May 1931)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) If David Brown's suggestion doesn't help, create an entry for it using the ISBN number. It's what I've had to do for the majority of French titles…moreIf David Brown's suggestion doesn't help, create an entry for it using the ISBN number. It's what I've had to do for the majority of French titles I've read.(less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) If you notice, many if not most TV and novel detectives and police officers seem to be able to do this. They live without proper food or sleep, and…moreIf you notice, many if not most TV and novel detectives and police officers seem to be able to do this. They live without proper food or sleep, and many of the older ones smoke like chimneys and drink like fish, and yet can run, jump and climb--and stay up for days on end--without succumbing to heartfailure. This is particularly so in the novels of the 1920s and 30s, but still holds good for many more modern tecs like some of McBain and co's cops.(less)

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3.48  · 
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Right, well this has to be my favourite fiction book of the year, easily. I don't think I have ever read any Maigret before, but I have seen numerous different tv versions from Michael Gambon to Rowan Atkinson, and enjoyed the character.
The book itself was atmospheric and a great murder mystery, with tension building all the way through the unfortunately so brief book. I have enjoyed the latest Maigret on TV with Rowan Atkinson and was surprised to find that in the book he is a well build man no
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 02, 2015 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
La prima indagine del corpulento ed atipico commissario Maigret che darà il via ad una nuova modalità di concepire il romanzo giallo.

"In ogni malfattore, in ogni delinquente c’è un uomo. Ma c’è anche e soprattutto un giocatore, un avversario: ed è questo che la polizia tende a vedere in lui, è questo che, in generale, affronta.
È stato commesso un delitto o un comune reato? La lotta viene ingaggiata su dati più o meno oggettivi, come ogni problema a una o più incognite che la ragione si sforza di
A fairly solid police procedural, the start of a series featuring the dogged and somewhat dour Inspector Maigret. A relatively slow and convoluted mystery.

The high light was the time period, setting and atmosphere of the novel. There were a couple of typos in this particular edition although nothing major.
Aug 28, 2014 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 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
Jan 23, 2012 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
Ivonne Rovira
Jan 21, 2014 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
Susan Johnson
3.5 stars
Elizabeth (Alaska)
As can be seen in the GR title, this is the first in a series. I think this series can be read in any order, but I hoped to get a full introduction to Inspector Maigret, and I was not disappointed. There is a lot of plot, as one might expect. The mystery was different. There was a bit more to the other non-reappearing characters than I might have expected, although to suggest they are fully fleshed would be an exaggeration. The prose is good - it isn't so complex as to get in the way of the stor ...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's interesting to me how different each Maigret is. Simenon is not a formulaic mystery writer.

This story was written in 1931 so was, no doubt, an early effort; however, I am impressed with how mature the writing is. Also, considering the year, Maigret refers to the rumblings of history in the background, the communism settling in in Russia, the ever increasing disenfranchisement of European Jews.

The story starts with a murder in a train. The international crook, Pietr Lett, whom Maigret has be
Il mio primo Maigret, quindi prendete la votazione con le pinze. Sicuramente ce ne saranno altri in futuro, dove il mio giudizio sarà più veritiero.
Nancy Oakes
When I finally was able to finish this book, I really wanted to go right away to the next one in the series, but it will keep for a few days.

Not only did I have fun playing armchair detective with this one because it is indeed a puzzler, but just as the book was starting to wind down and the solution to the case at hand about to be revealed, I surprised myself when I realized that what comes out of the last few pages is actually the very stuff of Simenon's excellent romans durs, in which, as J
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've recently rediscovered Georges Simenon having not read him for many decades. I'd only ever read his Maigret books so started with a couple of his Roman Durs (hard novels) - both The Mahé Circle and The Hand are excellent.

Pietr the Latvian (1930) was the first book in the Maigret series. I enjoyed it. A somewhat convoluted plot was, at times, a little hard to follow however the whole thing was helpfully deconstructed at the end.

It's enjoyable and undemanding fare, not a patch on the two Roma
Apr 26, 2017 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
Bill Lynas
Jan 19, 2017 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.
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
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nel leggere la lista dei 100 libri del secolo di Le Monde mi ha colpito l’inserimento di Pietr il Lettone, il romanzo in cui Simenon inventa Maigret. Maigret per me ha le fattezze di Gino Cervi e i pochi gialli di Simenon che ho letto da ragazzina sono persi nella memoria o seppelliti dall’esuberanza del personaggio televisivo. Incuriosita ho deciso che era tempo di riscoprire il Maigret letterario. La prima cosa che mi ha colpito di questo romanzo è la modernità: leggendo le descrizioni di Pari ...more
May 06, 2014 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
Dec 13, 2014 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
The Frahorus
Pietr il Lettone, ovvero la prima indagine del commissario Maigret. A Georges Simenon, mentre era in gita nella sua barca, gli venne in mente un uomo massiccio con una pipa in bocca, un commissario, con una bombetta, un pesante cappotto con il collo di velluto... e aveva anche una vecchia stufa di ghisa nel suo ufficio. Ed ecco nascere proprio lui, il celebre commissario Maigret! Simenon ha scritto, in totale, 76 romanzi e 26 racconti di questo simpatico e paziente commissario di polizia frances ...more
Ova - Excuse My Reading
Really enjoyed this.
Once again I understood the importance of a proper translation. I've read another book in these series (there is over 75 books) and I found it bland and unengaging. This book was on a deal at audible and I decided to give it another go, as I always hear praises for Simenon. And what a surprise, it was an entirely different experience. Much better writing and the book flow nicely, sentences not cut short bluntly. Not surprised to read that this is a new translation by David B
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.
Andy Weston
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels and published in 1930 is a darker read than most mysteries from that Golden Age of the 1930’s, from luxurious hotels and theatres to seedy boarding houses and there is true despair in some of the characters involved. At this very early stage in Simenon’s career he gives a glimpse of that French ‘noir’ that he would become famous for.

Maigret’s character will develop through the novels also. Here he is a relatively young man, doing a lot of
Description: A gripping new translation of the first novel in the famous Inspector Maigret series

What he sought, what he waited and watched out for was the crack in the wall. In other words, the instant when the human being comes out from behind the opponent . . .

Who is Pietr the Latvian? Is he a gentleman thief? A Russian drinking absinthe in a grimy bar? A married Norwegian sea captain? A twisted corpse in a train bathroom? Or is he all of these men? Inspector Maigret, tracking a mysterious a
May 24, 2015 rated it 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
Michael P.
Jun 26, 2009 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
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-not-med
Vi dirò, ero scettica quando l’ho preso in mano - principalmente perché non sono abituata a leggere i gialli, non li leggevo da tanto tempo. A me piacciono i romanzi in cui si impara qualcosa - tant’è che spesso non faccio caso alla trama, guardo solo il contenuto, il messaggio, il cuore pulsante della storia. Qui però - qui però c’era da scoprire chi sia, Pietr il Lettone. Maigret, il commissario, lo insegue incurante dei delitti che si susseguono, incurante del sangue perso nel corso delle pag ...more
Behzad Sadeghi
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
خب رمان پلیسی رو مگه میشه دوست نداشت؟ اصلا نوشته و چاپ میشه برای اینکه سرگرم کنه، که آدم از اول با دهان باز بخونه بره تا ته یه نفس.
این رمان هم خب همینطور. خیلی رمان کارآگاهی و پلیسی نخوندم، ولی خب مثلن در مقایسه با یکی دوتایی که از چندلر خوندم، فکر میکنم که سیمنون بهتره.
به این دلیل که از کلیشه بیشتر به دوره. دوم اینکه خواننده راه داده میشه در فعل و انفعالات ذهن کارآگاه مِگره و اصولا اونو یه آدم با خصائل انسانی می یابیم، نه یه قویِ خفنِ باهوش.
آخر سر هم از خود سیمنون میگم که "انسان بودن کار سختی
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Maigret (1 - 10 of 75 books)
  • The Late Monsieur Gallet (Maigret, #2)
  • The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien (Maigret, #3)
  • The Carter of 'La Providence' (Maigret, #4)
  • The Yellow Dog (Maigret #5)
  • The Night at the Crossroads (Maigret #6)
  • A Crime in Holland (Maigret #7)
  • The Grand Banks Café (Maigret, #8)
  • A Man's Head (Maigret #9)
  • The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin (Maigret #10)
  • The Two-Penny Bar (Maigret #11)
“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.” 2 likes
“There’s no skill and no grace to it, but you” 1 likes
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