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Maigret and the Burglar's Wife

(Inspector Maigret #38)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  720 ratings  ·  76 reviews
While committing what he intends to be his last burglary, "Sad Freddie" discovers something completely out of his line: the body of a dead woman, her chest covered in blood, holding a telephone in her hand. Inspector Maigret is called in to solve the crime, and after an exhaustive search, a psychological duel, a marathon interrogation, and innumerable glasses of Pernod, wi ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 21st 2003 by Mariner Books (first published 1951)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  720 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the better detective story
Shelves: detective, 2015, belgian
Simenon a brilliant Belgian writer, born in Liege [which is a proverbial stone throw away from where I live in the South of the Netherlands], is probably best known for his series about Maigret the French policeman. The pace in these books are never much higher than pedestrian, but they are full of characters that are fleshed out and recognizable. The Maigret stories are in general very good drawings of situations that went wrong and needs a policeman to bring the truth to the light.

Here the boo
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, crime
The mystery of the missing corpse...

On a hot summer day in Paris when most people are on holiday, Maigret receives a visit from a tall woman who says he once arrested her. Ernestine tells him she is now married to a well-known safe-breaker, nicknamed Sad Freddie, who has been in and out of prison for years. On his latest job, according to the woman, Freddie discovered the body of a murdered woman in the house he was burgling, and has fled and gone into hiding, fearing he'll be suspected of killi
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: previously-read, own
Previously "Maigret and the Burglar's Wife. A book I have read before and remember the faithful TV adaptation with Michael Gambon in the 90's.
Just over 3 years ago Penguin began reissuing all 75 of Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels at a rate of one per month, commissioning new modern translation, returning to original titles and producing them in their original publication order.
With 'Maigret and the Tall Woman' I have now read 38 such titles and I am up to date with the ones so far iss
Roman Clodia
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is classic Maigret and though it's midway through the series, it's also perfectly fine as a place to start for those new to Simenon. This new Penguin translation feels smooth and natural, and keeps some of the low-key humour of the originals.

Unlike many contemporary crime writers, Simenon doesn't believe in wasted words: he keeps things short, sharp and abbreviated, ditching all extraneous words. There are no 'he said/she saids' in the dialogues and Maigret doesn't let us into his own thoug
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 09, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
First published in English in 1955 with the better title of Inspector Maigret and the Burglar’s Wife, Maigret and the Tall Woman was a book I simply couldn’t put down, as cliché as that sounds. A former prostitute who had had a run-in with Maigret some 17 years earlier has since married a safecracker, Alfred “Sad Freddie” Jussiaume. Madame Jussiaume pops into Maigret’s office to advise him that her husband had fled the scene of his impending crime on Tuesday night when he found a bloodied woman’ ...more
Michael Mills
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Oh Georges Simenon. Your tight, witty prose is so cool I feel more socially desirable just reading one of your books. It's a pity this is an ebook, otherwise my fellow commuters might've caught a glimpse of the cover and secretly hoped I'd be their friend.


Maigret and the Tall Woman is the 38th of the 76 novels Simenon wrote about his titular inspector, and as about a typical example of the series as you
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This one just keeps building to a virtual white-heat of tension.
Keith Currie
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A career safe-breaker, well known to the police, has broken into a house, bent on burglary, but is disturbed by the discovery of the murdered body of a woman. He flees, afraid that he will be accused of her death, but his lover reports the incident to Maigret, as she fears her partner will be blamed. But there is no report of a death or indeed a burglary from the house in question, and when Maigret visits the house there is no body either; only an elderly woman, her dentist son and a report that ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start this review, I have to say that I, personally, enjoy reading detectives at summer. The thing is, I feel that vacation read requires to be both thrilling and not emotionally heavy. And “Maigret And The Tall Woman” turned out to be just the book of that kind – so I’m very thankful to Penguin Books for sending it to me.

Actually, I was excited to read it as I’ve already been introduced to a few of Maigret detectives and all of them appeared to be full of plot twists and aperitif. And clearl
A woman from the detective's past reappears and asks him to help find her missing husband. Available at BBC Radio 7.
NebulousGloom (FK)
Mar 17, 2010 rated it liked it
My first Maigret book. Definitely enjoyable, although dear god does he drink a lot while working. Anyway, I'll definitely read more.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly enjoyable. It was gratifying to arrive at the last page and see:
Shadow Rock Farm
Lakeville, Connecticut

I lived in the small town of Lakeville for a number of years. So marvelous that for a time the great Simenon lived and wrote there...
Erin Britton
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ernestine Jussiaume, a lofty former prostitute who caused Maigret much embarrassment during an arrest many years ago, seeks his help following the disappearance of her husband. The man in question is a particularly unlucky safecracker named Sad Freddie, who had gone out on ‘one last big job’ at a house on Rue de la Ferme a couple of evenings before but, rather than returning empty-handed and morose as was his normal practice, he had telephoned his wife in a panic and informed her that he had to ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Penguin Books UK for a review copy of Maigret and The Tall Women, the 38th novel in the series of Paris based police procedurals.

Sad Freddy, a safe cracker, phones his wife Ernestine, the eponymous Tall Woman, to tell her that he had to abandon the job he was on and go on the run because he found a dead body and was seen leaving the premises in Neuilly. Ernestine brings the story to Maigret who soon identifies the premises but finds no body or evidence of a br
Sid Nuncius
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You just can't beat a good Maigret and I read this quickly and with great pleasure. The two things are linked, because Simenon's unfussy, direct style means that each of the 70-odd Maigret books is brief but very satisfying. This, like all of them, is as much about character and Parisian life as about crime, but it's done so well that you absorb it all while being involved in the story.

Here, Maigret begins to investigate the story of a woman whom he arrested in amusing circumstances many years
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A woman from Maigret's past asks for help from the famous police inspector. Her husband a safe cracker has disappeared after breaking into a house to rob a safe, however whilst carrying out his job he spots a dead body in the room, panics, runs but doesn't run to his wife instead leaving Paris to go into hiding. Maigret accepts the case and comes up against two challenging foes.

Everyone should try the Maigret novels, they are a joy to read and leave you wanting more. Luckily there is a large can
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I will no longer apologize for liking and reading mysteries, just as Maigret would never apologize for a couple of extra glasses of wine with lunch. I remember my mother reading this series--can't believe I just rediscovered them now. Quality story with lovely French color and atmosphere. Definitely going to keep reading these!
Nov 19, 2009 rated it liked it
This seemed to be just a run-of-the mill, mediocre detective story--not at all what I expected Simenon to be like. I did enjoy reading about Maigret's drinking, which plays a prominent role. Man, he can throw back the Pernod.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: maigret, simenon, mystery
A dentist and his mother. Two wives and a husband. A safe installer / safe cracker. A nice little murder mystery. Mme M spends some time in the Brasserie Dauphine and the PJ (where she's not allowed to comment on the mess or the dust!).
Bob Bauer
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I forgot what a pleasure it is to read Simenon and his wonderful character Inspector Maigret.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another very atmospheric tale from Simenon. Difficult to say too much without giving the game away. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Roy Noon
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret
Classic cat and mouse detective story. All the traditional Simenon characteristics are in place, economy of style, psychological insight, Maigret's authentic plodding persistence.
Melisende d'Outremer
Look, I personally love classic crime - and Maigret (recently brought to life by Rowan Atkinson), definitely falls into this category.

The "tall woman" is the wife of a career safe-cracker (a woman whom Maigret knew from years gone by). There is a murder, and the safe-cracker vanishes. In his usual style, and sometimes with the thinest of evidence, Maigret investigates. There is nothing seemingly rushed about this man, and at times you wonder if Maigret will ever solve the puzzle. But you know h
John Frankham
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-detective
A first-rate Maigret, halfway through the series. Sympathetic portrayal of the regular criminal classes, and how things go wrong for them. Plus an interestingly dysfunctional victim family - or are they?

The GR blurb:

'While committing what he intends to be his last burglary, "Sad Freddie" discovers something completely out of his line: the body of a dead woman, her chest covered in blood, holding a telephone in her hand. Inspector Maigret is called in to solve the crime, and after an exhaustive s
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a highly entertaining Maigret whodunit, the 38th in the series, and it was first published in 1951. The inspector is visited at headquarters by a tall woman named Ernestine who discloses that Maigret once arrested her -- and she distinguished herself at the time by stripping all her clothes off and insisting on being apprehended this way. Now she is married to a small-time safecracker, Alfred, or "Sad Freddie," who on his latest job discovered the body of a murdered woman in the house th ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Georges Simenon's Maigret books were the first adult books I read. I took those tentative steps up the stairs in the library from the children's section to the adult's section and, to be honest, I have no idea why I picked these to start with. Possibly having watched repeats of the 1960s TV show. But I did, and I really loved them. They managed to re-ignite my love of reading that my school had all but brow beaten out of me by making me read books I had little or no interest in. Anyway, this hav ...more
Vic Van
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Maigret and the atmosphere in Simenon's novels.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Simenon, Georges. MAIGRET AND THE BURGLAR’S WIFE. (1951). ****. A woman comes to see Chief Inspector Maigret at headquarters. She reminds him that they have met, several years ago, when she was a streetwalker, and he ran her in for petty theft. She’s married now to a man well known to the police. His nickname is “Sad Freddie.” Freddie used to work for a safe company, installing their products in businesses and private homes. Over the last few years, however, he has started his own business: robb ...more
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

A visit from the tall, thin woman he arrested many years ago - now married to a hapless burglar - leads Maigret on a tortuous investigation in which he struggles with a formidable suspect.
'When he had set them to work, Maigret had had a merry, almost fierce glint in his eye. He had set them loose on the house like a pack of hounds on the trail of a scent, encouraging them not with his voice, but by his whole
May 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Simenon's characters are caught in the usual tensions of domestic relationships. This time we find a second wife moving in with a hostile mother-in-law and her weak kneed dentist son. One of them tries to break out from the unhappiness and crime results. Maigret, the plodding civil servant, restores order and brings the criminal to justice between trips to the Brasserie Dauphine for sandwiches and beer and stakeouts lubricated liberally with calvados.

While the criminals and their victims struggl
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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

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