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Maigret at Picratt's

(Inspector Maigret #36)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  872 ratings  ·  99 reviews
'He opened the door for her and watched her walk away down the huge corridor, then hesitate at the top of the stairs. Heads turned as she passed. You sensed she came from a different world, the world of the night, and there was something almost indecent about her in the harsh light of a winter's day'

A young cabaret dancer in a black silk dress leads Maigret into a seamy wo
Paperback, 186 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Penguin Classics (first published December 1950)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  872 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Start your review of Maigret at Picratt's (Inspector Maigret, #36)
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over Christmas I had the distinct misfortune of suffering through the newest British TV movie adaptation of a Maigret novel, whilst I’d never read this book I knew immediately that it was dramatically changed in terms of content such was the blandness of the content and the obvious and ugly moralising including Janvier beating up a suspect simply because he was a homosexual junkie.

The book however was a whole lot of classic Maigret sitting around drinking brandy and watching people and piecing
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: france, fiction
Very good but dark. Strikes me as almost a precursor to books like Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, detective
The most unmelodramatic and unsentimental story imaginable. I enjoy Maigret's simple methods and his interest in the human condition and the somewhat freer social conventions enjoyed in France during detection's golden age.

The heavy drinking, pornography, sex, and drugs are somewhat unsavoury to the police, though they indulge in plenty of drinking themselves. But for the most part people take licentious behaviour in their stride, and society seems less striated and hysterical for it. This migh
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: previously-read, own
A real pleasure to read one of my favourite maigret novels as part of the re-published with fresh translations by Penguin Classics.
I wonder why I love this story so; I remember the TV adaptation Maigret and the Night Club Dancer with Michael Gambon & Minnie Driver in 1993 that also captured the seediness of Paris around Montmartre and the sense of a wasted life.
In the previous book - Memoirs, Maigret comments that one of the hardest murders to solve is that of a young prostitute and that is basi
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: georges-simenon
I really enjoyed this Maigret. The bleakness of Paris in winter and the unsavoriness of Montmartre is captured beautifully in Simenon’s writing. Maigret and his team investigate a woman who is strangled after reporting to Maigret the planned murder of a countess.

The setting and characters include a homosexual, drug addicts, strip clubs and other questionable characters. Maigret does not judge them just observes and as always consumes copious quantities of alcohol along the way to solving the ca
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this entry into the Maigret series. It had all the satisfying elements of this series: my favorite detective in his Parisian office solving the murder of a burlesque dancer who had come to the police station only hours before her death to report the imminent murder of a "countess." The police did not take her seriously until she was murdered.

"Long faced" policeman Longnon also makes an appearance as a bit of comic relief. And, as usual, Maigret's focus is on discovering the true identity
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
My last book of the year 2016 is the nastiest 'Maigret' novel I have yet read. Brilliantly atmospheric, deliriously paced, as entertaining and evocative as always, it features perhaps the least noble villain I have yet encountered in any of these books. There is an unfortunate touch of homophobia in this 1951 story that made me wince a little, but Simenon is rarely anything other than understanding about all sectors of society, which makes this aspect in this particular novel an anomaly. In fact ...more
Shabbeer Hassan
A classic Maigret with his sharp observations on human nature, his occasional wit and plenty of beer to drink, all the while he hunts Montmartre for a rather traditional kind of killer. No twisty turns here, but a touch of homophobia which leaves a bad taste after finishing this book!

My Rating - 3/5
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He opened the door for her and watched her walk away down the huge corridor, then hesitate at the top of the stairs. Heads turned as she passed. You sensed she came from a different world, the world of the night, and there was something almost indecent about her in the harsh light of a winter's day.
In his office, Lucas inhaled the smell she had left behind her, a woman's smell, almost the smell of bed.

A young, slightly drunk woman, enters Maigret's police precinct. She works as a stripper in
R Fontaine
Maigret’s novels are as diverse as the beauty of France and as consistent as the characters of his procedural mysteries.
If there is a drawback to his voluminous writing, it’s that there are few dramatic surprises from the characters while their descriptions and actions provide the step by step solution to the mystery.
In this installment, Inspector Maigret brings Montmarte into the spotlight almost as the main
midnight character.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
A light but satisfying read, which I devoured in an hour or three. Having first seen the French TV series starring Bruno Cremer, and later a BBC version with Michael Gambon (and Minnie Driver as the unfortunate dancer), it was interesting to see how faithful both dramas were to the original text. Of course, the BBC drama did copy the French TV film very closely, almost frame for frame at times.

Postwar Paris is beautifully portrayed, with its muddy, slush-filled streets and blue-grey winter ligh
Marina Morais
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
See, I was enjoying it. It's not some ingenious mystery novel, more like your regular detective story without many twists and turns, but still just good enough.

Then Philippe's character came up halfway through it, and my face just became a giant frown as one homophobic comment succeeded the other. I know, I know - it was written in the 1950s. Well, guess what? Writers were supposed to be more open-minded and sensible, even back then. It comes with the talent. I mean, you can find countless femi
Ivonne Rovira
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A drunk exotic dancer working in an American-style burlesque show tips off police that she’s overheard a plot to kill a duchess for her jewelry. The police give the woman (who goes by the stage name Arlette) such a hard time that an exhausted Arlette recants her story just so she can go home. Just a few hours later, she’s found strangled.

First published in English in 1951 and previously released in English under the titles of Maigret and the Strangled Stripper, Maigret at Montmatre and Inspecto
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh joy! Oh bliss! a new mystery writer whose wonderful policiers aren't full to the brim with the blood and guts that seems to mark the majority of crime writers - these books by Simenon are subtle, slow and full to the brim with wit and joie de vivre and my do you feel like you are traversing the streets of Paris as you follow Maigret to the scene of the crime and best of all - like my current favourites Camilleri and Arnaldur Indridason - there's a melancholy feel to these splendid books - I'v ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: simenon, maigret, mystery
Yet another classic Maigret. Some loose ends but never mind. Sleuthing, tragedy, a bit of comedy and, as always, a sympathetic view of the human condition. A bit of homophobia that was neither pleasant nor necessary, but no doubt part of the prevailing sentiment of the times. Deplorable, given Simenon's friendship with Andre Gide and others.
Inspector Maigret investigates the double homicide of a stripper and a countess.

When Arlette, the stripper from Picratt's, reports having overheard a plot to murder an unnamed countess to the local police station, she isn't taken seriously until her own murder hours later. Shortly therefore, a countess is indeed killed. This takes Inspector Maigret into the Montmartre district's vice-filled underbelly to find their killer.

Contemporary readers will find the scandalous strip routine at Picratt's
Zella Kate
Maigret (and Simenon) return to the seedy underside of Paris, this time the strip clubs of Montmartre in this outing. As always, very atmospheric, and I enjoyed the hands-on police work. Maigret's longstanding rivalry with a local Montmartre detective, the unfortunate and lugubrious Lognon, who loves to act the martyr, will never not be hilarious to me. This particular case wasn't quite as interesting to me as some of the others, though.

Most of the Maigret novels I've read are surprisingly open
John Frankham
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Had to read this wonderful Maigret novel again after watching the awful television version this Christmas. If you have to watch a version of this, chose the brilliant Michael Gambon version from the 1980s(?).

This book is short, beautifully and sparingly written, and takes you into the heart of the seedy night club life of Paris. Wonderful.

The GR blurb:

'It is four o'clock in the morning and out of the rain-slick cobbled streets of Montmartre appears a garishly dressed young woman. Her lipstick is
Tony Fitzpatrick
Back to form after the last, rather weird, set of "memoirs". Maigret is investigating two murders. The first of a young night club dancer, and the second of a "Countess" - drug addicted and living in squalor. The dancer had attempted to warn the police about the risk of the second murder before it was committed, but with what turned out to be inadequate information to prevent it. She was then murdered herself. The relationship between the Parisian police and the inhabitants of the colourful nigh ...more
Miles Zarathustra
What a genius! He makes such twisted characters come to life, each personality a story in itself, and they weave together in the layers of revelation to compose a masterful mystery. This particular story is not for the squeamish, as it is set in a cheap strip club, where the reader is invited to feel at home, like one of the family. Another caveat: the depiction of women and gays may offend some, particularly as it was written in 1950. Personally I loved the mention of neighborhoods in and near ...more
My wife has been after me for some time to read the Simenon classics and I gave in. Now I am reading them like I'm eating popcorn. Paris in the '50s is like a character in the books as the chief inspector makes his way around investigating crime. The stories unfold largely through dialog which I enjoy, although I feel as though too many of the voices sound the same. In this novel a mysterious young stripper, Arlett, casts a spell on one of Maigret's detectives, along with most men she meets. She ...more
Randy Rusbridger
My first and favourite Maigret, of whom up till now I read 6-7, besides some Simenon's novels that do not feature famous detective.
It is a story of Paris underworld, demi-monde included; of poor people on the run from their homes, from their own past and from the real people who are trying to hunt them down. It is also story of love, beauty, innocence, dreams, but also of lust, helplesness and jealousy. Maigret himself, although leading respectable and unassuming existence, is a figure who very
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Georges Simenon novel I have read and although I enjoyed the book I am not sure that I will rush out to buy another. As previous reviewers have stated the sense of place, the seediness of Montmarte's underworld and its' characters, club owners, club customers, drug dealers and takers are all easily conjured up in your mind because of Simenon's descriptions. The atmosphere of the place was beautifully described. What let the story down for me was the plot, somehow it just didn't ...more
Apurva Khadye
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One rainy night, a drunken stripper goes to the police station and reports a crime will be committed, after which she denies having ever heard or said those things. However, next day she is found dead and the crime which she talked about has been committed.

Maigret has conventional methods to solve a crime. He is definately not the know it all detective. He certainly plays humans. I loved the simplicity of the characters and the complexity of the plot. Narrative is fast moving. There is not a si
Linda Ellis
I found it difficult to rate this.

I finished it. It was well-written and translated.

But ... I found my self continuing, not because it was gripping, but because I just wanted to get to the end. I didn’t find any of the characters engaged my interest or sympathy. It was fairly grim, with way too much homophobia for today’s sensibilities. I know it dates from an earlier period, and another country, and presumably reflects how things were then, but it did not make for enjoyable reading.

The best I
David C Ward
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The linked murders of a stripper and a dissolute countess allows Simenon to explore the demi monde of Pigalle which he does expertly: the nightlife is a counterlife but it is still home to a lot of people. Less than four stars though because the capture of the criminal is a rather tedious, in the end irrelevant, tail through Paris. Irrelevant because the info that leads to the bad guy comes from someone inside the nightclubs circle.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book about maigret I have read , not impressed! I think that is partly because I did not know the characters and there was very little introduction to the main ones who appear in the other books in the series. The main issue I think is that it is a book of its time and does not fit into our open, liberal 21st century - interesting to read as a historical novel but no comparison with modern detective novels.
Warren Fretwell
May 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arlette, a stripper at Picratt's, is found strangled in her room the day after she tells the police of an overheard conversation involving the planned murder of a countess. A couple of days later, a "countess" is found and she has also been strangled.

Maigret explores the seamy environs of Montmarte cabarets, drug addiction, sexual favors and exploited women as he hunts his suspect down.

Arlette, a beautiful stripper at Picratt’s in Montmartre, reports to the police an overhead plan to kill a countess. Despite some investigation, the police cannot confirm her claim. Shortly, Arlette is founded murdered. The next day, a countess is found dead. Maigret investigates in the seedier side of Paris.
Roy Noon
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maigret
Another seedy tale from Simenon.
More concerned as ever with police procedure and human behaviour, rather than tying everything up like Poirot would. Though he plays around with that end of book summation in the scenes in the night club where Maigret is almost casually chatting with the night club owners.
Not known for his humour, Simenon ends the book with a joke.
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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)
  • Pietr the Latvian
  • 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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