The Judge’s House: Inspector Maigret, Book 22, by Georges Simenon

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The Judge's House: Inspector Maigret, Book 22, by Georges Simenon

The Judge’s House: Inspector Maigret, Book 22, by Georges Simenon

The Judge's House: Inspector Maigret, Book 22, by Georges Simenon

Free Ebook The Judge’s House: Inspector Maigret, Book 22, by Georges Simenon

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The Judge's House: Inspector Maigret, Book 22, by Georges Simenon

Exiled from Paris, Maigret discovers some disturbing secrets in a sleepy coastal town in this new translation.

A short, sprightly man appeared in the doorway, looked left and right, and went back into the passage. A moment later, the improbable happened. The little man reappeared, bent over, clinging to a long mass that he now started dragging through the mud. It must have been heavy. After four metres, he stopped to catch his breath. The front door of the house had been left open. The sea was still 20 or 30 metres away.

This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret in Exile.

Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.

  • Sales Rank: #97439 in Audible
  • Published on: 2015-10-15
  • Released on: 2015-10-15
  • Format: Unabridged
  • Original language: English
  • Running time: 218 minutes

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
A Maigret interrogation — otherwise known as “The Singing Session”
By R. M. Peterson
Penguin UK is in the midst of issuing new translations of all seventy-five of Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels, one per month. THE JUDGE’S HOUSE was originally published in 1942; in its earlier English translation it was titled “Maigret in Exile”. Reading it was sufficiently entertaining and sufficiently literary that I probably will indulge myself with a few others from the new Penguin series.

Detective Chief Inspector Jules Maigret has been exiled from the Police Judiciaire in Paris for unexplained reasons. He now toils in Luçon, in the Vendée. A curious old woman visits him to report that for two days there has been a body on the floor of an upstairs room of a judge’s house in L’Aiguillon, a small village on the coast. Maigret accompanies the woman to L’Aiguillon and arrives in time to find the judge, in the middle of the night, dragging a corpse wrapped in a couple of sacks towards the ocean. The judge turns out to be very polite and extraordinarily unflappable, offering Maigret armagnac while he calmly explains matters in his library in front of a crackling blaze in the fireplace. That’s the beginning to a rather peculiar tale of not one but two murders; a pair of headstrong young men who make their livings in the mussel fields; two mentally unbalanced, nymphomaniac women, mother and daughter; and a remote coastal community. It culminates with an unorthodox and riveting interrogation by Maigret.

Decades ago I read a fair amount of “detective fiction”, but for some time now the genre hasn’t held much interest for me. About a year ago I read my first Maigret novel by Simenon; it was engaging enough that I tried THE JUDGE’S HOUSE and, as mentioned, I suspect I will return for more. What’s different about Simenon and Maigret? I don’t yet have a satisfactory answer. Part of it surely has to do with the straightforward character of Maigret, who is stolid and rather ordinary, without the machismo of most leading men of the genre. Another part of the attraction has to do with the way Simenon tells his stories, with an accelerated pace but little of the tough, cynical prose of American noir fiction.

I do know that I have good company in admiring Simenon. The first page of this volume contains eleven blurbs from literary types — among them William Faulkner (“I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov.”); André Gide (“The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature.”); and Anita Brookner (“The mysteries of the human personality are revealed in all their disconcerting complexity.”). In addition, I remember from a biography of T.S. Eliot that he too was an avid reader of Simenon.

* * * * *

I don’t know whether the initial fault was Simenon’s or the translator’s (Howard Curtis), but there are two inconsistencies that Penguin should not have allowed to go into print. On the very same page (page 6), the old woman who sets the tale in motion tells Maigret that (a) she has a house in L’Aiguillon “near the harbour”, and (b) that “the village of L’Aiguillon is quite far from the harbour”. She also tells him that “only about twenty” people live in L’Aiguillon, but as the novel proceeds it is clear that at least ten times that number must live there, as there are two hotels, twenty or thirty working mussel boats, and dozens of schoolchildren.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
You would not want this nosy pair for neighbors!
By Patto
Old Didine and her retired husband spend hours spying on their neighbor the judge. Finally it pays off! They spot a dead man on the floor of the judge’s house. Didine rushes off to fetch Inspector Maigret.

Maigret has been exiled to this dull coastal town full of mussel farmers due to some unnamed infraction. He’s dying of boredom, and a murder case comes as a veritable gift from heaven. Maigret hastens to Didine’s house, and sure enough, next door the judge is dragging a man’s body down to the water…

There are many delicious moments in this little novel: Maigret’s guilty enjoyment of the judge’s cozy sitting room and fine brandy, although the judge may be a murderer; old Didine’s spiteful spouting of scandal about her neighbor; Maigret’s loathing of his vulgar assistant who stinks of brilliantine…

A high point of the plot is Maigret’s interrogation of two young mussel farmers. No one knows where he’s going with his questions. One minute he’s kind and sympathetic, the next minute he’s putting on a fit of fury while angrily guzzling wine. This is the bear-like Maigret at his trickiest and most unpredictable.

I love Simenon’s style, his ability to convey atmosphere in a few terse sentences, his internal dialog that breaks off so suggestively. The Judge’s House (first published in 1942) is a little gem, rich in quirky characters and subtle humor.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
another great Simenon mystery
By Miss Ivonne
An observant old lady alerts Detective Chief Inspector Maigret to some strange goings-on at her neighbor’s house in the 1942 novel The Judge’s House (also published as Maigret in Exile). And what Didine Hulot has seen at Judge Forlacroix’s house in L’Aiguillion is a dead body. She ensures that Maigret is on the scene when the retired judge tries to dispose of the corpse. And that’s just the beginning of this suspenseful novel, full of twists and turns. One of the best of Georges Simenon’s wonderful novels. And if you get to listen to the book narrated by Gareth Armstrong, so much the better.

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