Three seasonal stories set in Paris at Christmas, from the celebrated creator of Inspector Maigret. It is Christmas in Paris, but beneath the sparkling lights and glittering decorations lie sinister deeds and dark secrets… This collection brings together three of Simenon’s most enjoyable Christmas tales, newly translated, featuring Inspector Maigret and other characters from the Maigret novels. In ‘A Maigret Christmas’, the Inspector receives two unexpected visitors on Christmas Day, who lead him on the trail of a mysterious intruder dressed in red and white. In ‘Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook’, the sound of alarms over Paris send the police on a cat and mouse chase across the city. And ‘The Little Restaurant in Les Ternes (A Christmas Story for Grown-Ups)’ tells of a cynical woman who is moved to an unexpected act of festive charity in a nightclub – one that surprises even her…
I was sent an eARC but it only contained the first of the three stories which I understand make up this book.
‘A Maigret Christmas’
I enjoyed the fact that this story, indeed the Maigret books, are set in a time when there is still much merit given to the art of detection. Here the story is laid out before you – a child wakes to find Santa Claus in her room ‘making a hole in the floor to travel downstairs…’, he signals her to stay quiet, gives her a doll and exits through the door. Maigret is told this and requested by a neighbour and, more reluctantly, the aunt of the child to look into it. It is Christmas Day – a little bored and now with his interest piqued he decides to do a little, unofficial, sleuthing. Mrs Maigret features as do several colleagues.
This is a well written gem of a story. I have not read any Maigret books so this was a good introduction and one that made me want to read more. I enjoyed the recent Maigret series on TV and do recall the original TV version (my parents liked to watch it). Having now read this short story I am sure I would enjoy the books.
It also gave a fascinating insight into Christmas Day in France, well Paris, at that time with shops opening for such items as croissants, taxis available and the train station open.
I was sent an eARC but it only contained the first of the three stories which I understand make up this book. Since then I have received a revised copy and, I’m glad to say, the other two are equally as good.
With thanks to Penguin Classics via NetGalley for this eARC in return for an honest review.
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EDITION Other Format: ISBN 9780241282151