The first 3 Inspector Maigret Book are on sale for $2.99 on kindle. The next 7 are $4.99 http://amzn.to/1RerwSo. Just as a warning, the 4th one is labeled as number 2. So the third one is actually number two, the fourth one is actually number three. The Audiobooks are $3.49 with purchase of the Kindle books for several.
Takeaway: Smart mysteries look at character.
As with many other books, I picked up the first of the Inspector Maigret books based on a recommendation from John Wilson on the Books and Culture podcast. Penguin has commissioned new translations of this classic French mystery series.
This is the first of well over 100. So the order isn’t that important, but I like to read series books in order when possible.
This is a short mystery (less than 200 pages) and several of the reviews comment about the fact that this is not one of the best of the series. So my expectations were low going in.
It was an enjoyable read, not earth shattering, but good.
There was one line that I need to go back and find again and quote properly at some point. But Maigret is staking out a house. He has a hunch that the house has a connection to the case, but he is not sure. Maigret in explaining why he is in the rain and cold when he could be at home and dry. (Paraphrasing here) Most inspectors track the criminal as the criminal. But Maigret knows that criminals are people. So instead of looking for their criminal life, he looks for their humanity and usually in their humanity finds them.
It wasn’t until I was writing this that I realized that this is essentially the idea behind Ender’s Game. I wonder if Orson Scott Card had read this? I can see hints of the later Inspector Gamache. Not quite the same character, but some overlaps.