Earlier this month, I admitted to having only a tenuous relationship (until recently) with Edmund Crispin and his fictional English detective Gervase Fen. Since I’m in the admitting mood (hah, no, I’m not admitting that, yet), I should also say that until recently I hadn’t read any books featuring an even more famous detective, Inspector Maigret of the Paris PD, as written by George Simenon in 74 novels and 28 short stories. Whoa! I don’t even have the cat vs. dog excuse in this case. But recently I picked up three Maigret novels to see what I was missing, and completely dug them – a bit dark, a bit French, a bit rainy for some reason, but full of murder, mysteriousness, and a lot of food and drink. They do take place in France, after all. And I can’t wait to read more, especially when they contain Cocktail Talk like the below:
He had drunk only one glass of Champagne. Then rest of time he had drunk mostly wine, then, God knows why, anisette.
Who had ordered anisette? Oh yes, it was the dentist. A retired dentist to be precise, whose name escaped him. Another phenomenon. There was nothing but phenomenon on the island.
—My Friend Maigret, George Simenon