cover image Maigret's Memoirs

Maigret's Memoirs

Georges Simenon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $13.95 (134pp) ISBN 978-0-15-155148-4

First published in 1950, this make-believe autobiography harks back to the late 1920s. The account starts with Georges Sim's arrival at the Paris Police Judiciaire to soak up atmosphere for his crime novels by dogging the footsteps of Inspector Maigret. The detective is irritated by the audacious young writer who names ""my character'' Maigret. The inspector argues with Sim also for oversimplifying, in his fiction, the intricate duties of the police investigating a case. Four-square, honorable, compassionate Maigret ``sets the record straight,'' telling how he's different from the invention, about his courtship and marriage to his beloved Louise. She is the person largely responsible for the firm friendship that grows between the novelist and her husband. The book moves through the years, while Sim works his way up to ``semi-literature'' and begins to sign his works with his full patronymic. The ``memoirs'' amount to a very short volume, but it is ingenously amusing and tender. Fans of the enormously popular author with appreciate it. U.K. rights: Hamish Hamilton. November 8