#RivetingReviews: Barry Forshaw reviews DEATH THREATS AND OTHER STORIES by Georges Simenon

Just when Simenon aficionados were adding to their shelves the last couple of volumes of Penguin’s very welcome new translations of all the Maigret novels, there comes a surprising and equally welcome codicil. Death Threats and Other Stories is a new selection of stories featuring Simenon’s doughty French copper, and the key selling point here is that three of the stories are being published in English for the very first time. The subjects include an internecine conflict in a Parisian family, a possible murder in a hotel in Cannes, and an explosive three-way relationship in a bucolic Loire setting. With translations by the ever-reliable Ros Schwartz, this is a collection to be cherished, and I was glad to see my old literary editor from The Independent, Boyd Tonkin, adduced to sell the collection: ‘Not just the world’s bestselling detective series,’ Boyd says, ‘but an imperishable literary legend …  Maigret exposes secrets and crime not by forensic wizardry, but by the melded powers of therapist, philosopher and confessor.’ Trust Mr Tonkin to come up with such a penetrating aperçu for the appeal of Maigret.

Simenon inspired many writers of psychological crime, such as Patricia Highsmith; she once told me at a publisher’s launch party in London that Simenon’s name caused her to brighten up in a way that my mention of Hitchcock’s film of her first book, Strangers on a Train, had not. Simenon’s life, though, was deliberately enshrouded in mystery. Behind the closed doors of one room in his Swiss Château, he would surround himself with fetishes. Entering an almost trancelike state, he would write compulsively, usually completing an entire book in five, nine or eleven days. The late additions to Penguin’s current Simenon initiative in Death Threats and Other Stories demonstrate how consistent and reliable his literary abilities were.

Reviewed by Barry Forshaw

DEATH THREATS AND OTHER STORIES

by Georges Simenon 

Translated from French by Ros Schwartz

Published by Penguin Classics (2021)

October 2021 #RivetingReviews titles are available to buy from bookshop.org.


Barry Forshaw’s books include Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide, the Keating Award-winning Brit Noir and Euro Noir. Other work: Nordic Noir, Death in a Cold Climate, Sex and Film and the British Crime Writing encyclopedia (also a Keating Award winner). He edits Crime Time (www.crimetime.co.uk).

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of LA BÊTE HUMAINE by Émile Zola

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE ASSISTANT by Kjell Ola Dahl

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of FALLEN ANGELS by Gunnar Staalesen

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE MAN WHO WATCHED THE TRAINS GO BY by Georges Simenon

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of SHE WHO WAS NO MORE/LES DIABOLIQUES by Boileau-Narcejac

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of BLACK WATER LILIES by Michel Bussi

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE BOOK OF MIRRORS by E.O. Chirovici

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE SLEEPING CAR MURDER by Sébastien Japrisot

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of ALEX by Pierre Lemaitre

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE TREE EVANGELISTS by Fred Vargas

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE HIDDEN CHILD by Camilla Lackberg

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of UNTIL THY WRATH BE PAST by Åsa Larsson

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of FACELESS KILLERS by Henning Mankell

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of SISTER by Kjell Ola Dahl

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of VICTIM 2117 by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of LAZARUS by Lars Kepler

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of MEXICO STREET by Simone Buchholz

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE ROCK BLASTER by Henning Mankell

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of AFTER SHE’S GONE by Camilla Grebe

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE REUNION by Guillaume Musso

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY by M. T. Edvardsson

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE DANCE OF DEATH by Oliver Bottini

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of GRAB A SNAKE BY THE TAIL by Leonardo Padura

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE MONGOLIAN CONSPIRACY by Rafael Bernal

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of MAIGRET HESITATES by Georges Simenon

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of RESIN by Ane Riel

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE ABSOLUTION by Yrsa Sigurđardóttir

Read Barry Forshaw’s#RivetingReview of THE ISLAND by Ragnar Jónasson

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of CASANOVA AND THE FACELESS WOMAN by Olivier Barde-Cabuçon

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of MRS MOHR GOES MISSING by Maryla Szymiczkowa

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of INBORN by Thomas Enger

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of FLOWERS OVER THE INFERNO by Ilaria Tuti

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE WOLF AND THE WATCHMAN by Niklas Natt och Dag

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of NIGHT by Bernard Minier

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of THE ROOT OF EVIL by Håkan Nesser

Read Barry Forshaw’s #RivetingReview of KILL THE ANGEL by Sandrone Dazieri

Category: October 2021Reviews

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X