The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon

the late monsieur Gallet

The late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon

Belgian crime fiction

Original title –  M. Gallet décédé

Translator – Anthea Bell

Source personnel purchase on Kindle

“Above all , don’t lie to yourself .The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him , or around him ,so loses respect for himself and for others ,and having no respect he ceases to love ”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Earlier in the year I reviewed the first reissue from Penguin of Maigret and now move on to the second book in the series having already read the following two in the series as I try to read the complete Maigret series as Penguin release them one a month for the next five plus years .I ‘ll dispense with the usual bio as I’ll just end up doing it time and time again ,if over time I find exciting titbits about Simenon I’ll pass them on .

Émile Gallet, commercial traveller, home address Saint-Fargeau, Seine-et-Marne, murdered night of 25, Hôtel de la Loire, Sancerre. Many curious details. Please inform family for identification of corpse. Send inspector from Paris if possible.

The Late Monsieur Gallet ,sees Maigret is trying to unwind the history of a man who has been found dead in a hotel room and Maigret is sent from Paris to find out more  .On the surface the man Monsieur Gallet seems a commercial traveller ,that is married .But as we delve further into his life he has been transferring funds from the people he works for .Then it turns out he may not be whom he sees and it takes Maigret back 18 years , when this Monsieur Gallet swap his name with another Monsieur Gallet .But someone found out this had happened and had been bleeding him dry .Then the man had fallen out the day before with his late son Henri .Then what have the late man’s neighbours to do with his death ?

‘That’s of minor interest now,’ said Maigret. For all this was obviously to do with the swindle on which Gallet had embarked. The pink file had provided him with information on that subject, as well as several phone calls to the owners of châteaux and manor houses in the Berry and Cher areas. At some time or other, probably three or four years after his marriage, and one or two years after his father-in-law’s death, Émile Gallet had decided that it would be a good idea to make use of the old documents relating to the Le Soleil material that he had inherited.

This book sees Maigret first looking at the family then into the late mans wider life.It then turns on what may have been on a note ,why the man was taking the money from his firm .Also what did he know .We don’t learn a lot more about Maigret as a character he ,we see him frustrated at times ,by what seem a simple task of going and sorting a body in a dead hotel room fall apart .Gallet and his journey is an interesting case a man who isn’t who every that knows him now thinks he is .I wonder if  he had read Agatha Christie  as for me it bares a few traits to her story Murder on the links ,which also involves a change of identity at the core of the story .Of course it goes without saying the new translation is flawless as it would be by Anthea Bell one of my favourite translators .So where next well we go to a hanged man and Maigret goes to Holland .

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karyn
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 12:07:47

    I also read this book this week, although the edition I own is titled Maigret Stonewalled; the blurb tells me that it was the first of Simenon’s stories to feature Maigret. I found it interesting mostly because, being puzzle-based, it is completely different to all the other Maigret stories I have read.


    • winstonsdad
      Apr 25, 2014 @ 12:10:11

      It is isn’t it very different to others that’s why wondered about Christie link similar to that story also penguin issues it as second in series French wiki has it down as he third book in series


  2. kaggsysbookishramblings
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 12:25:22

    I just love Maigret stories – Simenon was such a wonderful writer. Very jealous of you reading your way through the nice new Penguins!


  3. Guy Savage
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 14:00:03

    I’m happy to see Simenon making a come back, but I wish that the titles weren’t being messed with (some of the editions) as it’s already a chore for the collector to wade through the various versions.


  4. jacquiwine
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 17:51:35

    I read this earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I need to get back into the swing of reading these Maigret reissues as I’ve slipped out of the habit recently. I might buy the next one soon as I’m craving a dose of European crime at the moment.


  5. europaoutlaw
    Apr 25, 2014 @ 23:05:08

    Just finished Pietr The Latvian. Thought it was great. Good Review


  6. Col
    Apr 26, 2014 @ 09:35:16

    Haven’t read Simenon for years! He was staple diet in my teenage library visits! In fact I visited virtually every library in Glasgow hunting down his and Agatha Christies stuff. You’ve just reminded me what I’m missing!


  7. 1streading
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 19:40:54

    I’ve read the first three so far, with two more waiting. Enjoying the challenge!


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April 2014


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