The Grand Banks Café : Inspector Maigret

  • by Georges Simenon, David Coward
  • Narrated by Gareth Armstrong
  • Series: Inspector Maigret
  • 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It was indeed a photo, a picture of a woman. But the face was completely hidden, scribbled all over in red ink. Someone had tried to obliterate the head, someone very angry. The pen had bitten into the paper. There were so many criss-crossed lines that not a single square millimetre had been left visible. On the other hand, below the head, the torso had not been touched. A pair of large breasts. A light-coloured silk dress, very tight and very low cut.
Sailors don't talk much to other men, especially not to policemen. But after Captain Fallut's body is found floating near his trawler, they all mention the Evil Eye when they speak of the Ocean's voyage.
Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. Best known in Britain as the author of the Maigret books, his prolific output of over 400 novels and short stories have made him a household name in continental Europe. He died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life.
David Coward is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Leeds, England, and an award- winning translator of numerous works from French.

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What the Critics Say

"Compelling, remorseless, brilliant." (John Gray)
"One of the greatest writers of the 20th century...Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories." (Guardian)
"A supreme writer...unforgettable vividness." (Independent)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good yarn full of humanity

Once again this shows that the essence of Simenon's books is not detection in the traditional sense, but detection through profound understanding of human psychology, particularly of women. Forgiving of those who trespass, dismissive of hide-bound bourgeoisie, Simenon has a pragmatic worldliness that is down to earth and reassuring. A cracking good, romantic story set against a background that Simenon himself knew so well; ships and the sea. If the world had more of Maigret's calm equilibrium and tolerance of human nature, it would be of benefit to all.
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- Andrew Lyndon-Skeggs

Delilah and the cod-fishers

Would you listen to The Grand Banks Café again? Why?

Yes, in a few years time, when the finer details of the story have slipped my memory.


What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Not entirely suprised


Which character – as performed by Gareth Armstrong – was your favourite?

Apart from Maigret himself of course, the brawling sailor, worried about that "wallet-business".


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I did.


Any additional comments?

In the series that is published so far ...its nr 8), this was the weakest story. Perhaps I should rephrase that. Weakest detective story. Simenon mostly uses the detective genre to tell little stories about human drama, and colours in the grey areas in the crimes committed. This book was very much a novella about how men can be, and were, driven to distraction by a Delilah figure. The "crime" element in the book felt a bit forced, and there most definitely was not an investigation as such. Maigret walks into the drama on his holidays, ferrets the story out of people, and then simply walks away again.

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- Monsieur Ghost

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios