Book collectors need very little persuasion to add handsome additions to our already overstrained bookshelves, and the Folio Society over the years has shown that it knows exactly what buttons to press to tempt the aficionado. Crime fiction has always been a bellwether for collectors, and there is now a very handsome Simenon edition to make us dip into our pockets.

The three titles included here are less familiar, and all have the characteristic Simenon touch. Simenon was a writer who, more than any other crime novelist, combined a high literary reputation with popular appeal, and the eclipse his reputation briefly underwent is now, thankfully, in the past.

The author, made famous by his Inspector Maigret books, was the world’s most successful author in the 1960s, and has since inspired many writers of psychological crime, such as Patricia Highsmith. The life of the writer is itself enshrouded in mystery, behind the closed doors of one room in his Swiss Château, Simenon 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.

Maigret Collection/Georges Simenon: Maigret and the Calame Report/ Maigret and the Wine Merchant/ Maigret and the Saturday Caller published by the Folio Society


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