First Chapter First Paragraph: Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week I’m featuring Cécile is Dead by Georges Simenon, one of the books I think I’ll include in Cathy’s annual challenge, 20 Books of Summer.

Cécile is Dead (Maigret, #22)

It begins with a foggy scene.

The pipe that Detective Chief Inspector Maigret lit on coming out of his door in Boulevard Richard-Lenoir was even more delicious than usual. The first fog of the season was as pleasant a surprise as the first snow for children, especially when it was not that nasty yellowish fog you see on certain winter days, but a misty, milky vapour with halos of light in it. The air was fresh. The ends of your fingers and your nose tingled on a day like this and the soles of your shoes clicked smartly on the road.

Blurb (Amazon):

A new translation of this moving novel about the destructive power of greed, book twenty in the new Penguin Maigret series.

‘Poor Cécile! And yet she was still young. Maigret had seen her papers: barely twenty-eight years old. But it would be difficult to look more like an old maid, to move less gracefully, in spite of the care she took to be friendly and pleasant. Those black dresses that she must make for herself from bad paper patterns, that ridiculous green hat!’

In the dreary suburbs of Paris, the merciless greed of a seemingly respectable woman is unearthed by her long suffering niece, and Maigret discovers the far-reaching consequences of their actions.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in a previous translation as Maigret and the Spinster.

What do you think – would you read on?


  1. I’ve never read a Maigret novel but love the radio adaptations because of the atmosphere. Now I see where that originates. This opening would certainly have me hooked.


  2. Oh yes! I enjoy the tv adaptations of Maigret; these snippets suggest I’d like the books themselves even more. But can I contemplate starting another long series? Oh dear!


  3. The Maigret novels are, I think, classics of crime fiction, Margaret. So glad to see you feature one of them here. Admittedly, not all of them are equally excellent. But as a series – very much worth reading. I hope you’ll enjoy this one.


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