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First published in French as La Messe de Saint-Fiacre by Fayard 1932
This translation first published in Penguin Books 2014

Copyright 1932 by Georges Simenon Limited
Translation copyright © Shaun Whiteside, 2014
GEORGES SIMENON ® Simenon.tm
MAIGRET ® Georges Simenon Limited

Cover © Harry Gruyaert/Magnum Photos
Cover design by Alceu Chiesorin Nunes

All rights reserved

The moral rights of the author and translator have been asserted

ISBN: 978-0-141-39476-3

Cover image for The Secrets Sisters Keep
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THE BEGINNING

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Georges Simenon

 

THE SAINT-FIACRE AFFAIR

Translated by Shaun Whiteside

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Contents

1. The Little Cross-Eyed Girl

2. The Missal

3. The Altar Boy

4. Marie Vassiliev

5. The Second Day

6. The Two Camps

7. Appointments in Moulins

8. An Invitation to Dinner

9. In the Spirit of Walter Scott

10. The Wake

11. The Two-Note Whistle

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Georges Simenon was born on 12 February 1903 in Liège, Belgium, and died in 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had lived for the latter part of his life. Between 1931 and 1972 he published seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short stories featuring Inspector Maigret.

Simenon always resisted identifying himself with his famous literary character, but acknowledged that they shared an important characteristic:

My motto, to the extent that I have one, has been noted often enough, and I’ve always conformed to it. It’s the one I’ve given to old Maigret, who resembles me in certain points … ‘understand and judge not’.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels.

PENGUIN CLASSICS

THE SAINT-FIACRE AFFAIR

‘I love reading Simenon. He makes me think of Chekhov’

— William Faulkner

‘A truly wonderful writer … marvellously readable – lucid, simple, absolutely in tune with the world he creates’

— Muriel Spark

‘Few writers have ever conveyed with such a sure touch, the bleakness of human life’

— A. N. Wilson

‘One of the greatest writers of the twentieth 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 novelist who entered his fictional world as if he were part of it’

— Peter Ackroyd

‘The greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature’

— André Gide

‘Superb … The most addictive of writers … A unique teller of tales’

Observer

‘The mysteries of the human personality are revealed in all their disconcerting complexity’

— Anita Brookner

‘A writer who, more than any other crime novelist, combined a high literary reputation with popular appeal’

— P. D. James

‘A supreme writer … Unforgettable vividness’

Independent

‘Compelling, remorseless, brilliant’

— John Gray

‘Extraordinary masterpieces of the twentieth century’

— John Banville