Who's the most famous Belgian in mystery literature? Fictionally, probably Hercule Poirot. In reality, George Simenon.
Today the Friday's Forgotten Book crew is celebrating Georges Simenon (1903-1989), creator of Inspector Maigret and author of some 500 books or so, many under one of his sixteen pen names. (The definition of "book" is flexible; many of Simenon's early books were little more than novellas.) Twenty-five years ago I went on a big Simenon kick and read all the Maigrets and most of his other books that were available in English. Those books went walkabout a long time ago and it seems my local library does not have a single Simenon book(!!!). Add that too the fact that the power went out for a while where we were goat-sitting and I didn't have Christina's password to get back online...well, they don't call me Mr. Grumpypants for nothing.
So, I'm bowing out this week.
Here's a great link that will take you an early novel by Simenon published in 1929 under his "Georges Sim" pseudonym, The House of Anxiety (La Maison de l'inquietude). There are also the first English translations of three Maigret short stories, plus a lot of articles and information about Simenon. Follow the links and you will be busy for days:
For today's recommendations and reviews of some of Simenon's finely crafted books, go to pattinase.com, where Patti Abbott will host reviews and links, including (I'm sure) some pretty fine books by authors who are not named Simenon.
(And why hasn't anyone translated Simenon's early pulpwork? There are many dozens of those. There's even one that has "Gorilla" in the title that I would love to read.)