And one more thing ...
"During his stay in Paris decades before, he'd taken his delight in the weekly serializations of one Monsieur Sim in the l'Oeuvre newspaper ... Siri had been able to solve most of the mysteries long before the inspector had a handle on them."
Cotterill thus offers a more elaborate tribute than most, spinning it out into an anecdote and giving his readers not just the information that Siri (and, presumably, Cotterill, too) reads Simenon's Maigret stories, but the historical nugget that Simenon once wrote under the name of Sim, and a plausible example of his phenomenal worldwide popularity.
All this gives me the opportunity to ask you another question, dear readers. How do you feel about such references and tributes? Do they add to the story's interest? One the one hand, if you and I read detective stories, there is no reason why a fictional detective should not do the same thing. On the other, this can serve as a mischievous (or intrusive) reminder that when you read a story, you are not entering a real world, you are just reading a story.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007