L'inspecteur Cadavre - 1
L' INSPECTEUR CADAVRE - Maigret's rival - Georges Simenon - 1941-1943(1) (Fontenay-le-Comte and/or St. Mesmin-le-Vieux
The story - a summary
January 7th, in Saint-Aubin-les-Marais. Albert Retailleau is crushed by a train. Accident or Murder? Fingers are pointed to Etienne Naud who, trying to conceal the scandal, asks for advice from his brother-in-law, a Parisian judge.
The judge requests his friend Maigret to go on the spot and to help Naud.
In Saint-Aubin, Maigret, who is not on an official assignment, is not at ease.
The Naud family hardly appears to appreciate his presence. The inhabitants of the village keep silent and disapprove of the intervention of this police chief who seems to protect high society, represented by the Nauds.
Moreover, the Parisian private detective Cavre, a dismissed police officer, nicknamed inspector Cadavre(2) arrives in the village.
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What kind of role plays Alban Groult-Cotelle, friend of the Nauds, who hastens to provide Maigret with an alibi for the night of the "accident"?
The only solid evidence is the confidence made to the police chief by Genevieve Naud: her parents are unaware that Retailleau was her lover and that she is pregnant.
La nuit du
La guinguette
à deux sous
It's all about Groult-Cotelle
Little by little, some villagers realize that Maigret seeks the truth before all. They speak and if others keep silent, it is because their silence was bought. The police chief learns that Retailleau Genevieve 's lover, but that he was planning to leave her. He was determined to tell her the evening of the "accident".
Maigret intercepts a compromising telephone call made by Naud to his brother-in-law, the judge, in which he insists on calling Maigret back. He also gets to know Groult-Cotelle a little better. He turns out to be a muggy and vicious creature.
L' inspecteur
Cadavre - 1
L' inspecteur
Cadavre - 2
L' inspecteur
Cadavre - 3
Les larmes
de bougie
Vente à la
La maison
du juge
Finally, confronted with the information accumulated by Maigret, Naud breaks down and confesses that he caught Retailleau, leaving his daughter's room, followed him, killed him and simulated an accident. He only informed his wife and Groult-Cotelle.
He had been the one to invite the private detective, unaware that his brother-in-law was going to send Maigret.
But Naud doesn't know the full truth. For Maigret, the true perpetrator is Groult-Cotelle. It's him who allured Genevieve, made her pregnant and pushed her in Retailleau's arms, trying to endorse paternity on the young man. This way he could continue his commodious life as a friend of the family and secret lover of the young girl. But he didn't count with Retailleau who understood the operation and was planning to break up with Geneviève on the evening of the crime.
Maigret is disgusted, but, being there unofficially, decides not to arrest anybody. He hopes that time will solve all tribulations. Later on, in Argentina, Groult-Cotelle will marry Genevieve.(3)

Mon ami
Maigret à
L'Auberge aux
Le notaire de
Analysis of the locality
M.Gallet, décédé When trying to unravel the concocted and indistinct localities from the Maigret-novels this one is particularly arduous. Not in the first place because the place name Saint-Aubin-les-Marais doesn't exist, that is not unusual in Simenon's novels. The unusual thing is that it is difficult if not impossible to find a direct link between this locality and Simenon's life and work. In most cases of devised localities and transposition or alteration of place names it is possible to establish a link with an existing site by analyzing Simenon's oeuvre or by tracing back his whereabouts and his many journeys through France. It is well known that the author hardly ever invented a locality
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
Saint-Aubin is situated by the author in the department of the Vendée, a very well known region to him. Simenon and his family lived there for many years, mainly during the second world war. From 1940 on he consecutively lived in Vouvant (Ferme du Pont-Neuf), Fontenay-le-Comte (Ave. Victor Hugo, Château de Terre-Neuve), La-Faute-sur-Mer (Villa Les Peupliers) and Saint-Mesmin-le-Vieux (Julien Tocquerau's country house). See map on the left.
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From top to bottom:
- Cover of Georges Simenon, "Maigret' Rival", Penguin Books, 1985. From: S.Trussel's Simenon's Maigret website.
- Composition of a drawing of Maigret's silhouette from the cover of: Georges Simenon, "Maigret hesite", Presses de la Cite, Paris and map on http://www.1bis.com/1bis/. Design G. de Croock.
- Map by:Route 66, Route Europa 2000, Copyright Route 66 Geographic Information Systems B.V., Ede (NL). Adaptation by G. De Croock .
- Images from the TV-film: Maigret et l'inspecteur Cadavre, Artémis Productions, RTBF, Dune (French). 1997. Directed by PierreJossain. Screenplay: Pierre Jossain, Catherine Ramberg. Maigret: Bruno Cremer
Photos from: 1&2: www.ivc-tokyo.co.jp/details/ IVCF-439.html. 3: http://www.cfwb.be/av/KIOSK/HTM/films/fmaigcad.htm Website of the "Communauté française de Belgique".

(1) According to Maurice Piron in L'Univers de Simenon, Presses de la Cité, Paris, 1983, p.300. this novel is dated in Fontenay-le-Comte in 1941, based on "Simenon, Oeuvres complètes, direction: Gilbert Sigaux, Editions Rencontre, Lausanne, 1967-1973. However in the "Tableau synoptique d'après les dates de redaction" on p.473 it is mentioned that Claude Menguy situates this work in 1943. After his research C.Menguy is convinced that some dates are inaccurate and that some of the novels were anti-dated.
(2) Cadavre (Fr.) = dead body, corps .
(3) L'Univers de Simenon, Guides des romans et Nouvelles (1931-1972) de Georges Simenon, Sur la direction de Maurice Piron avec la collaboration de Michel Lemoine, Page 301. Presses de la Cité, Paris, 1983.
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La nuit du carrefour - 1, - 2
La guinguette à deux sous - 1, - 2
L' inspecteur Cadavre - 1, - 2, - 3
Les larmes de bougie - 1, - 2
Vente à la bougie - 1, - 2
La maison du juge - 1, - 2, - 3
Mon ami Maigret - 1, - 2, - 3
Maigret à Vichy - 1, - 2
l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 1, - 2
l'Auberge aux Noyés - 1, - 2
Le notaire de Chéteauneuf - 1, - 2
M.Gallet, décédé - 1, - 2, - 3
Le charretier de "La Providence" - 1, - 2
Chez les Flamands - 1, - 2