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Maigret-of-the-Month lists

New Maigrets in Polish
11/29/17 – Two new Maigrets released in Polish this year:

Maigret podróżuje
(Maigret voyage)
Maigret się bawi
(Maigret s'amuse)


re: Simenon "statute of limitations" novel?
11/27/17 – I think both Murielle and William have got it right... the novel Lahlum was probably referring to is Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien [PHO].

William cites the quote near the end of Ch. 8, where Maigret confronts Van Damme, saying that if it were about Klein's death in February... if in fact it had been a murder, rather than a suicide... the statute of limitations would expire in three months.

But Van Damme had only asked Maigret to wait a month... so it was about something that had happened two months earlier... And it was this issue of the statute of limitations that led to the eventual revelation of the reason for Klein's suicide... the muder by the group of Willy Mortier in that December ten years earlier.

Indeed, prescription, "statute of limitations", is mentioned twice more before the end of the novel...

Toward the end of Ch. 9, Maigrets says, "Il y aura dix ans dans un mois... Dans un mois, il y aura prescription..." [It will be ten years ago in a month. In a month the statute of limitations will expire...]

And near the end of the last chapter, Ch. 11, Van Damme essentially repearts, "Car, dans un mois, pas même, dans vingt-six jours, il y aura prescription..." [For in a month, not even, in twenty-six days, the statute of limitations will expire...]

So while Lahlum's summary doesn't fit perfectly, it seems pretty clear that this was the novel he intended: "Statute of limitations" was a significant element in the solution of the case... and the first murder led to two more deaths — though not murders — one of them related to the time limit...


re: Simenon "statute of limitations" novel?
11/27/17 – The Maigret in question is probably "Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien"
" n'y aurait prescription qu'en février, soit dix ans après...
[...the statute of limitations would expire in February, 10 years later...]
(Tout Maigret 1, èdition Omnibus, 2007, p 439.)

William Russell

re: Simenon "statute of limitations" novel?
11/26/17 – The resurfacing of old crimes is a theme found in several Maigrets and romans durs.

In the Maigrets, there's the murder of Nina Lassave in Maigret et l'homme tout seul, and that of old Willems in Maigret et le clochard. We can also consider Darchambaux's murder of his aunt in Le charretier de la Providence, which had an indirect influence on his murders of Mary and Willy Marco. But since Darchambaux had been convicted of the first murder and had served his sentence, it really can't be considered a statute of limitations issue...

For this theme of a murder provoked by the statute of limitations, I can suggest Le pendu de Saint-Pholien, in which, in fact, it is mentioned with regard to the murder of Willy Mortier. However, can it really be said that that provoked new murders? Not exactly, considering that Jeunet was a suicide, and that Maigret evaded Van Damme's attempt…

As for me, I can't think of any others, but perhaps someone among the Simenon specialists in the romans durs can suggest something…



Simenon novel?
11/26/17 – In his novel "The Human Flies", author Hans Olav Lahlum mentions a book by Simenon with a limitation period to arrest someone:
"...I recently read a novel by the great Belgian-French crime writer Simenon in which the limitation period for an old murder suddenly spawned several new murders..." (p. 158)
Do you know which one it is? Is it a Maigret?


re: A Maigret Christmas
11/23/17 – Regarding Martin Cooke's question, I checked the latest Penguin edition and it contains 3 stories :

      A Maigret Christmas
      Seven small Crosses in a notebook
      The little restaurant near place des Ternes

This is a new translation by David Coward. It is indicated as a translation of Un Noël de Maigret by Presses de la Cité 1951.


re: A Maigret Christmas
11/22/17 – With regard to the new translation issue 2017 Penguin hardback, “Maigret’s Christmas”, containing, book title plus eight other stories, a previously untranslated story “The Little Restaurent in Les Ternes” (is this a first published occasion?) is listed.

Which title is omited as book title plus eight others is still quoted?

Martin Cooke

re: First mention of Simenon/Maigret in London Times - 1933
11/03/17 –
First mention of Simenon in The Times (of London) ...
January 10 1933.

and a week later... he moves to top billing.



re: A Maigret Christmas - Amazon confirms...
10/12/17 – From the Inside Flap

Three seasonal stories set in Paris at Christmas, from the celebrated creator of Inspector Maigret.

It is Christmas in Paris, but beneath the sparkling lights and glittering decorations lie sinister deeds and dark secrets. This collection brings together three of Simenon's most enjoyable Christmas tales, newly translated, featuring Inspector Maigret and other characters from the Maigret novels. In 'A Maigret Christmas', the Inspector receives two unexpected visitors on Christmas Day, who lead him on the trail of a mysterious intruder dressed in red and white. In 'Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook', the sound of alarms over Paris send the police on a cat and mouse chase across the city. And 'The Little Restaurant in Les Ternes (A Christmas Story for Grown-Ups)' tells of a cynical woman who is moved to an unexpected act of festive charity in a nightclub - one that surprises even her...


re: A Maigret Christmas - a new Penguin edition
10/08/17 – I like the cover photo of this edition. Looking at it just makes me feel good.


re: A Maigret Christmas

10/1/17 – In answer to the question of the three cases, since the edition is forthcoming, of course I don't have the definitive answer, but here's my hypothesis...

The original Presses de la Cité edition of Un Noël de Maigret in 1951 was a collection of three stories, Un Noël de Maigret, Sept petites croix dans un carnet, and Le petit restaurant des Ternes, and so I can assume that these are also the three stores in the Penguin edition. What makes this all the more likely is that all three of them actually take place at Christmas.

"Missing child" certainly refers to Un Noël de Maigret (the Maigrets' lack of a child being filled by little Colette). The other two references are less clear, but I suppose that the "break-ins" allude to Sept petites croix dans un carnet, and so the "murder" must refer to "Le petit restaurant des Ternes"…

(Another possibility is that the "murder" refers to Le témoignage de l'enfant de chœur, but while it's clear that this story takes place during the fall or winter, nothing in the text specifies that it takes place at Christmas, and so for me, the first hypothesis is the more reasonable...)



re: A Maigret Christmas

10/1/17 – Surely this is simply a translation of the 1951 Un Noël de Maigret, which contained the Maigret story and Sept petites croix dans un carnet and Le petit restaurant des Ternes. All Christmas stories.

Here's another puzzle - were they his only Christmas stories? I don’t know the answer, but I’m not aware of any others.


searching for: Triumph of Inspector Maigret

10/1/17 –

I'm looking to buy this book, Triumph of Inspector Maigret by Georges Simenon, Published by Hurst & Blackett, 1934. In any condition. Does anyone know where I can find a copy?

Best regards,
Christophe Janvier

A Maigret Christmas - a new Penguin edition

9/30/17 – Just spotted at the website by David Derrick...

A Maigret Christmas
And Other Stories

It's not one of the new Inspector Maigret editions, but rather a Penguin Classic. The listing has it as translated by David Coward, to be published Nov. 30, 2017, 224 pp, briefly described:

"This seasonal collection of short stories brings together three separate cases involving murder, break-ins and a missing child - all set in Paris at Christmastime"

"three separate cases"...

Maigret's Christmas published by Hamish Hamilton in 1976 [326 pp], contained 9 "stories" (including the non-Maigret, "Seven Little Crosses in a Notebook" [50 pp], and "Maigret in Retirement", a short novel [87 pp])...

So what are the three cases "set in Paris at Christmastime"?

  1. murder
  2. break-ins
  3. missing child


The music in Denham's BBC radio Maigret?
9/24/17 – Do you know what the theme music is in Maurice Denham's BBC radio adaptations of Maigret?

[You can listen to it here]



Le Fou de Bergerac - which shoulder?
9/17/17 – It's clear that his left arm was too painful to move. He could not even fill his pipe. So it's strange that just after the telegram to Algiers was sent, "Il écrivait de la main gauche"! [He wrote with his left hand] (page 101, Le livre de poche, 1984).

Carl Studt

The problem of which of Maigret's shoulders was wounded was treated at some length in the Maigret-of-the-Month articles which appeared in the April 2005 Forum, and which are collected here.

But at that time the discussion centered around the original English translation by Geoffrey Sainsbury, based on which Peter Foord had commented that Maigret had received "a bullet in his right shoulder".

Jérôme pointed out a few days later that the French version clearly indicated the left shoulder: "Que Maigret, debout, qui tient son épaule de la main droite. Au fait, c'est l'épaule gauche! Il essaye de bouger le bras gauche... mais le bras retombe, trop lourd."
["Maigret stood utterly alone, clutching his shoulder with his right hand. It was his left shoulder that had been hit. He tried to move his left arm... but it flopped back again, too heavy." (Ros Schwartz translation, Penguin 2015)]

The discussion continued with the eventual "resolution" that Sainsbury had once again taken liberties with the original text, and that the error had been corrected in Penguin editions after 2003.

However, none of the correspondents at the time noticed what Carl has just brought up (Thanks, Carl!), that later on in the book, about midway through Ch. 6, Maigret has to write with his left hand. And so, in fact, it seems that Sainsbury's "faulty" translation was more consistent than Simenon's French original!

Clearly, the inconsistency was noticed at Penguin, however, for in Ros Schwartz's new translation, the problem is avoided:

Simenon: "Il écrivait de la main gauche, ce qui rendait les caractères encore plus gras que d'habitude."

Sainsbury: "He was using his left hand, which made his writing heavier and clumsier than usual."

Schwartz: "His writing was laboured, which made the letters thicker than usual."


Maigret's World - Congratulations!
9/17/17 –

Maigret's World is outstanding! Congratulations!

David Derrick

Thanks, David!

Maigret and Donald Duck?
9/8/17 – In the Donald Duck story "No such Varmint" by Carl Barks (originally in Dell Comic #318/1951) a professor examines Donald to find out, which talents he has for a profession, if any. The surprising result: Donald should be a great detective! His nephews react enthusiastically: "A detective! A Sherlock Holmes!"

That comic was published in Germany (ehapa, "Donald Duck", special issue #5/1966), a few months after the Rupert Davies Maigret series in German TV. In this version of the comic, the nephews are shouting: "Ein Detektiv! Wie Monsieur Maigret! [A detective! Like Monsieur Maigret!]"

Kind regards

(PS: In the Spanish version it's also Sherlock Holmes.)

Maigret's World is out!
9/7/17 –

My copy of the book arrived yesterday. Superb! Just love it! Thank you both for taking the time to write this book.

Steve Cribari

Thanks, Steve!

Steve and Murielle

Joseph or Jules? Blvd Edgar-Quinet or Richard-Lenoir? A daughter?
9/1/17 –
In the Livre de Poche edition (1353) of L'écluse no. 1 [ECL], on page 78 there is:
Entre les soussignes Émile Ducrau et Maigret ... Prenom?... et Maigret (Joseph), il a ete convenu ce qui suit. A partir du 18 mars, M. Joseph Maigret entre au service de ...
[Between the undersigned Émile Ducrau and Maigret... First name?... and Maigret (Jospeh), it was agreed as follows. From March 18, M. Joseph Maigret will enter the service of...]

[1] Isn't le commissaire's prenom 'Jules'?

In the same edition on page 92 there is:

Maigret prit un taxi et arriva quelques minutes plus tard dans son appartement du boulevard Edgar-Quinet.
[Maigret took a taxi and arrived a few minutes later at his apartment on Boulevard Edgar-Quinet.]

[2] I have thought he only lived on the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir.

    On page 62 does le commissaire say he and Mme Maigret had a daughter?

[3] I have thought they never had children.

Arlene Blade

1. Maigret's name... We've dedicated the first five pages of "Maigret's World" (Amazon now shows it with a scheduled release date of Oct. 3) to the question of Maigret's name, and in fact the section opens with the quote Arlene has noted above. Our explanation begins,
"We find, however, in one of the first novels to appear from Presses de la Cité, an “official” version of Maigret’s first name…. It’s in La première enquête de Maigret (PRE: 7) when Maigret imagines the police report written when he was the victim of an attack, “…a person lying on the sidewalk, giving his name as Maigret, Jules, Amédée, François….” It’s this official version that’s used by Simenon in March 1966, in the foreword to Rencontre’s edition of his Complete Works..." (MW)
2. Boulevard Edgar-Quinet... This anomaly was first noted here by Roddy Campbell on the Maigret-of-the-Month page of June 2005, where it generated a lot of interest and numerous responses. Notably, the late Peter Foord submitted his translation of the pertinent section of Michel Lemoine's "Paris Chez Simenon". You can read it all at the MOM page, but here's the beginning...
'By a curious mistake, Maigret and his wife on one occasion are resident in the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet and on another in the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, according to the first edition of a novel written in 1933. The editor of the Œuvres Complètes had realised this lapse of memory, but had "wrongly" standardised the address in opting for the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet. One theory in connection with this strange desertion of the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir: when he wrote this Maigret novel, Simenon had forsaken the commissaire for nearly a year; is it not conceivable, therefore, that after this length of time, the novelist had had a lapse of memory concerning Maigret's precise place of residence?...
This issue is also discussed with additional details in Murielle's November 12, 2016 article (in French), Changement d'adresse a L'écluse n° 1..., at Simenon-Simenon.

However, this is not the only case of the Maigrets living somewhere besides Blvd. Richard-Lenoir... "Readers of the story L’amoureux de Madame Maigret (amo) or the novel Maigret se fâche (FAC) will probably be surprised to discover that the Maigrets live at the Place des Vosges…. Simenon himself eventually explained this “incongruity” in Les mémoires de Maigret..." (MEM) (MW)

3. The Maigrets' daughter... The section in Ch. 4 of L'Écluse No. 1 is:
—Vous avez un gosse ? questionna-t-il avec ce regard en coin que Maigret commençait à connaître.
—Je n'ai eu qu'une petite fille, qui est morte.
—Moi, j'en ai !
'Have you any kids?' he asked, with the sidelong look that Maigret was beginning to know.
'Only one girl, and she died.'
'Well, I've got several.'

This, and one in Ch. 4 of Maigret et l'homme du banc (BAN), are the only cases we've found in the corpus specifically mentioning a daughter who'd died... Other examples simply refer to the Maigrets as being "childless".


Penguin Maigret - The Misty Harbor
8/19/17 –
The Misty Harbor

a review by Andrew Walser

Like most mysteries, The Misty Harbor is all about uncertainty and resolution.

A “milky mist” has descended on Ouistreham, a port town in lower Normandy. This “wall of fog” is literal, but it also has several metaphorical analogues – the memory of the harbormaster, Captain Joris, for instance, who was discovered wandering through Paris with severe amnesia and a bullet hole in his head, and the perplexity of the people in town, none of whom can imagine why the man had gone missing for a month or what might have happened in the interval.

At first Maigret too can only guess at what the fog hides – whether the “teeming mysterious life” that carries on around him is “sinister” or benign or simply alien. A sense of “nebulous danger” has engulfed Ouistreham and, like a real fog, radically isolates each person there: “Because they were afraid! All of them! Martineau, the woman, the mayor... It was as if each of them were alone with that fear... Each one afraid in a different way!”

After someone finally manages to kill Joris, the patrons of the local tavern react in irrational ways, spinning stories and trying to dispel the fog through “sheer imagination” – through the combined powers of rumor, resentment, and conspiracy. Only Maigret keeps his cool. His habits of mind allow him to think his way into the mystery and “to piece together his scattered clues floating in a formless mass.” This leads to a book rich in figures for revelation – a cat brushing one’s leg in the fog, the morning light “inadvertently revealing” the real condition of Joris’s house, the “dreamlike tableau” of Ouistreham appearing outside the window of the bedroom in which the harbormaster lies dying.

The entire process – the initial fog, the gradual clarification, the sudden epiphanic breakthroughs – should remind us once again how much Maigret resembles a writer. People “take over his life... for days, weeks, months,” and he can only wonder – as Simenon must have at the start of each novel – “Would this investigation be challenging or dull? Thankless and demoralizing, or painfully tragic?” Both Maigret and Simenon may “hate... the first steps,” but they also both make the journey from words to truth, from a simulacrum constructed out of secondhand reports – maps, guidebooks, news stories – to some sense of what a place really is.

They seek a story like the one Julie the housekeeper tells – a tale of “frank simplicity” with the “troubling ring of truth.” In this context, the dispersal of the fog means the attainment not of justice or theoretical insight, but of a particular kind of concrete knowledge. Such concreteness does not mean the novels are all surface – merely that they live up to William Carlos Williams’s famous dictum, “No ideas but in things.”

In the end, it is the rich particularity of the prose that makes The Misty Harbor one of the most memorable Maigrets. Locks, harbors, and crossroads always seem to bring out the best in this writer. The new Penguin edition has the added advantage of Linda Coverdale’s translation, which renders Simenon’s narrative into a subtle and efficient English. Look, for instance, at the way she weaves together the hard k sounds, the long i, and the explosive p’s in this passage:

The steady humming of the fire gradually joined with the tick-tock of the pendulum clock into a kind of music. Safe from the chilly winds outside, their cheeks grew pink, and their eyes shone brightly. And the pungent aroma of calvados perfumed the air

Few readers will be conscious of this music, but it gives pleasure nonetheless. More important, it creates a sense of order that the unconscious mind perceives and takes as a promise that some kind of truth lies within the flow of words. This is the way of all “atmosphere” – it is that which we do not notice, but which we inevitably feel.

Simenon, Georges. The Misty Harbor. trans. Linda Coverdale. London: Penguin, 2015.

Maigret, the fame of a Chief Inspector
8/13/17 –

Maigret, the fame of a Chief Inspector

by Murielle Wenger


The writing of the Maigret saga extends over more than forty years, presenting the Chief Inspector in 75 novels, with his investigations translated into a hundred languages. Such an accomplishment is not without its effect on the notoriety of the character, a fame that spans borders and generations of readers.

Simenon has amused himself by showing us, within the stories themselves, how the Chief Inspector has become a well-known figure. Throughout the saga he alludes to the fact that Maigret is well-known in his world, that he is recognized on the street, and that his name evokes a reaction in many people, and in a variety of environments. In order to consider Maigret's fame in his fictional world, there must, by definition, be a number of novels already published. And so it's only as the saga develops that the novelist can, little by little, put forward the idea that the Chief Inspector has become a character known to many, his celebrity having grown with the success of his investigations.

Maigret's renown is thus both that of a policeman, and as a fictional character. As Jean Fabre writes (Enquête sur un enquêteur, Maigret, Un essai de sociocritique), "Thus an internal legend is created (within the text) which greatly influences the external myth (Maigret seen by his readers)". But we can also reverse the proposition, and say that this "internal" legend is enhanced by the number of novels written – the more novels in the saga, the more the novelist can give authenticity to the fame of his creation.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Maigret

When the novelist first introduced his character onto the literary scene, he had to provide him with a formula allowing him to be situated within a precise framework, as a policeman. So at the beginning of Pietr le Letton [LET], the character makes his appearance with the words, "Chief Inspector Maigret, First Flying Squad". A rank, a context. Maigret appears as a Chief Inspector (and not simply as an inspector, or a plain detective), in the Brigade Mobile, the First Flying Squad, in what was then called the Sûreté. Later in the same novel, when he arrives at the scene of the crime, he merely announces "Police!", while in Le charretier de la Providence [PRO], when he presents himself to Colonel Lampson, he says "Judicial Police!". We know that Simenon, in his first novels, was not very clear about the functions of the various police services, and it was only after his visit, at the invitation of Xavier Guichard, to 36 Quai des Orfèvres, that his indications of Maigret's role became more precise.

In Monsieur Gallet, décédé [GAL], Maigret sometimes presents himself as Chief Inspector in the Flying Squad, and sometimes as Chief Inspector in the Judicial Police, but after Le pendu de Saint-Pholien [PHO], he only uses Police Judiciaire, "Judicial Police". Later, in Les caves du Majestic [MAJ] (the first novel of the saga in which Simenon brings his character back after the series of short stories written for the newspapers), Maigret describes himself as "head of the Special Squad of the Judicial Police", a formula that will be found again, as in Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters [LOG]: "Chief Inspector Maigret, of the Special Squad", or "Chief Inspector Maigret, head of the Criminal Squad" (Maigret et l'affaire Nahour [NAH]).

Look, it's Maigret!

At the beginning of the saga, Maigret is presented by his creator as being known, above all, to those he encounters in the exercise of his profession... on the one hand, by his colleagues and those working in the same sphere, within the milieu of the police, and on the other, by his "usual clients", those of the underworld. But little by little, the Chief Inspector is also recognized by all those he meets in the course of an investigation, particularly the barmen, bistro owners, and hotel staff, but also newsmen and taxi drivers...

complete text
original French


re: Second cover for ... The Two-Penny Bar
8/11/17 – With regard to the second cover Dennis noted... The cover image shown (The front room of Maxims restaurant 1978) is from Magnum Photos, like the others, but taken by Burt Glinn not Harry Gruyaert. Thus, it seems improbable that this is an actual Penguin-issued cover.

Ward Saylor

re: BBC Rupert Davies Maigret DVD??
8/8/17 – In response to Alan's comments on Peter's question about the BBC Maigret DVDs...

The Pidax DVDs were made from ZDF copies, and not the BBC originals, and so far no one has managed to get accurate information on whether these originals still exist. Some Maigret fans have attempted to write to the BBC, but the answers they got were rather elusive…

There are 5 Pidax sets, with each box containing 9 episodes, as the ZDF copies contained 45 episodes out of the original 52 of the series. The episode The old lady only exists in a copy with poor image quality, and it was added as a bonus in the first Pidax set. The 5 sets present the episodes in their original BBC release order. There are 6 episodes for which no copy at all could be found in the ZDF archives: High Politics, The Crooked Castle, Seven Little Crosses, The Trap, The Lost Life, The Cellars of the Majestic.


Maigret's World coming soon!
8/6/17 –
Maigret's World has now appeared on Amazon in a Kindle (ebook) edition with a "Look Inside" feature so you can read some of it... and the print edition page there shows an August 24 available date... almost here!

Steve & Murielle

Penguin Maigret Short Stories?
8/6/17 – In response to Dennis Larson (7/5/2017) Penguin UK are publishing a book to be called "A Maigret Christmas" in late November. It will contain three cases related to the Christmas period, so I imagine these will include some of the short stories published by Hamish Hamilton in the UK in 1976 as "Maigret's Christmas". I don't know of any plans to publish the other short stories.

In answer to Peter Colvin's question (7/8/2017), I believe that all the original BBC TV Maigret plays have been issued, but they are over dubbed in German, and don't feature the original haunting theme. They are available from Amazon and eBay.

Many thanks Steve for continuing to host this excellent site, and I can't wait to read your and Murielle's book "Maigret's World" when it's published later this year.

Alan Cheshire

Second cover for Penguin The Two-Penny Bar
8/6/17 –
Browsing for books on Ebay. I noticed for sale from a large drop shipper, who no longer is selling the book, that it has an alternate cover. Possibly it is the current printing? I noticed in earlier Forum text that there was comment on the two covers for SHADOW PUPPET, so this is of interest.

Dennis Larson

BBC Rupert Davies Maigret DVD??
7/8/17 –

Are there any plans to have the BBC Rupert Davies Maigret put onto DVD?

Peter Colvin

Penguin Maigret short stories?
7/5/17 – Just a quick question for you and the forum. I am new to Georges Simenon and Maigret. Got started about a year ago.

Lots to figure out and I enjoy the checklists.

Is Penguin going to publish the 28 short stories? and if so, will it be after or before, the 75 novels are published. Possibly using your translations of the three unpublished in book or magazine form in english titles?

Let's hope they do complete the series. Often publishers, give up along the way when a series isn't financially worthwhile. This happened with the Rex Stout Nero Wolfe Library some years back, while lacking only three titles for a uniform set of paperbacks.

Best Wishes,
Dennis Larson

Speaking of Maigret...
6/13/17 – Here's one for the "Speaking of Maigret" page...
"We could go back to Vientian, tell everyone Inspector Maigret and his faithful lieutenant have solved yet another dastardly crime, and know deep down that we haven't..."

from: Disco for the Departed (2011) by Colin Cotterill (Dr. Siri Paiborn Mystery) p. 202 - Soho Press

Thanks for your great site,
Jim Nolan

Penguin Maigret - The Flemish House
5/30/17 –

The Flemish House

a review by Andrew Walser

The Flemish House is a novel about borders. A key passage early in the book interrogates the notion of such boundaries, but also declares them “unmistakable” in their force:

But how exactly could you tell that you were at the border? Was it the transition to Belgian-style houses with their ugly brown brickwork, their freestone doorsteps and their windows decorated with copper pots?

The harder, more chiselled faces of the Walloons? The khaki uniforms of the Belgian customs officers? Or was it that the currency of both countries was used in the shops?

In any case, it was unmistakable: you were at the border. Two peoples lived side by side.

The most obvious border here is political – the line between France and Belgium. The Flemish house itself lies midway between the outskirts of the village of Givet and a border checkpoint and thereby marks a zone of transition, a place no longer France but not quite Belgium. Simenon was well-qualified to write about such liminal matters, of course. Given his Belgian background, his status as the quintessential chronicler of 20th-century French life is an interesting paradox, but hardly an unprecedented one in a society that also adopted Van Gogh and Chopin.

Stranded in that cartographic no-man’s land, the Peeters family also suffers from a pronounced cultural isolation. The grumblings of the French are mostly petty – “They don’t think the same way as we do,” “They consider themselves a cut above,” and so on – but at times escalate into something more sinister. These insinuations and whisperings are oddly reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of the early Thirties – a discourse with which Simenon would have been quite familiar, even if he did not mean to evoke it.

Anna Peeters has recruited Maigret because her brother is under suspicion for the disappearance and possible murder of a French girl from Givet. She sees Maigret as a neutral party, one whose position as an outsider she can exploit to form a kind of coalition against the locals. Yet Maigret himself has little interest in the case, and only the incompetence of local officials leads him to continue investigating. About the Peeterses he feels the same subdued horror he always feels at the grubby lives of the bourgeoisie – the ugliness of their homes, the muted respectability of their manners, the petty meanness of their ethics.

So why does he stay?...

complete review


Forum Archives:

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film and tv '97-'01   title index '97-'04  

Maigret of the Month - 2012

JanuaryVente à la bougie - Sale by Auction (1939)
FebruaryLa pipe de Maigret - Maigret's Pipe (1945)
MarchMaigret et l'inspecteur malgracieux - Maigret and the Surly Inspector (1946)
AprilLe témoignage de l'enfant de chœur - The Evidence of the Altar-Boy (1946)
MayLe client le plus obstiné du monde - The Most Obstinate Man in the World (1946)
JuneOn ne tue pas les pauvres types - Death of a Nobody (1946)
JulyMenaces de mort - Death Threats (1942)
AugustTrain de nuit - Night Train (1930)
SeptemberLa jeune fille aux perles - The Girl with the Pearls (1932)
OctoberLa femme rousse - The Redhead (1933)
NovemberLa maison de l'inquiétude) - The House of Anxiety (1930)


Maigret of the Month - 2011

JanuaryUne erreur de Maigret - Maigret's Mistake (1936)
FebruaryL'Amoureux de Madame Maigret - Madame Maigret's Admirer (1939)
MarchLa vieille dame de Bayeux - The Old Lady of Bayeux (1939)
AprilL'Auberge aux noyés - The Drowned Men's Inn (1938)
MayStan le tueus - Stan the Killer (1938)
JuneL'Étoile du Nord - At the Étoile du Nord. (1938)
JulyTempête sur la Manche - Storm in the Channel (1938)
AugustMademoiselle Berthe et son amant - Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover (1938)
SeptemberLe Notaire du Châteauneuf - The Three Daughters of the Lawyer (1938)
OctoberL'improbable Monsieur Owen - The Unlikely M. Owen (1938)
NovemberCeux du Grand Café - The Group at the Grand Café. (1938)
DecemberL'Homme dans la rue - The Man in the Street (1939)


Maigret of the Month - 2010

JanuaryLa Folle de Maigret - Maigret and the Madwoman (1970)
FebruaryMaigret et l'homme tout seul - Maigret and the Loner (1971)
MarchMaigret et l'indicateur - Maigret and the Informer (1971)
AprilMaigret et Monsieur Charles - Maigret and Monsieur Charles (1972)
MayLa Péniche aux deux pendus - Two Bodies on a Barge (1944)
JuneL'Affaire du Boulevard Beaumarchais - The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais (1944)
JulyLa Fenêtre ouverte - The Open Window (1944)
AugustMonsieur Lundi - Mr. Monday (1944)
SeptemberJeumont, 51 minutes d'arrêt - Jeumont, 51 Minutes' Stop! (1944)
OctoberPeine de mort - Death Penalty (1944)
NovemberLes Larmes de bougie - Death of a Woodlande (1944)
DecemberRue Pigalle - In the Rue Pigalle (1944)


Maigret of the Month - 2009

JanuaryMaigret et le clochard - Maigret and the Bum (1963)
FebruaryLa Colère de Maigret - Maigret Loses His Temper (1963)
MarchMaigret et le fantôme - Maigret and the Ghost (1963)
AprilMaigret se défend - Maigret on the Defensive (1964)
MayLa Patience de Maigret - Maigret Bides His Time (1965)
JuneMaigret et l'affaire Nahour - Maigret and the Nahour Case (1966)
JulyLe Voleur de Maigret - Maigret's Pickpocket (1967)
AugustMaigret à Vichy - Maigret in Vichy (1968)
SeptemberMaigret hésite - Maigret Hesitates (1968)
OctoberL'Ami d'enfance de Maigret - Maigret's Boyhood Friend (1968)
NovemberMaigret et le tueur - Maigret and the Killer (1969)
DecemberMaigret et le marchand de vin - Maigret and the Wine Merchant (1970)

Maigret of the Month - 2008

JanuaryMaigret tend un piège - Maigret sets a trap (1955)
FebruaryUn échec de Maigret - Maigret's Failure (1956)
MarchMaigret s'amuse - Maigret's Little Joke (1957)
AprilMaigret voyage - Maigret and the Millionaires (1958)
MayLes Scrupules de Maigret - Maigret Has Scruples (1958)
JuneMaigret et les témoins récalcitrants - Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses (1959)
JulyUne confidence de Maigret - Maigret Has Doubts (1959)
AugustMaigret aux assises - Maigret in Court (1960)
SeptemberMaigret et les vieillards - Maigret in Society (1960)
OctoberMaigret et le voleur paresseux - Maigret and the Lazy Burglar (1961)
NovemberMaigret et les braves gens - Maigret and the Black Sheep (1962)
DecemberMaigret et le client du samedi - Maigret and the Saturday Caller (1962)

Maigret of the Month - 2007

JanuaryMaigret au "Picratt's" - Maigret in Montmartre (1951)
FebruaryMaigret en meublé - Maigret Takes a Room (1951)
MarchMaigret et la grande perche - Maigret and the Burglar's Wife (1951)
AprilMaigret, Lognon et les gangsters - Maigret and the Gangsters (1952)
MayLe Revolver de Maigret - Maigret's Revolver (1952)
JuneMaigret et l'homme du banc - The Man on the Boulevard (1953)
JulyMaigret a peur - Maigret Afraid (1953)
AugustMaigret se trompe - Maigret's Mistake (1953)
SeptemberMaigret à l'école - Maigret Goes to School (1954)
OctoberMaigret et la jeune morte - Maigret and the Young Girl (1954)
NovemberMaigret chez le ministre - Maigret and the Calame Report (1954)
DecemberMaigret et le corps sans tête - Maigret and the Headless Corpse (1955)

Maigret of the Month - 2006

JanuaryL'Inspecteur Cadavre - Maigret's Rival (1944)
FebruaryMaigret se fâche - Maigret in Retirement (1947)
MarchMaigret à New York - Maigret in New York (1947)
AprilLes Vacances de Maigret - No Vacation for Maigret (1948)
MayMaigret et son mort - Maigret's Special Murder (1948)
JuneLa première enquête de Maigret, 1913 - Maigret's First Case (1949)
JulyMon ami Maigret - My Friend Maigret (1949)
AugustMaigret chez le coroner - Maigret at the Coroner's (1949)
SeptemberMaigret et la vieille dame - Maigret and the Old Lady (1950)
OctoberL'Amie de Mme Maigret - Madame Maigret's Own Case (1950)
NovemberLes Mémoires de Maigret - Maigret's Memoirs (1951)
DecemberUn Noël de Maigret - Maigret's Christmas (1951)

Maigret of the Month - 2005

JanuaryL'affaire Saint-Fiacre - Maigret Goes Home (1932)
FebruaryChez les Flamands - The Flemish Shop (1932)
MarchLe port des brumes - Death of a Harbormaster (1932)
AprilLe fou de Bergerac - The Madman of Bergerac (1932)
MayLiberty Bar - Liberty Bar, Maigret on the Riviera (1932)
JuneL'écluse n° 1 - The Lock at Charenton (1933)
JulyMaigret - Maigret Returns (1934)
AugustLes Caves du Majestic - Maigret and the Hotel Majestic (1942)
SeptemberLa Maison du juge - Maigret in Exile (1942)
OctoberCécile est morte - Maigret and the Spinster (1942)
NovemberSigné Picpus - Maigret and the Fortuneteller (1944)
DecemberFélicie est là - Maigret and the Toy Village (1944)

Maigret of the Month - 2004

JanuaryLe chien jaune - The Yellow Dog
FebruaryM. Gallet décédé - Maigret Stonewalled
MarchLa nuit du carrefour - Maigret at the Crossroads
AprilLe charretier de la Providence - Maigret Meets a Milord
MayLa tête d'un homme - A Battle of Nerves
JuneUn crime en Hollande - Maigret in Holland
JulyPietr-le-Letton - Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett
AugustLe pendu de Saint-Pholien - Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets
SeptemberAu rendez-vous des Terre-Neuvas - The Sailor's Rendezvous
OctoberLa danseuse du Gai-Moulin - Maigret at the Gai-Moulin
NovemberLa guinguette à deux sous - Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine
DecemberL'ombre chinoise - Maigret Mystified



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