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Maigret Forum Archives 2014

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Happy New Year!
1/1/14 –


re: Penguin proof copy?
1/3/2014 – In answer to the Forum question in November... We presented the Maigret project at our sales conference last February and had this proof published to gift to Penguin employees. It was too early to use one of the new translations so we went with 'The Yellow Dog' which was a fairly new translation.

Penguin Books, Ltd.

as a gift
1/5/14 – I guess Sam wanted to say 'as a gift'. But the meaning of last sentence totally escapes me: "It was too early to use one of the new translations so we went with 'The Yellow Dog' which was a fairly new translation" ???


I think I can answer for Sam... 1) The online Merriam-Webster has "to gift: to present (someone) with a gift", although it sounds more UK than US to me... 2) The new series of Penguin Maigrets are all new translations. None of these was available yet at the time of the presentation, so the "proof copy" of The Yellow Dog used one of the more recent, but previously published, translations.


Maigret films
1/5/14 – Are these wonderful films still available? I see certain ones but not the complete list...

Thank you
James Oliver

75 novels?
1/7/14 – Your excellent site does not include La femme rousse in your novel list? Isn’t this a Simenon novel?

Thanks for your comment.

Norm Mikalac

La femme rousse, along with La Maison de l'inquiétude, La jeune fille aux perles, and Train de nuit are all Maigret novels written by Simenon, but they were not written under his real name, signed either Christian Brulls, or Georges Sim. They are sometimes called the "precursors of Maigret," and they are listed here, at The Other Maigrets.


re: Simenon translations
1/13/14 – After juxtaposing John H. Dirckx’s translation with the original French (see below), I have to say, “Chapeau bas ! Hats off!” to him.

La présence de Maigret au Majestic avait fatalement quelque chose d' hostile.
There was something jarring about Maigret’s appearance at the Hotel Majestic.

Il formait en quelque sorte un bloc que l'atmosphère se refusait à assimiler.
In that setting he seemed a positively alien presence.

Non pas qu'il ressemblât aux policiers que la caricature a popularisés. 
Il ne portait ni moustaches, ni souliers à fortes semelles.
It wasn’t as if he bore any resemblance to the stock comic figure of the bewhiskered copper in thick-soled shoes.

Ses vêtements étaient de laine assez fine, de bonne coupe.
His smartly tailored suit was of decent quality worsted.

Enfin il se rasait chaque matin et ses mains étaient soignées.
He was clean-shaven and his nails were neatly trimmed.

Mais la charpente était plébéienne. 
Il était énorme et osseux. huge and bony.
But his sturdy, rough-hewn build suggested a member of the working class.

Des muscles durs se dessinaient sous le veston, déformaient vite ses pantalons les plus neufs.

Brawny muscles bulged inside his coat sleeves. A brand new pair of trousers lost their shape before he had worn them a week.

Il avait surtout une façon bien à lui de se camper quelque part qui n'était pas sans avoir déplu à maints de ses collègues eux-mêmes.
And then there was that way he had of just putting down roots, so to speak, wherever he happened to be, which rubbed some of his colleagues the wrong way.

—David Simmons

Publication Order of the Maigrets
1/20/14 – Great website - thanks for all your work.

I'm planning to read all these new Penguin translations, having read and enjoyed several Simenon books in the last few years though avoiding Maigret as I couldn't find a good edition of the first novel.

It may seem silly and even kind of arbitrary but I am dead keen to read them in the order in which they were originally published, which is where I discover a problem: I thought I could trust Penguin to get it right but the order they've done them contradicts your chronological list (they have M. Gallet second, while you have it third) - any idea why this might be? It's confusing since the first few were all published in 1931 but surely there must be some definitive information?

Hope you can help.

Richard G.

The dates the Maigrets were published are generally known. Exactly when and where the Maigrets were written us not as clear...

The list in the bibliography is chronological by date of writing, based primarily on Jean Forest's Les Archives Maigret (U. Montréal 1994). Dates and locations of the writing are included in the bibliography {in curly brackets}. Information on where and when the works were written is from the Tout Simenon edition, based on the research of Pierre Deligny and Claude Menguy. Most of the original manuscripts of the Fayard and Gallimard edtions have disappeared, and the few which remain often don't indicate the place or date. In many cases these have been reconstructed by Simenon or his aides, and compared with biographical material, but there are still gaps and errors. The traditionally accepted places and dates are given, and, [within square brackets], corrections made by the two bibliographers.


The first Maigrets – dates of writing and publication
1/23/14 – Richard's question brings us once more to the problem of the confusion between the dates of writing and the dates of publication. As Steve said, while we know the dates of publication of the Fayard series well, we know less about when they were written. The problem arises with Pietr le Letton, since while it was written first (even if the exact date is not clear), it was published as the fifth in the series. Simenon then wrote Le charretier de la Providence and Monsieur Gallet décédé, then Le pendu de Saint-Pholien fourth. But it was Monsieur Gallet décédé and Le pendu de Saint-Pholien that were chosen to inaugurate the series, launched at the famous Anthropometric Ball. Thus the confusion, and the need for a publisher (in this case Penguin) to choose an order of publication. It seems that the choice was made to begin this new edition with the first Maigret wriiten, and then to continue in the original order of publication, rather than the order of the writing…

Below, I show a table comparing the dates of writing with the dates of publication. This information is based on the latest research of Michel Carly for the edition Tout Maigret, published in 2007 by Omnibus.

titledate and place writtenpublished
Pietr-le-Letton [LET]Sept. 1929, Delfzijl / Winter 1929-1930, Delfzijl and Stavoren / Spring 1930, Arpil or May, MorsangMay 1931
Le charretier de La Providence [PRO]       Summer 1930, MorsangMarch 1931
Monsieur Gallet, décédé [GAL]Summer 1930, Morsang February 1931
Le pendu de Saint-Pholien [PHO]Fall 1930, ConcarneauFebruary 1931
La tête d’un homme [TET]September 1930 to/or February 1931, ParisSeptember 1931
Le chien jaune [JAU]March 1931, Guigneville-sur-EssonneApril 1931
La nuit du carrefour [NUI]April 1931, Guigneville-sur-EssonneJune 1931
Un crime en Hollande [HOL]May 1931, MorsangJuly 1931
Au Rendez-Vous des Terre-Neuvas [REN]July 1931, MorsangAugust 1931
La danseuse du Gai-Moulin [GAI]September 1931, OuistrehamNovember 1931
La guinguette à deux sous [GUI]October 1931, OuistrehamDecember 1931
L’ombre chinoise [OMB]December 1931, Cap d'AntibesJanuary 1932
L’affaire Saint-Fiacre [FIA]January 1932, Cap d'AntibesFebruary 1932
Chez les Flamands [FLA]January 1932, Cap d'AntibesMarch 1932
Le port des brumes [POR]February 1932, Cap d'AntibesMay 1932
Le fou de Bergerac [FOU]March 1932, La RochelleApril 1932
Liberty Bar [LIB]May 1932, MarsillyJuly 1932
L’écluse n° 1 [ECL]April 1933, MarsillyJune 1933
Maigret [MAI]January 1934, PorquerollesMarch 1934

As we can see in the table, there are two other novels published in a different order from that of the writing: La tête d'un homme, written fifth and published ninth; Le port des brumes written before Le fou de Bergerac but published after it. It will be interesting to follow the next publications of Penguin to see which is their choice for the order of publication.



Maigret English editions
1/28/14 – Thank you for your webpage, especially the listing of the English titles chronologically. I would like to ask, if you could send me the following Maigret books in English in any electronic format as these can not be purchased in any webshop:

The Madman of Bergerac
Maigret in Retirement
A Summer Holiday / No Vacation for Maigret

I suspect you have already digitized these also, because I have found numerous titles in digital format (html) and all these are pointing to your website... Please help me in this if possible. Thank you.

Best regards,
Richard Farkas

Sorry, I have no digital editions of the Maigrets. However, I see that The Madman of Bergerac is available on Ebay and at Amazon.


The First English Maigret... on radio!
1/29/14 – Thanks to Ian Beard for supplying this article about the first known English language Maigret radio production, aired by the BBC Home Service on Monday, December 9, 1957.

The article was in Radio Times, "The Official Organ Of The BBC", issue 1778, for the week 8th-14th December 1957. More on Maigret on radio and audio at Maigret on the Radio...


Simenon TV preview...
2/4/14 – There will be a preview next week, Feb. 12th of the program "Le siècle de Simenon" in Paris. Omnibus is offering some free admissions...

(click to enlarge)


Simenon TV preview...
2/11/14 – I got an invitation for the première! There were around 75 people attending. There was a short introduction to the movie, about five minutes, thanking the producers, among them Arte. And there was some champagne afterwards. I was able to exchange a few words with John Simenon about publications in other languages and the universal content of Simenon's books. John was very kind, he told me that he still has some book covers to scan for Murielle's web site. There should be a DVD of the movie, which is made up of archival films with Simenon, pictures, and extracts from movies based on his books, but the only voice you hear is Georges Simenon's, from movies or radio programs. This created a very strong impression/feeling about the film and its content... a very good choice in my opinion.

Pierre Assouline speaking before the movie,
Fabienne Servan-Schreiber from Cinétévé on the right

John Simenon speaking


Maigret, Simenon and France an Edgar nominee
2/16/14 – I am delighted to inform you that my book Maigret, Simenon and France (McFarland, ISBN 9780786470549), reviewed on this site by David Simmons on 3/11/13, has been nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an ‘Edgar’ award in the criticism/biographical category to be presented in New York City on May 1.

I would like to record my thanks to Stephen Trussel, Muriel Wenger and the other contributors to this site for the inspiration they give to authors working in the field of Simenon studies and Maigretphiles alike.

Best wishes
Bill Alder

Congratulations, Bill!

On the new Penguin Maigrets...
2/25/14 – A blog from ArtsBeat...

January 23, 2014, by Jennifer Schuessler: Penguin Announces a Makeover for Inspector Maigret

Sherlock Holmes isn’t the only pipe-smoking classic detective getting a 21st-century reboot. Inspector Jules Maigret, the stolid Parisian gumshoe created by the Belgian writer Georges Simenon, is about to get his own brand makeover, thanks to a joint effort by Penguin Books and Penguin UK to release all 75 Maigret novels in new English versions by leading literary translators.

The series, according to a statement from Penguin, aims to present the novels (some of which have not previously been translated into English) in a uniform, modernized edition that corrects earlier errors while providing “a consistent reading experience.” There will be eight releases this year...

David Chute

Read the rest of the article here

"some of which have not previously been translated into English" ?!

New Polish Maigrets
3/16/14 – After a few years in limbo, great news at last for Polish lovers of Maigret! C&T (Crime & Thriller) Publishers, located in my city, Toruń, after long negotiations, signed an agreement with Simenon's copyrights owner. During the next 6 years they will publish 30 Simenon books (including more than 20 Maigrets).

For this year the plans are as follows:

before summer:
     --- Maigret's Failure and Maigret and the Killer
in August
     --- Maigret's Boyhood Friend,
in late fall two more
     --- (one will probably be Maigret Has Doubts)

All info from Paweł Marszałek, owner of C&T.


Maigret's World of Odors
3/30/14 –

Maigret's world of odors

by Murielle Wenger

original French


odors of other places

  • odors of the realm of rivers and the sea: the "warm smell of manure and leather" on the barge (Le charretier de la Providence) [PRO]; the smell inside the trawler Océan (Au rendez-vous des Terre-Neuvas) [REN], "a smell reminiscent of a barracks, a canteen and a fish market, all together"; the odor of the boat Saint-Michel (Le port des brumes) [POR], an "odor of tar and alcohol, of the kitchen and bedroom, but above all the indefinable odors of a boat"; the stable-boats which "smelled strongly of resin" (Maigret et le clochard) [CLO].

  • odors of other buildings: the building of the newspaper La Meuse in Liège (Le pendu de Saint-Pholien) [PHO], where the room reserved for the archives "smelled of wax, old paper, and official luxury"; the Moulins printing house, where "the smell of ink caught in your throat" (L'affaire Saint-Fiacre) [FIA]; the gendarmerie at L'Aiguillon (La maison du juge) [JUG], which "smelled of old leather, cabbage soup, and unwashed boys"; the smell of the Police station at Les Sables d'Olonne (Les vacances de Maigret) [VAC] "a good heavy smell, thick enough to cut with a knife, made of the leather of shoulder belts, the wool of uniforms, administrative paperwork, cold pipes, and finally the poor devils polishing their bottoms on the two wooden benches in the waiting room"; the Beaujon hospital (Félicie est là) [FEL], "full of dull smells"; the clinic at Les Sables d'Olonne (Les vacances de Maigret) [VAC], with the "sweet pharmaceutical odor"; "the smell of candles, of incense" in the church (L'affaire Saint-Fiacre) [FIA], and the "confessionnal... which smelled of musty old wood (Maigret à Vichy) [VIC]; the "odors of oregano and mild tobacco" of Mlle Olga's office (Les vacances de Maigret) [VAC]; the Criminal Records office, where "the air smelled of old paper, like in a public library"; the "strong odor of wine dregs" in the warehouses at Bercy (Maigret et le marchand de vin) [VIN]; the room in the archives of the newspaper Parisien libéré, which "smelled of old paper and printer's ink" (Maigret et l'homme tout seul) [SEU].

  • odors of the outside world: Antibes, "a sticky world of sun, frangrance of mimosa and sweet flowers", "the air smelled of melting asphalt" (Liberty Bar) [LIB]; Cannes: "everywhere the golden mimosas spreading a sweet scent which saturated the whole city" (Les caves du Majestic) [MAJ]; Porquerolles: "There were fragrances coming off the sun-heated water during the day, and others coming from the earth with the breeze. Weren't those eucalyptus trees on the square? Threre were probably other frangrant species on the island." (Mon ami Maigret) [AMI]; and then Paris: the quays on the Seine, where "the morning air smelled of water and tar" (L'écluse no 1) [ECL], "the smell of tar" which filled Paris on the hot summer days (Maigret et la Grande Perche) [GRA]; "dust, the smell of gasoline" (Maigret tend un piège) [PIE]; the smell of gasoline, which was "a part of spring announcing its arrival, like the smell of half-melted asphalt for summer" (Le voleur de Maigret) [VOL]; the mouths of the métro "smelling of bleach" (Maigret et son mort) [MOR], "the smell of laundry" in the métro stairway (La première enquête de Maigret) [PRE]; the "strong smell" of Les Halles (Le voleur de Maigret) [VOL]; and "the slightly sweet scent of the chestnut trees on the Boulevard Saint-Germain" (Le client le plus obstiné du monde) [obs]...

2. Odors of objects and things

The odors we inhale in different places are of course given off by the people and things there, but it may be interesting to isolate some of these elements to draw some illustrative examples...

Among the objects, consider Emma's box of seashells (Le chien jaune) [JAU], which "gave off an odor of old cardboard, dust, perfume and yellowed paper"; the "good smell of fresh wood" spread by the carved wooden toys at Grossot's (L'amie de Madame Maigret) [MME]; the smell of an old popular edition of Alexandre Dumas, reminding Maigret of "all the minor illnesses of his life" (Maigret et son mort) [MOR].

An odor that surrounds Maigret more or less permanently, you might say, is that of his pipe and tobacco. This smell of the pipe goes everywhere with him, invading such places as those he installs himself in to observe the scene of an investigation... "a strong pipe smell prevaded the room, despite the open window" (the hotel across froim the Citanguette, in La tête d'un homme) [TET]; "he thought he could distinguish a dark mass, thickset, like an enormous animal lying in wait... His nostrils discerned puffs of tobacco" (Leroy rejoining Maigret on the roof of the hotel, in Le chien jaune) [JAU]; "To escape from the rumbling outside, Maigret had closed the window... The pipe smell filled the room." (in his hotel room, in Le fou de Bergerac) [FOU]; "even the smell of tobacco was a professional odor... that of a pipe, extinguished the night before, relit in the middle of the night when awakened by an emergency" (Maigret at home, getting ready to leave for the scene of a crime, in Maigret et les braves gens) [BRA]. But it's also, of course, the dominant odor of his office... "There were dirty glasses all over the office, half-eaten sandwiches, and the smell of tobacco which stuck in your throat." (waiting during the night before Bronsky's arrest, in Maigret et son mort) [MOR]; "Glasses strewn around, cigarette butts, ashes, torn paper, and the air smelling of tobacco already stale." (the "disarray at the Quai des Orfèvres" at the beginning of Maigret tend un piège) [PIE]....

the complete article:
English translation
Original French

The Bowler Hat and Maigret
4/10/14 – I have always wondered when Maigret swapped his chapeau melon (bowler hat) for a fedora (trilby). I am sure you would know...

Michael Palmer

re: The Bowler Hat and Maigret
4/13/14 – I can offer some insight on the timing, but not cite the exact story. When Maigret retired to Meung-sur-Loire, he put his bowler in a hat box and adopted a felt hat. But also, somewhere along in there, his wife bought a straw hat for his country life.

Of note, in “The Group at the Grand Café” (published in 1938, #38 in the series, and translated only by Steve), he put his bowler back on when he went out to look into the butcher’s death, giving the gathered crowd the hope “Commissaire Maigret” was back on the job.

One can learn a lot about his hats in Murielle Wenger’s excellent “In Maigret's Clothes Closet” that appears in this forum in 2006.

David Simmons

Polish Maigrets to be published
4/24/14 – Here's a list of Maigret titles to be published in Poland by C&T 2014-2019. (Info from P. Marszałek, owner of C&T)

Maigret et le tueur   La Colère de Maigret
Un échec de Maigret   Maigret et le clochard
Maigret se défend   Les Scrupules de Maigret
L'Ami d'enfance de Maigret   Maigret à l'école
Maigret s'amuse   Mon ami Maigret
Maigret et l'affaire Nahour   Un crime en Hollande
Une confidence de Maigret   Le Fou de Bergerac
Maigret voyage   Maigret et les braves gens
Maigret et le marchand du vin   Maigret chez le ministre
Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters   Cécile est morte
Les Vacances de Maigret   Maigret à New York
Maigret et les vieillards      


Dubbed Cremer Maigrets?
5/15/14 – Three questions:

1. I own all the Cremer Maigret films, and they are wonderful-- but I have to read the subtitles-- would it not be wonderful if they could be dubbed into English, so the magic could be shared? The British actor (he also played Dumbledore in Harry Potter, cant think of his name) would be fantastic for the voice over-- what do you think, is there a place to write to start momentum on such a thing -- especially since Penguin is re-releasing the entire book run?

2. Have there been any comic book versions of the Maigrets?

A few, though not in English... described here.

3. How many Maigrets are there? I think about 75, but other estimates run as high as 300-- you are the expert--what do you think? (I want to own them all....)

Although subject to dispute... (e.g. is Maigret's Christmas a short novel or a long story?), my count is 75 novels and 28 stories = 103. various lists here.

Thank you for your wonderful site!
Don C. Reed

Inspector Maigret now on Facebook
5/16/14 – Run by Penguin Classics in the UK, the new page will be sharing details of new publishing, Maigret articles and news as well as archive imagery from this site.

click here to sign up

Penguin Classics

Subtitled Cremer Maigrets?
5/18/14 – I notice Don C. Reed has all the Cremer Maigrets with sub-titles (5/15/2014). I would like to know where volumes 22 to 27 come from, as they don't come with sub-titles as yet to my knowledge.

Martin Cooke

New Maigret Audiobooks
5/22/14 – Aficionados of Simenon's Maigret will be interested to know that Audible, the audio book specialist, is in the process of recording for sale all the new Penguin Maigret translations. Last time I looked there were about 10 or 11 listed.

The length of the recordings I've downloaded suggests they are unabridged readings. for more details and audio samples.


re: Subtitled Cremer Maigrets?
5/23/14 – On 5/18/14 Martin Cooke asked: "I notice Don C. Reed has all the Cremer Maigrets with sub-titles (5/15/2014). I would like to know where volumes 22 to 27 come from, as they don't come with sub-titles as yet to my knowledge."

All 54 are available subtitled via MHz networks (or Amazon etc):

If, like me, you have invested in the original sets from France, you will have to repurchase most of what you have already subtitled to get the rest - the MHz releases do not follow the French sets in their content order.

Ward Saylor

Monsieur Simenon has locked himself in
5/23/14 – a new article on Simenon...


May 22, 2014

Georges Simenon The Grand Banks Café translated by David Coward and The Mahé Circle translated by Siân Reynolds (both forthcoming with Penguin Classics, June 2014)

by Graeme Macrae Burnet

In November 2013, Penguin launched their publication of the complete series of Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels, all in new translations by renowned translators such as David Bellos, Anthea Bell and, in the case of the current volumes, David Coward and Siân Reynolds It’s a colossal venture, seventy-five titles to be issued monthly for six years, with the stated aim of bringing Simenon’s work to a wider British audience. This is welcome, of course, but there persists a feeling, in the UK at least, that Simenon’s novels are fast food rather than fine dining; there to be guzzled in quantity, rather than lingered over. It’s a perception for which the author himself must bear some responsibility, given that he hardly lingered over his works, turning out each novel in a brisk eleven days. Simenon made himself into a one-man literary industry, producing around 185 novels over a period of forty years, yet he craved critical acclaim. When Camus won the Nobel prize in 1957 (on the basis, it should be remembered, of three slim novels and a couple of volumes of essays), Simenon flew into a rage and declared, “Can you believe that asshole got it and not me.”[1]

It is perhaps the Maigret books that are responsible for Simenon’s exclusion from the pantheon of great twentieth-century writers. There is nothing wrong with the detective novels. They are written with Simenon’s customary sparse elegance and are often rich in atmosphere and setting, but they largely remain genre pieces, and, trapped in the point-of-view of the affable Inspector, they lack the psychological insight that characterises the author’s non-Maigret works.

In 1955, Simenon gave an interview to the Paris Review at his then home in Connecticut. The interviewer, Carvel Collins, asked how the Maigret novels differ from his romans durs or “hard novels,” as the author called them. “Exactly the same difference,” Simenon replied, “that exists between the painting of a painter and the sketch he will make for his pleasure or for his friends or to study something.”

He then describes the process of writing of each roman dur...

complete article here


re: re: Subtitled Cremer Maigrets?
5/24/14 – Thank you Ward [5/23/14], I was aware of the USA Catalogue but as you pointed out, volumes 22 to 27 are spread out over the nine DVD set, and would be financial suicide to purchase them all for the seven I require. I can't be the only person in this position so this is a commercial opportunity waiting to be exploited. Although as with the Rupert Davies interpretations the powers that be seem unenthusiastic to say the least.

Martin Cooke

The Patience of Maigret
6/7/14 – Is anyone on this forum familiar with the French Judicial system in the mid-1960s? The Patience of Maigret is listed as being completed in 1965.

I'm wondering what kind of sentence Aline Bauche would have received for her part in the murder of Manuel Palmari.

Undoubtedly Ferdinand Barillard would have gone to the guillotine given that he fired the gun and also, off his own initiative, murdered Jef Claes, but I would be interested to know if it is likely that Aline would have lived long enough to be released. I'm assumed from reading the story that Aline is somewhere between 25-35 years old.

The line that makes me wonder is in the last chapter where Maigret takes her the long route from Rue des Acacias to the Quai and she looks out of the window of the car "knowing that she might never see it again or at least will be a very old woman."

No worries if no-one knows. I can continue research elsewhere.


Maigret Audio Books in French?
6/13/14 – I am having trouble finding Maigret audio books in French and wondered if somebody might have advice about this. I would prefer not to buy from Apple.


re: Maigret Audio Books in French?

6/15/14 – In response to Cathy's question (below) about audio books...

You can find Simenon in French audio books at:
Le livre qui parle
Amazon France


Maigret and the mysteries of Gien(s)
6/15/14 – A little ortho-geo-graphic mystery in Un échec de Maigret [ECH]

In Chapter 2...

'You are the chauffeur's mistress?'
'If you wish to put it crudely, yes. We're engaged, too, and we shall get married as soon as we've saved enough to buy an inn somewhere near Giens.'
'Why Giens?'
'Because we're both from there.'
'Did you know each other before coming to Paris?'
'No. We met in the Boulevard de Courcelles.'
'Does Monsieur Fumal know about your plans?'
'I hope not.'

Louise Bourges, Fumal's secretary, tells Maigret that she and her lover, Félix the chauffeur, have decided to open an inn at Giens, because, she says, they're both originally from that town.

However, the name Giens, written with an "s", refers to the peninsula on the Mediterranean, and not to the name of a town. We might surmise that Simenon intended to say that Louise and Félix wanted to open an inn on the beaches in the south.

But, in Chapter 8...

'I merely wonder why you put up with it.'
'Because I want us to get married.'
'And to set up at Giens!'
'What's wrong about that?'
'What was she keenest about, what did she put first, -- marriage to Felix, or the ownership of an inn on the Loire?'
'How were you getting the money?'
Émile Lentin took it from the petty cash. She, too, must have her system.

Maigret wonders about Louise Bourges and her wish to open an inn, and it says in the text that she would like to become the "owner of an inn on the Loire". We can thus understand that the place the author is referring to is Gien, written without an "s", and which is a town, famous among others for its castle, found not far from the Loire. And so we must admit that it's this Gien that Simenon was thinking of in writing his novel, and that he wrote it with an "s", perhaps influenced by his Mediterranean memories, or more probably by the proximity of the locations... in fact he wrote this novel while he was living in Cannes.

We note that on other occasions, he correctly used the two spellings. Thus, as listed by Steve in his "Maigret Encyclopedia", we find "Giens" in Mon ami Maigret [AMI], where it's said that Marcellin would moor at the Giens pier, and "Gien" in L'écluse no 1 [ECL], where Decharme says that he would like to live in the Loire, for example, at Cosnes or Gien, and in Maigret et le corps sans tête [COR], when Aline explains to Maigret that she is originally from Boissancourt, a hamlet between Montargis and Gien.

An amusing side note... in La guinguette à deux sous [GUI], Victor Gaillard explains that he lived in the municipal sanatorium of Gien. However, an internet search shows that while there is a sanatorium, it's found in Giens, that is, not in the Loire, but on the Mediterranean...

(Maiget's Failure, tr. by Daphne Woodward)

original French

Murielle Wenger

tr: st

Maigret in Montmartre...
7/4/14 – The association "Sur le pavé la plume" will organize two visits to Maigret locations in Montmartre, the 20th of July and 21st of September.

Persons interested can apply at the following web site :


Poor Review by Burnet....
7/28/14 – I’ve just read Graeme Macrae Burnet’s review [5/23/14] and don’t agree with much of it. He also should read more attentively. He writes that we are “trapped in the point-of-view of the affable Inspector, [and] they lack psychological insight...” Well, let’s draw his attention to page 1, and Mrs Maigret: “She stared at him, not understanding.” How do we know she was not understanding? Because we are in HER head, not Maigret’s. If you want to review, review accurately.


A small piece on Simenon in Le Figaro....

7/31/14 –

Un « Maigret » sinon rien
par Anthony Palou


Why no more Maigrets?
8/19/14 – I'm a Dutch journalist, and I'm writing an essay for a Dutch newspaper on series of books which are continued after the death of the original author. I would like to know if you are maybe aware of why there have never been any talks about continuing the Maigret series after Simenon's death - or maybe there have been, and I just don't know about them?

Thanks in advance for your reaction,
Frank Heinen

Inspector Maigret on Screen
8/19/14 – You might be interested to learn about the Inspector Maigret film season we have coming up in October at the Barbican (London):

Inspector Maigret on Screen is on public sale on Thursday at 10am -
all the details are online here.

Four celebrated films
about Georges Simenon's legendary
Inspector Jules Maigret

Oct.  4 - Maigret Sets a Trap (Maigret Tend Un Piege)
Oct. 11 - The Man on the Eiffel Tower
Oct. 25 - Maigret Sees Red (Maigret Voit Rouge)
Oct. 26 - La Tete d'un Homme

Many thanks,
Daniela Fetta

Two on Maigret
8/25/14 –

1. I was under impression that titles of all Maigret books started with 'Maigret'. I guess not, as "The man on Eiffel tower" [8/19/2014] indicates. Is there a reason for this?

2. Why no more Maigrets? [8/19/2014] Maybe due to copyright issues?! Most probably - in my opinion - because Simenon's unique style of thinking and writing is impossible to imitate, and more 'Maigrets' would 'devaluate' the value of original 'Maigrets'. Fortunately, Simenon has written so many.

I would guess that when a literary character continues after the author is gone, this character was written by several authors even if only one got the credit, and copyright is owned by a corporation. Something like for TV series characters where writers change from episode to episode and from season to season.


re: Why no more Maigrets?
8/31/14 – Here’s a little more on “Why No More Maigrets.” [8/19/2014] Although Simenon stopped writing his Maigret stories in the early 70s, it seems Maigret has resurfaced in at least 17 pastiches, 3 parodies, and 5 works with other literary figures. These pieces are on paper, in eBooks, or online. The authors include Steve Trussel and Murielle Wenger. (And I can’t resist citing my own contributions: Le Docteur Maigret / Doctor Maigret.)

David Simmons

Maigret on [Canadian] Radio
8/31/14 – For fans of early radio...

Thanks to input from Gary E. Marsa, the history of Maigret on Canadian radio, 1968-77, has just taken a giant leap forward. By searching the internet, Gary tracked down early newspaper radio schedule listings of the Maigret shows, and was able to reconstruct what appears to be the complete output of the time. (For years, this section of the radio site has been marked by major gaps and question marks, and possibilities.) You can view his contribution at Maigret on the Radio.


End of Maigret by Simenon
9/8/14 – I am curious if Simenon stopped writing Maigret books by plan or it 'just happened'? Was their any public event when the last Maigret was published, some announcement, Simenon's statement, interview? Did he say why?


re: End of Maigret by Simenon
9/8/14 –

Simenon: "I won't write anymore"

First, here's part of Murielle's Maigret of the Month for Maigret and Monsieur Charles [4/21/2010]:

When Simenon, on February 11, 1972, wrote the last word at the bottom of the typescript of this novel [Maigret et Monsieur Charles], he didn't suspect, it is said, and as he said himself, that it was the last novel he would write. In September of that same year, Simenon began his "writing ritual"...

"Monday, September 18, 1972... I went down to my office to prepare the "yellow envelope" for a new novel I'd decided to write. It was 9:00 when I closed myself in. It was a matter of finding the names of my characters, their situations, origins, sometimes their childhood friends, all the notes of which I usually use only a small part. I have a need to know everything about them, so I draw the plan of their houses, sometimes the district where they live... On my big Manila envelope, I wrote the name of my character, which would serve as a title: Victor. A few more names, some notes. What I call my "plots" have never really been that, since I don't imagine the actions and reactions of my heroes except as things go along, chapter by chapter, not discovering the ending until the final page... The next day, I give myself time to think of my starting point, as usual, that is to say, the "click" which will lead my principal character to his finale." (in Intimate Memoirs)

But the novel will not get very far... it is abandoned, and to mark a sort of stage, Simenon also decides to leave the great house at Epalinges: in October, he moved to an apartment building in Lausanne, and had the word "novelist" removed from his passport. He led his personal life (moving into the "little pink house" in 1974) until 1977, when he began his Dictations. He wouldn't take up the pen again until 1980, to write his Intimate Memoirs.

And here's the beginning of the 24 heures inteview with Henri-Charles Tauxe, reprinted in Paris-Match [2/17/1973], "Simenon: I'm 70. It's over. I'm killing Maigret.":

I will tell you how it happened. On September 20, 1972, I went down to my office in Epalinges for the last time. I wrote down the plan of a novel, as I always do, took up my yellow envelope, noted the names of my characters and their telephone numbers, and then I went back upstairs. The following day, I thought, looked at the walls, looked at the objects and pictures around me, and for the thirtieth time in my life, I felt foreign...


re: Why no more Maigrets?
9/9/14 (8/20/14) – Here are a few short answers to Frank's question [8/19/2014].

First of all, the character Maigret, like Simenon's work, is something "protected", in the sense "copyright", and thus one can't simply create new Maigret investigations and publish them. Thus on the one hand Simenon's work is "closed", as it cannot be extended, but at the same time it is "open", since for the rights-holders (and John Simenon, in particular, who controls the legacy), it is still possible to discuss adaptations, including cinema, theater and television.

And then, who else but Simenon himself could continue his character Maigret, his creature and his creation, and who else could "get inside him", and feel him as he did. (We may recall here Hergé, who stipulated that after his death, his character Tintin, also mythical, could not be continued by another artist).

Finally, the admiration aroused by the character Maigret has not prevented numerous writers from imagining further adventures, and pastiches of the Chief Inspector's investigations abound, particularly on the internet. And here the prevailing rule is as follows – as long as these texts are clearly expressed as homage to Simenon and his character, and as long as the authors do not seek substantial rights impinging on the Simenon estate, they are generally "allowed", recognizing that "Maigret" is a "protected name" and that nothing can be published on the character without permission from the copyright owners.

In summary: the number of Simenon's Maigret investigations (75 novels, 28 short stories) is sufficiently great as to not require enlargement, and constitutes a corpus significant enough for numerous avenues of research... which doesn't stop the Chief Inspector's fans from proposing new investigations – but only for pleasure... "just for fun", as our English speaking friends say!

Voici quelques petits éléments de réponse à la question de Frank [8/19/2014].

D'abord, le personnage de Maigret, comme l'œuvre de Simenon, est quelque chose de "protégé", au sens "copyright" du terme, et dans cette idée, on ne peut pas inventer de nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret et les publier pour toucher des droits. L'œuvre de Simenon est donc à la fois "fermée", "close" parce que non prolongeable, mais à la fois elle est aussi ouverte, parce que, avec les ayants-droits (et John Simenon, en particulier, qui s'occupe de la gestion de l'héritage), il est toujours possible de discuter d'une adaptation de cette œuvre, au cinéma, au théâtre ou à la télévision.

Ensuite, qui d'autre que Simenon lui-même aurait pu continuer le personnage de Maigret, qui est sa créature et sa création, et personne ne peut comme lui le voir "de l'intérieur", le sentir comme lui l'a senti. (On se rappellera ici comment Hergé a stipulé qu'après sa mort son personnage, mythique lui aussi, de Tintin ne pourrait pas être repris par un autre dessinateur). Enfin, l'admiration qu'a suscitée le personnage de Maigret n'a pas empêché nombre d'écrivains en herbe de lui imaginer de nouvelles aventures, et les pastiches des enquêtes du commissaire abondent, en particulier sur le Net. Et ici, la règle qui prévaut est la suivante: tant que ces textes restent clairement exprimés comme étant des hommages à Simenon et à son personnage, et tant que les auteurs ne cherchent pas à toucher des droits substantiels qui empiéteraient sur ceux des héritiers de Simenon, ces derniers "laissent faire", en principe, tout en rappelant que "Maigret" est une "marque protégée", et que rien ne peut être publié sur le personnage sans l'accord des ayants-droits.

En résumé: le nombre d'enquêtes de Maigret imaginées par Simenon (75 romans, 28 nouvelles) est bien suffisant pour ne pas nécessiter un prolongement, et constitue un corpus assez conséquent pour y trouver bien des éléments de recherche; ce qui n'empêche pas les admirateurs du commissaire de lui proposer de nouvelles enquêtes, mais seulement pour le plaisir… just for fun, comme disent nos amis anglophones !


No response?
9/10/14 – If you sent mail to this Forum and your comments weren't posted or you received no response, please try again. Apparently an email problem here resulted in a number of messages not arriving...


re: Maigret Titles
9/10/14 (8/26/14) – In response to Vladimir's remarks about the titles of the Maigret novels [8/25/2014], may I suggest referring the analysis which I made on this site, Maigret Entitled...., and also this one on my site, Maigret... à juste titre....


Weekend in Paris
9/10/14 (8/26/14) –

I spent this past weekend in Paris, and as I do each time I visit, I've taken a photo of the Quai des Orfèvres. At this time there's a lot of construction going on in the city, with reconstruction projects (since Les Halles was demolished they're builing a large shopping center there), and renovation projects... numerous monuments, such as the Panthéon, Ritz Hotel, the column at Place Vendôme, and others, including the Prefecture of Police and the "Pointed Tower" of the Quai des Orfèvres, are hidden behind scaffolding, covered with tarpaulins adorned with enormous advertising images, some with photographs of the monuments they're hiding. Such is the case at the Quai des Orfèvres, resulting in this unusual photograph... We hope that the renovation will preserve its unique and characteristic allure, while awaiting the decision as to what will be done with this building, since the Judicial Police will move, probably in 2017. Will they take this oppurtunity to create a police museum on the venerable site? That is still unknown, but if it actually happens, we can only hope that they'll reserve a room in honor of Chief Inspector Maigret...

J'étais ce week-end à Paris, et comme j'en ai l'habitude chaque fois que je m'y rends, j'ai pris une photographie du Quai des Orfèvres. En ce moment, la ville est pleine de chantiers, avec des projets de reconstruction (les Halles ont été démolies et on y construit un grand centre commercial), et des projets de rénovation: de nombreux monuments, comme le Panthéon, l'Hôtel Ritz et la colonne sur la place Vendôme, et d'autres, dont la Préfecture de Police et la "Tour Pointue" du Quai des Orfèvres, sont cachés derrière les échafaudages, couverts eux-mêmes par des bâches ornées soit d'énormes images publicitaires, soit de photographies des monuments qu'elles cachent. Tel est le cas au Quai des Orfèvres, et le résultat de la photo lui donne un aspect pour le moins insolite... Espérons que la rénovation lui conservera son allure unique et caractéristique, en attendant que l'on décide ce que l'on fera de ce bâtiment, puisque les services de Police Judiciaire vont déménager, probablement en 2017. Est-ce qu'on en profitera pour faire des antiques locaux un musée de la police ? On n'en sait rien, mais, si tel devrait être le cas, on espère qu'une salle y sera prévue en l'honneur du commissaire Maigret...


Complete Maigret Radio Dramas on DVD
9/15/14 – The complete English Language Maigret dramas including the Canadian Maigret, Budd Knap, is being offered on one DVD here, on eBay UK.

Also on the disc is a spoken word story.

Martin Cooke

Maigret Voyage - Countess P...?
9/17/14 – I am reading (with my French dictionary at my side) the Presses de la Cite edition of Maigret Voyage. The name of an important character changes throughout the book. At first she is called the Countess Palmieri, but on page 45 she seems to be the Countess Paverini.On page 67 she is again Palmieri. And so this goes. I found an English translation (Maigret and the Millionaires) which has the character Countess Paverini. It even deleted the passage where le Commissaire had to explain over a bad telephone connection "La comtesse Palmieri...Comme palmier...palmier...Les arbres de la Promenade des Anglais..."

Why is this?

Arlene Blade in Tobago

re: Maigret Voyage - Countess P...?
9/18/14 –

Countess Palmieri or Countess Paverini? Readers of Maigret voyage [VOY] may have noticed that the "little countess" of the novel changes her name according to the edition, and even inside the same volume (kudos to Arlene for her discerning reading!). But why does this character appear with two different surnames?

The key to this mystery can be found in a fine publication, produced under the auspices of Les Amis de Georges Simenon, written by Michel Carly and published in 2011 under the title The secrets of the "Maigret"s. I'll summarize for you here the explanation given by Michel Carly...

Maigret voyage was written between the 10th and 17th of August, 1957. It was the first novel written by Simenon after he'd moved to the château at Echandens. In the original text, the countess was named Palmieri. After revision, the text was sent to Presses de la Cité, and 60,000 copies were printed, dated December 2, 1957. Bookseller release was scheduled for March 5, 1958.

Meanwhile, there was a prepublication serial release in the newspaper Figaro, from February 18 to March 15, 1958. However, on February 24, the Figaro received a letter from an indignant reader, one Roger Palmieri, a lawyer at the Paris Court of Appeals, who believed that the honor of his name had been "tarnished" by association with the character of the countess, whose existence, in M. Palmieri's words, "proves terribly complicated and unedifying". In short, the lawyer called for Figaro to remove his name from the columns of the newspaper – and from Simenon's novel. The Figaro did so, and in the edition of February 27, we read, "an unwitting homonym has resulted in Georges Simenon's modification of the name of one of his characters, who will henceforth become the Countess Paverini."

But since the novel had appeared in bookstores on March 5, as the volumes had been printed well before this incident (with the colophon of December 2, as we recall), the name appearing therein was Palmieri. Further indignation from the lawyer Palmieri, who summoned Simenon to appear, on March 27, before the Civil Court of the Seine, which ordered the publisher and the author to replace the name Palmieri with Paverini in the next edition of Maigret voyage, and thankfully that was the end of it...

But the fact remains that we will find, in successive editions of the novel, one surname or the other for the countess. I don't have a copy of the novel in the original edition, but if someone happens to have one, this can be verified. On the other hand, in my 1971 edition, the countess has the name Paverini, and, on page 17, we find, "Paverini… P as in Paul, a as in Arthur, v as in Victor, e as in... Paverini, yes...", and on page 67, "Countess Paverini… Like "pave", r, as in Robert, i, Ignace, n, Naomi and another i at the end". In the 1982 edition, we find again the name Palmieri, on page 17: "Palmieri… P as in Paul, a as in Arthur, l as in Leon, m as in... Palmieri, yes...", but on page 45, as Arlene noted, once again Paverini, while on page 67, once more Palmieri, the text mentioned by Arlene. Probably when restoring the name to the original, the name Paverini sometimes eluded the proofreader. And we find that the Rencontre edition retains the name Paverini, while in the Tout Maigret edition, published by Omnibus, the original name, Palmieri, appears throughout the text...

original edition

1971 edition

1982 edition

Comtesse Palmieri ou comtesse Paverini ? Les lecteurs de Maigret voyage auront pu constater que la "petite comtesse" du roman change de nom au gré des éditions, voire à l'intérieur d'un même volume (bravo à Arlene pour sa lecture attentive et perspicace !). Pourquoi ce double patronyme attribué à ce personnage ?

La clé de l'énigme est à découvrir dans la belle publication, éditée par les soins des Amis de Georges Simenon, signée Michel Carly et publiée en 2011 sous le titre Les secrets des «Maigret». Je vous résume ici l'anecdote racontée par Michel Carly.

Maigret voyage a été écrit du 10 au 17 août 1957. C'est le premier roman rédigé par Simenon installé au château d'Echandens. Dans le texte original, la comtesse porte le nom de Palmieri. Après révision, le texte est envoyé aux Presses de la Cité, et un tirage de 60 000 volumes est effectué, avec un achevé d'imprimer au 2 décembre 1957. La parution est prévue pour le 5 mars 1958 en librairie.

Entretemps, une prépublication a lieu dans le journal le Figaro, du 18 février au 15 mars 1958. Or, le 24 février, le Figaro reçoit une lettre d'un lecteur indigné, un certain Roger Palmieri, avocat à la cour d'appel de Paris, qui estime que l'honneur de son nom est "sali" à travers le personnage de la comtesse, dont l'existence, selon les termes de Me Palmieri, "se révèle terriblement compliquée et peu édifiante". Bref, l'avocat demande au Figaro que son nom disparaisse des colonnes du journal – et du roman de Simenon. Le Figaro s'exécute, et, dans l'édition du 27 février, on peut lire: "une homonymie involontaire oblige Georges Simenon à modifier le nom de l'un de ses personnages qui, à partir de ce jour, devient la comtesse Paverini."

Mais, lorsque le roman paraît en librairie le 5 mars, comme les volumes ont été imprimés bien avant cette histoire (achevé d'imprimer du 2 décembre, on le rappelle), le nom qui y est mentionné est Palmieri. Nouvelle indignation de Me Palmieri, qui assigne Simenon à comparaître, le 27 mars, devant le tribunal civil de la Seine. On ordonne à l'éditeur et à l'écrivain de remplacer le nom de Palmieri par celui de Paverini dans la prochaine édition de Maigret voyage, et l'affaire s'arrête heureusement là…

Il n'en reste pas moins que l'on va trouver, dans les éditions successives des romans, un patronyme ou l'autre pour la comtesse. Je ne possède pas le roman dans sa parution originale, mais si quelqu'un a la chance d'en avoir un, il pourra vérifier la chose. Par contre, dans mon édition de 1971, la comtesse porte le nom de Paverini, et, à la page 17, on trouve: "Paverini… P comme Paul, a comme Arthur, v comme Victor, e comme…Paverini, oui…", et à la page 67: "La comtesse Paverini… Comme pavé, r, comme Robert, i, Ignace, n, Noémi et encore un i à la fin…". Dans l'édition de 1982, on retrouve le nom de Palmieri: page 17: "Palmieri… P comme Paul, a comme Arthur, l comme Léon, m comme… Palmieri, oui…", mais la page 45, comme le dit Arlene, a encore Paverini, alors que la page 67 a de nouveau Palmieri, avec le texte mentionné par Arlene. Probablement que, lors du rétablissement du nom de la version originale, le nom de Paverini a échappé parfois au correcteur… Notons que l'édition Rencontre a encore le nom de Paverini, alors que l'édition Tout Maigret publiée par Omnibus a rétabli le nom original de Palmieri, partout dans le texte…


Anthony Abbot translations?
9/23/14 – I'm working on a study of Maigret chapter translations, and there are two I'm missing - the Anthony Abbot translations of Pietr le letton [The (Strange) Case of Peter the Lett], and Le pendu de Saint-Pholien [The Crime of Inspector Maigret]. Both were published by Covici, Friede (New York), and Hurst & Blackett (London). If someone has a copy of either of these, and could make a list of the chapter titles for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. Please reply to this Forum.

Thanks in advance!

Granada TV - singer?
9/23/14 – Just discovered your amazing library of Maigret information. I've been watching the Granada TV shows recently with Michael Gambon & wondering whose lovely voice is singing the theme music? The credits don't seem to give her credit.


re: Granada TV - singer?
9/23/14 – Great question, Tom. Who this delightful singer? Other works by her? Really beautiful, pleasant voice.


German, Spanish, Dutch translations?
9/27/14 – As I mentioned a few days ago [9/23/14], I'm working on a study of Maigret chapter translations. I'm hoping to include German, Spanish and Dutch in my survey, along with English, but I need help collecting the chapter titles for these...

Spanish list
German list
Dutch list

If any of you can send any of them to me. I'd greatly appreciate it. Please reply to this Forum.

Thanks in advance!

Maigret’s journeys in France Updated!
10/2/14 – Many of you may remember Guido de Croock's facinating Maigret site, Maigret’s journeys in France, on the web from 2002-06. After it went down, I was able to recover the pages and many of the images via the Internet Archives and reconstuct it on this site -- it seemed too valuable a resource to allow it to simply disappear. Unfortunately, numerous images were missing from the archives, and as the images were a unique and significant element of the site, it was disappointing to be missing so many of them.

Now, however, thanks to the generosity of Jürgen Lull, writing from Germany, most of them have been recovered! Jürgen had made of copy of Guido's site before it went down, and has shared all his images. You can visit it... again!... here: Maigret’s journeys in France.


re: Why no more Maigrets?
10/3/14 – I’m sorry this contribution comes in so late after Murielle Wenger‘s great insights [9/9/2014] into why there have been no more Maigrets [8/19/2014]. Here’s a little more on one potential impediment, copyright.

My pastiche, admittedly a naïve but still innocent project, didn’t run up against the copyright question until it was time to publish. Some study of the rules of the road and navigation by an intellectual property rights attorney led me to the answer.

There is an exception to traditional copyright restriction in the European Union’s code that specifically permits imitations. The official translation of French article L122-5 states that “once the [original] work has been disclosed, the [original] author may not prohibit: …4 ° Parody, pastiche and caricature, observing the rules of the genre.” Since the “rules of the genre” are not defined, it’s likely a court would have to weigh in on the matter, should an objection to a new work arise. There is a general consensus, however, that an imitation must be recognizable without any risk of confusion and must not denigrate the original work or its author in any way. In addition, extensive borrowings and commercial exploitation are allowed.

Curiously in US law, there is an extension of the EU’s exception. For imitative works to be permissible, they must also be recognizably “transformational.” A good example of this concept is the way The Wind Done Gone transforms Gone with the Wind.

So, to my understanding, copyright law doe not in fact prevent imitations if others want to develop them.

David Simmons

re: Why no more Maigrets?
10/3/14 – Would this situation qualify as an exception as described by David? Say a writer creates a totally original character. But this character is a police officer and happens to work in the same department as Maigret. Over the course of an investigation, he often discusses his case with with Maigret and Maigret helps him with advice on how to conduct his investigation. Or, the character does not actually talk with Maigret, but talks with other detectives about how Maigret would have handled his case...


re: Why no more Maigrets?
10/6/14 – The situation Vladimir postulates [10/03/2014] has apparently happened: the website “Historical & Fictional Characters in Sherlockian Pastiches” lists 6 stories in which Maigret either appears or plays an important off-stage role. (

In another way of skinning the cat, Mio Marito Maigret by Barbara Notaro Dietrich, Madam Maigret describes life with her dead husband. (An effort to learn to read Italian is progressing slowly.)

And in yet another twist, Maurizio Testa’s Maigret e il caso Simenon narrates how Maigret investigates Simenon’s life after he has died by interviewing fictional characterizations of people who had interacted with the author in real life. (Fortunately, his Maigret et l’affaire Simenon exists as a French translation.)

David Simmons

Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/7/14 – Oct. 15, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015 - BILIPO, Paris 5e...

[more information]

When an artist meets a great writer...

Georges Simenon died twenty-five years ago, on Sept. 4, 1989. BILIPO takes this opportunity to honor the creator of Chief Inspector Maigret with a Loustal/Simenon Expo, concurrent with the release by Omnibus of six Maigrets illustrated by Loustal. The expo will present over 70 original works by Loustal, a great admirer of Simenon. A series of meetings will also be held to celebrate the memory of the world's most widely read French language author.

Loustal designed this recent French postage stamp (issued 9/13/2013) honoring Maigret's office at 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

More on Loustal here...


re: Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/18/14 – Here are some photos from the Expo:


re: Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/19/14 – Thanks to Jérôme, we get to see some more great Loustals. I’ve always puzzled about why he portrays such a svelte Maigret.

David Simmons

Chronological Order Of Maigret Novels
10/19/14 – Thank you very much indeed for the list of Maigret novels in chronological order (as opposed to published order).

It’s a magnificent achievement, and something I have been searching for over a number of years: since in fact I bought 10 or 15 of the green and white Penguins for 2/6 and 3/6 in the early 60s!

I would however make one suggestion.

I have previously wandered around this aspect of your site a few times looking at various aspects of Simenon and Maigret but never finding this information: I only found it via a Google search. Apologies if I have missed the link within the site’s menus, but I humbly suggest a clearer link within the site may be required.

Once again though, thanks very much for doing all the work. I’m now off to look at the list more thoroughly.

Bruce Brenchley

The list Bruce is referring to is David Drake's "A Comparison of Simenon's and Drake's Chronologies of Maigret's Life", a chronological arrangement of 43 novels and stories based on calculations of Maigret's age in the texts.
I've added a link to this list among the Maigret checklists, accessible via the Bibliography page.


re: Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/21/14 – Click on this video link:

to see many more works by Loustal.

(The "Play" arrow is on an image like thisone.)

David Simmons

A Little Publishing Mystery...
10/25/14 –

Death before vacation?
or, The mystery of the first Presses de la Cité Maigrets...

Here's a little publishing mystery I submit to the wisdom of Simenophiles, Maigretphiles and other Simenologues ...

It is well known that among the first Maigret novels written by Simenon for Presses de la Cité after Maigret se fâche [FAC] and Maigret à New York [NEW], are, in the order of writing, Les Vacances de Maigret [VAC] and Maigret et son mort [MOR].

The novel Les vacances de Maigret was written from November 11-20, 1947, in Tucson, and Maigret et son mort from December 8-17 of the same year, in the same location. And we learn from the bibliographies that the first of these went to press on June 14, 1948, while the second was published in May of that year. Based on which I've assumed, until now, that Maigret et son mort appeared before Les vacances de Maigret.

Now I've discovered that on the bookjacket of the original edition of Les vacances de Maigret, there is an announcement for Maigret et son mort, "appearing soon", clearly as if it had not yet been published.


As I do not have at hand a copy of the original edition of Maigret et son mort, I can't determine whether it mentions the appearance – prior or forthcoming - of Les vacances de Maigret...

Furthermore, on both the cover of La première enquête de Maigret [PRE] and that of Mon ami Maigret [AMI], the next two novels to appear, the order in which the novels are mentioned suggest that Maigret et son mort appeared before Les vacances de Maigret...

I've tried to investigate further, and I've found that in the collection published at the end of the '60s, in which each volume is numbered, Maigret et son mort is number 12, while Les vacances de Maigret is number 13. This seems to confirm that Maigret et son mort was published before Les vacances de Maigret. But how to be sure? Is there a Simenologue with some document attesting to the facts, notwithstanding the cover notices appearing above?

Le mort avant les vacances ?
ou le mystère des premiers Maigret aux Presses de la Cité…

Voici une petite énigme éditoriale que je soumets à la sagacité des simenophiles, maigretphiles et autres simenologues…

Chacun sait que, parmi les premiers romans Maigret écrits par Simenon pour les Presses de la Cité, se trouvent, dans l'ordre de rédaction, après Maigret se fâche et Maigret à New York, Les vacances de Maigret et Maigret et son mort.

Le roman Les vacances de Maigret a été rédigé du 11 au 20 novembre 1947, à Tucson, et Maigret et son mort du 8 au 17 décembre de la même année, au même endroit. On apprend aussi par les bibliographies que le premier de ces deux romans a un achevé d'imprimer au 14 juin 1948, tandis que le second a un achevé d'imprimer de mai 1948. J'en avais donc déduit, jusqu'à présent, que Maigret et son mort avait paru avant Les vacances de Maigret.

Or, j'ai découvert que sur la jaquette de couverture de l'édition originale de Les vacances de Maigret, on trouve l'annonce de la sortie de Maigret et son mort, comme si celui-ci n'avait pas encore paru.

Comme je n'ai pas sous la main d'exemplaire de l'édition originale de Maigret et son mort, je n'ai pas pu contrôler si celui-ci mentionnait la parution – antérieure ou postérieure - de Les vacances de Maigret

Par contre, aussi bien sur la couverture de La première enquête de Maigret que sur celle de Mon ami Maigret, qui sont les deux romans parus ensuite, l'ordre où sont mentionnés les romans semble indiquer que Maigret et son mort ait paru avant Les vacances de Maigret

J'ai essayé de creuser le sujet, et j'ai découvert que dans la collection parue dès la fin des années '60, pour laquelle chaque volume porte un numéro, Maigret et son mort porte le numéro 12, tandis que Les vacances de Maigret porte le numéro 13. Il semble donc bien se confirmer que Maigret et son mort ait paru avant Les vacances de Maigret. Mais comment en être sûr ? Y aurait-il un féru simenologue qui posséderait un document attestant le fait, malgré l'annonce de la couverture mentionnée plus haut ?


re: A Little Publishing Mystery...
10/25/14 – When I was a practising librarian, I recall two weekly/monthly/quarterly lists of new French books - I forget the names but one was put out by publishers and the other by the BNF.

Major public and university libraries will have these - unless they discarded the parts for the annual whole. In any case I think (but can't be sure) that the month of publication was included in the record.

The online BNF catalogue shows
Auteur(s) : Simenon, Georges (1903-1989)
Titre(s) : Maigret et son mort [Texte imprimé] / Georges Simenon
Publication : Paris : les Presses de la Cité, 1948
Impression : Impr. de G. Dumont
Description matérielle : 1 vol. (251 p.) ; 19 cm
Prix : 165 F
Notice n° : FRBNF32632418

Auteur(s) : Simenon, Georges (1903-1989)
Titre(s) : Georges Simenon. Les Vacances de Maigret [Texte imprimé]
Publication : Paris : Presses de la Cité, 1948
Impression : Bar-sur-Aube : impr. de Lebas
Description matérielle : 1 vol. (191 p.) ; 19 cm
Prix : 165 fr.
Notice n° : FRBNF32632541

The record numbers indicate that Maigret et son mort came before Les vacances de Maigret, but only if the numbers match the order of deposit.

In my own bibliographic adventures unrelated to Maigret I have found that publishers' announcements in books are not always a reliable guide to order of publication (and occasionally titles appear which were never published at all).

Ward Saylor

The Sounds of Maigret...
11/15/14 –

The Sounds of Maigret

by Murielle Wenger

" get back into the atmosphere of the street, to hunt about in corners, to go into local bistros and listen to people..." (Maigret et l'inspecteur Malgracieux [mal])

original French

After the world of colors and that of odors, the time has come to study Maigret's relationship to sounds. While we recognize that he works primarily with his vision, and that he permeates himself with the atmosphere of odors, the world of sounds has its share of importance as well.

Sounds play a dual role in the text. On the one hand, they're used by the author to elaborate a setting, to show the subtleties. Particular sounds of the street, familiar echoes of home...

But Maigret also utilizes sounds as part of his detective work – it's often someone's tone of voice that reveals to him their state of mind, that refines his perception of their feelings. And it's also the sounds that may have been heard at the scene of a crime, by witnesses interviewed during the course of an investigation... the sound of a departing car, shots fired, a door opening or closing, a falling body, or the sound of footsteps... Sounds are also a sign, the acoustic symbol of an object, whose nature is thus clarified. And further, hearing is the sense Maigret uses to supplement the others when they can't be called on, as the sound of an object that must be guessed at because of the darkness of night, or something outside, heard through a window, or sounds heard from behind closed doors. Sounds are used by Maigret as tools in his understanding of the world around him, in search of truths which might otherwise elude him...

Let's enter into the world of Maigret's sounds, and try to find the ways his author uses to describe them, how he animates this world and makes it come alive.

1. An effective sound-track
2. Cries, tears, murmurs and laughter...
3. Footsteps
4. The mooing of cows and stamping of horses
5. The din of vehicles
6. The melody of the elements
7. All in music
8. The objects of everyday sound
9. Tobacco crackling, gun shots, and telephones ringing...
10. A policeman listening
11. The Chief Inspector's silences

  1. An effective sound-track

    When Maigret goes to a place, the visual scene set by the author is complemented auditorily. Simenon knows well how to bring a setting alive with an auditory description, often as clearly as by a visual one. And when we speak of the famous "Simenon atmosphere", no doubt we are not simply thinking of the scenery, but also adding a full symphony, a sort of "sound-track", something scenario writers attempting cinema or television adaptations must find very useful.

    Thus, at the time of the "first appearance" of Maigret at the beginning of the corpus (Pietr le Letton [LET]), when he goes to the Gare du Nord to await the arrival of Pietr, Simenon describes the station platforms in the storm, and then the arrival of the train... "The yellow speck of the train's headlamp appeared in the distance. Then came the usual hubbub, with porters shouting and passengers tramping and jostling their way towards the station exit."

    Here, a morning in Sancerre (Monsieur Gallet, décédé [GAL])... "In all the greenery outside the window there was a confused murmuring made up of birdsong, rustling leaves, the buzzing of flies and the distant clucking of chickens on the lane, all of it punctuated by the rhythmic blows of the hammer on the anvil in the forge."

    Here, in Le pendu de Saint-Pholien [PHO], a "morning concert of Liège": "For that morning the air was like a tonic that grew more bracing as the sun rose higher into the sky. A delightful cacophony reigned, of people shouting in a Walloon dialect, the shrill clanging of the red and yellow streetcars, and the splashing of the four jets in the monumental Perron Fountain doing its best to be heard over the hubbub of the surrounding Place du Marché." And, still in the same novel, the sound scene of a German brasserie, with "businessmen talking loudly over the tireless efforts of a Viennese orchestra and the clinking of beer mugs." And, in La tête d'un homme [TET], at the Coupole... "Four waiters were all shouting at once, accompanied by the clatter of plates and tinkling of glasses. Snatches of different languages broke in on all sides."

    In Le chien jaune [JAU], here is the soundscape of the evening after the attack on Mostaguen, while silence reigns in the hotel, and Maigret smokes placidly, watching Emma and Dr. Michoux... "The clock in the Old Town sounded the hours and the half-hours. On the pavement, the shuffling footsteps and talking died away. Then there was nothing but the monotonous moan of the wind and the sound of the rain beating on the windows."

    In La nuit du carrefour [NUI], early morning after an long interrogation at the PJ... "Footsteps sounded in the corridors. Telephones ringing. Voices calling. Doors banging. The charwomen's brooms."...

    complete text here

re: The Sounds of Maigret...
11/16/14 –Here we get to enjoy yet another remarkable piece by Murielle Wenger. Her knowledge is immense and her memory fantastic. What I’d loved to know is how she locates all those perfect quotations, for it’s hard to imagine thumbing through the 103 Maigret works. Thanks to her for doing the work for the rest of us and to you, too, Steve, for translating and putting these things under our noses.

David Simmons

re: re: The Sounds of Maigret...
11/17/14 – Thank you very much, David, for your compliments, which make me very happy. I'm delighted to share my passion for Maigret with all Maigretphiles, and, by my modest studies, to contribute to a better knowledge of Simenon's world.

As for the question about my search for citations, well, in fact, yes, each time I start a new study, I reread the whole Maigret corpus... But I have to say that, since the time I began to "frequent" Simenon, and above all, the Maigret corpus, I'm beginning to be familiar enough with it to have a pretty good idea of where I'm likely to find this or that quote in the text, so that I don't have to search so extensively...

Merci beaucoup David pour ces compliments, qui me font très plaisir. Je suis très contente de pouvoir partager ma passion de Maigret avec tous les maigretphiles, et, par mes modestes études, contribuer à mieux faire connaître le monde de Simenon.

Quant à sa question à propos de ma recherche des citations, eh bien, si, à chaque fois que je commence une nouvelle étude, je relis tout le corpus maigretien… Mais il faut dire que, depuis le temps que je « pratique » Simenon et surtout le corpus des Maigret, je commence à le connaître assez et à savoir à peu près où j’ai des chances de trouver telle ou telle citation dans le texte, ce qui fait que je n’ai pas besoin de le parcourir in extenso…

Best regards,

11/22/14 –


... dedicating my book...

...the finished product: Maigret going into a bar


re: Loustal
11/23/14 – This Loustal exhibit looks quite interesting. It is always interesting to see how others imagine Maigret and the environment he lived, worked in. Come to think of it, the Maigret novels I read come with no illustrations, maybe just one on the title page.


Rupert Davies episodes?
11/26/14 – Firstly thank you for your excellent site. I've followed the Maigret section for many years.

Do you think there is any possibility of the Rupert Davies TV episodes becoming available?

Of course I've written to the BEEB, signed the petition and kept up a scan of the internet.

The Rupert Davies version was a particular favourite of mine, and I have fond memories of them from when I was young. I've only been able to find a couple of poor quality copies of episodes that are not really watchable.

Best wishes,
Mark Davis

Maigret in a hospital?
12/02/14 – Hello. I am a Simenon admirer, too, and have found your wonderful website to be - well, it's a rabbit hole that I've happily fallen into many, many times. And I really appreciate the short story translations you did.

I have a Maigret question. Over the years, I've managed to collect virtually all the stories. Some of them are very old / falling apart, but I have them. I do not read French, unfortunately, so I'm stuck finding English translations.

Anyway - I came across a reference somewhere about a Maigret novel set in a hospital. The person who mentioned it said it was one of the best Maigrets. I wrote down the title, - and promptly lost it. I was wondering if you know it.

Basically - Maigret is in a hospital and there is a sick girl? I think that's it. If those few words bring a title to mind, please let me know. Thank you!

And thank you for the website, and taking the time to read this. Take care.

-Marilee Hanson

The only Maigret that comes to mind that's "set in a hospital" is Le fou de Bergerac, The Madman of Bergerac, and it's Maigret himself who's the patient...


re: Maigret in a hospital?
12/03/14 – About Marilee's question on Maigret in a hospital and a sick girl... perhaps Les vacances de Maigret [VAC] - it's Madame Maigret who is hospitalized, and in the next room is Hélène Godreau, Dr. Bellamy's young sister-in-law...

Best regards

Wartime Maigret...
12/02/14 – I am writing an essay for a crime anthology. I decided to look at Maigret during the war and it is part fact part fiction. I am using his hard novels to look at how he might have behaved as a policeman in occupied Paris and at the Maigret novels to point the other way. Did Maigret reflect Simenon the hard novel writer or the detective writer? I have followed the thread about the war years, just wondered if anyone had anything new to offer.

Jon Wilkins

Simenon Concert in Germany
12/06/14 – There will be a musical performance about Simenon at the Institut Francais in Köln, Germany, on Sunday, December 7 - More info here: Institut Français...


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/06/14 – My comment to Jon's question is... as you probably will soon find out, Simenon was careful to avoid 'dating' his Maigrets .. you will find no actual people or events in there that tie the story to a specific time period ... anywhere from 20's to 80's. And this what makes Maigret books, as we say, 'timeless classics'.


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/08/14 – I get Vladmir's point but why did Simenon decide this? There was no real need as his Maigret novels are timeless anyway. What was he trying to avoid? Even his roman durs skirt around the issue, why would he not come out and show a political side. Most of us would agree that Maigret would be a war hero if given the chance. Why wasn't he? Opinion on Simenon's war record is mixed, so did he feel uncomfortable making Maigret anti-Nazi?


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/08/14 – While the timeline may be fuzzy and the details hazy in the Maigret series, I seem to recall elements that let us know the war goes or has gone on. Indeed, Bill Alder comments in his book, Maigret, Simenon and France: Social Dimensions of the Novels and Stories (2012), that "Maigret chez le ministre" [MIN] (1954) refers explicitly to the occupation and resistance and the postwar political climate, thereby suggesting a contemporary setting for the narrative.” Were I to reread his chapter 5, I’d expect to find war connections and influences discussed in some depth.

David Simmons

re: Wartime Maigret...
12/08/14 – Checking the archives, I find that Peter Foord documented the WWII references in the Maigrets and other Simenon novels and stories in his (11/15/04) Forum article, Maigret and World War II. (And at the bottom of that article are links to earlier discussions on this topic...)


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/10/14 – The archive has been really helpful and informed me a great deal. Obviously, as with David Drake's timeline, there will be some poetic licence, but I really would like to know what Simenon was thinking. It is too easy to use the timeless argument. He could have added to Maigret's allure, difficult I know, by adding some wartime heroics as would have befitted him. Instead, nothing happened. That just seems a shame and begs the question of his relationships with the occupiers...


Hotel de la Reine Morte?
12/20/14 – Dear Friends, I am reading in L'Ami d'enfance de Maigret [ENF] (Le Livre de Poche) p.113 that le Commissaire stayed at l'Hotel de la Reine Morte when he first arrived in Paris. Was there ever, in Montparnasse, such an hotel? Is it still there today? Simenon makes it possible to imagine just such a place; and having to wait in line to use the bathroom at the end of the corridor.

Arlene Blade

re: Hotel de la Reine Morte?
12/23/14 – The only places to find exact answer are, I think, a (very old) telephone book from that time period, or some government record from the Paris archives (if hotels were required to register). The greatest chance is that a hotel by the same name on this exact location did not exist. If it did, did the publisher need the owner's permission to mention it ?! But similar hotels were, or could be, in that area. And a hotel by this name probably existed somewhere else in the city. Either way, this does not make any difference as far as enjoyment of Maigret books is concerned, for me at least.


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