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The psychology of Georges Simenon and Jules Maigret
with reviews of all the 79 Maigret novels

New translation, the Magna Carta

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Psychological profiles:
Adolf/Adolph Hitler Schicklgruber - his psychology and development
Did Hitler know about the holocaust? A psychological assessment
Henry Ford, mechanical man
The psychology of Rex Stout, Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin
The psychology of Georges Simenon and Jules Maigret, with reviews


    sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems


My motto, to the extent that I have one, has been noted often enough, and I've always conformed to it.
It's the one I've given to old Maigret, who resembles me in certain points ...
'understand and judge not.'
Georges Simenon
(1903, Liège, Belgium - 1989, Lausanne, Switzerland)
[Quotes from Jules Maigret]

abelard's commentary on Simenon and Maigret
on canals and rivers
the novels
maigret on screen - selected dvds

abelard's commentary on Simenon and Maigret

reviews of all the novels

I study individuals, groups and their cultures, not their languages, their geography, or their history. I have spent a large amount of that time living in England, and now twenty years living in France. What has most impressed me is how different are the cultures.

Georges Simenon is a psychologist of considerable ability. He has written seventy-nine novels with Jules Maigret as his foil, many Maigret short stories, and a great deal of other material. To think of Maigret as detective stories would be to confuse Simenon's real purpose, the study of people - so a fellow traveller.

Simenon's life was one of the outsider, always fiction or reporting other people's actions. He as no experience of real life.

As you will see, he wrote an avalanche of Maigret books in the early 1930s, the first dozen of which he was struggling with his style. These early novels are cast as traditional detective stories (policiers). With these earlier Maigret books, Simenon gets a silly idea and 'milks' it.

After these, he grades off into his core psychological and social style. These latter are at the heart of his work that interests me, but there is a considerable gap from the later part of the 1930s where Simenon produces no Maigret novels for about seven years. After this gap, he is obviously a more mature writer and I would recommend concentrating on the books from 1940 onwards, unless you have ambitions to read the lot.

I have read all seventy-nine of the Maigret œuvre, many several times, including extracts. A simple summary would be to say that Simenon is a miserable fellow, but nonetheless highly perceptive and interesting. Here, I am compiling a list of Maigret books with relevant comments and reviews.

Simenon is a very odd cove, as you will see from his writing, if you care to dig into his life. He tends to be miserable, but very bright. His interest is in human psychology, not detective stories. He has a depressive view of humanity, and remains attached to the pre-scientific, just-so psychology of Freud, Jung and so on, but his writing is very complex. It often has much more complexity than is apparent on the surface. (Maigret Hesitates, Maigret and the Dosser, Maigret has Scruples)

You will find all manner of descriptions of weather in its seasons, and the response of people to it, which Simenon seems to observe and experience with interest.

Simenon's Maigret books were written between 1930 and 1972. He took pride in the fact that he churned them out on a production line, writing the average Maigret in two to three weeks, one chapter each morning. Simenon proudly called himself the Henry Ford of novel writing. Simenon may have written up to four hundred novels, or more. He wrote under at least twenty different pseudonyms, quite apart from an endless journalistic output, film scripts and short stories. He wrote so prodigiously, or should that be profligately, that counting is no simple matter.

Simenon was heavily attached to money, a good proportion of what he earned seemed to have been spent on prostitutes. He seems to be very confused by women, while making Herculean efforts to understand them. However, my end impression is that he remained somewhat baffled. Twenty-minute encounters are not the best way to study complex human beings. All serious studies take a lifetime.

I started reading Simenon's books in order to have a grasp of French culture, as his facile writing had many descriptions of French society and the culture. I became interested in his psychological world view. Every person has their individual world view, and he is intelligent enough to be able to express it. Therefore, I read every Maigret book and some of his other work besides, several read more than once.

Simenon's reasonable view was that almost anyone who killed had to have a screw loose, and one of his constant themes is the examination of how much responsibility such people really have. The participants often appear to be caught up in circumstances, as if what happens is a matter of fate beyond their control.

Unfortunately, Simenon is infected by the fashionable idea that people are just flotsom floating on the river of life, with little control or responsibility for their actions. Maigret is claimed to have wanted to be a 'doctor' until his family ran out of money. A variety of confused medics appear in the Maigret novels with comparison to detectives 'diagnosing' 'crime', rather than solving it. See, for instance, Maigret's Holiday and Maigret Hesitates.

Simenon's writing does improve over the years, although the writing can be sloppy and slapdash.

"How do you explain that?"
"I don't explain it."
p.105, Maigret and the killer

"You don't agree with them?"
"I don't know enough to contradict them. The only difference between them and me is I don't divide people into categories."
"But it's necessary."
"Necessary why?"
"To judge them, for example."
"It's not my role to judge."
p.159, Maigret and the killer

Making judgements requires taking responsibility!

[See also the quote from George Simenon himself.]

on canals and rivers

Readers may well wonder why so many Maigret stories set on canals and rivers. Here are some suggestions why.

Simenon likes canals.
These waterside settings provide a limited environment for the story. Thus, there usually is no reason for complicating matters still further with, for instance, more characters appearing.

Such settings provide an enclosed environment for illustrating and observing behaviours, characteristics, personalities.

Simenon can bring in 'foreground' with good reason, such as circumstances for several strangers or semi-strangers to encounter each other, or to be together.

While Maigret drinks avidly, he is never drunk.

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the novels

Quotations taken from the Maigret novels are in white.
Remarks from abelard are in light green.
The novels are listed from the latest (1972) to the earliest (1931).


Proto-Maigret novels (in mauve in the list below) were probably written during the autumn of 1929.

Full-length novels ( ★ = books recommended to read for background and psychological contentS)
(readable means just a good and well-written yarn)
79 Maigret et Monsieur Charles (1972) Maigret and Monsieur Charles

One of Simenon's last Maigret stories - Simenon's becoming rather tired, and it shows.

Often, Simenon churned out stories on a production line, à la Henry Ford. This did not enhance the quality of writing.
78 Maigret et l'indicateur (1971) Maigret and the Flea
Maigret and the Informer

One of Simenon's last Maigret stories - Simenon's becoming rather tired, and it shows.

Often, Simenon churned out stories on a production line, à la Henry Ford. This did not enhance the quality of writing.
77 Maigret et l'homme tout seul (1971) Maigret and the Loner

Maigret investigates a twenty-year old, unsolved murder case by dint of slow, careful policework. Carefully written and structured.
76 La folle de Maigret (May 1970) Maigret and the Madwoman

"She was pale, but when had he ever seen her with colour in her cheeks? She was ugly. Would he had been equally hard on her if she had been an attractive woman? "

Maigret, p.775

Things move mysteriously while she is out - a similar theme was in Cecile is Dead.
Maigret et le marchand de vin (Sept 1969) Maigret and the Wine Merchant

Nasty capitalist gets his come-uppance.
(See Maigret's failure.)

"He [the wine merchant] was not the first man, in Maigret's experience, whom insecurity had driven to mete out punishment to all those within his orbit." [Maigret and the Wine Merchant, p.264]

Simenon trying to work out how lack of confidence leads to foolish actions. Worth a read.
74 Maigret et le tueur (Apr. 1969) Maigret and the Killer

The rain was coming down in sheets, frozen, lashing people's hands and faces, making their wet clothes stick to their bodies.
[p.3, Maigret and the killer]

"How do you explain that?"
"I don't explain it."

"You don't agree with them?"
"I don't know enough to contradict them. The only difference between them and me is I don't divide people into categories."
"But it's necessary."
"Necessary why?"
"To judge them, for example."
"It's not my role to judge."

He went around recording the voices of Paris.

L'ami d'enfance de Maigret (1968)

recommended reading
Maigret's Boyhood Friend

Well written. Just the job for reading about the seedy social life of French culture.

"The fly circled three times round his head before alighting on the top left-hand corner of the report that he was annotating. "With pencil poised, Maigret eyed it with amused curiosity. The fly had repeated this manœuvre over an over again in the past half-hour. At any rate, Maigret presumed that it was the same fly. It seemed to be the only one in the office. "Each time it circled once or twice in a patch of sunlight, then buzzed round the Chief Superintendent's head, and finally came to rest on the papers on his desk. And there it stayed for a while, lazily rubbing its legs together, and looking at him with an air of defiance.

"Nine or ten times, the fly had returned to alight on his papers, always on the same spot. It was almost as though it had established a kind of relationship with him. It was an odd coincidence. The sunshine, the little gusts of cooler air blowing through the window, the intriguing antics of the fly, all served to remind him of his schooldays, when a fly on his desk had often engaged a larger share of is interest than the master who was taking the class. "There was a discreet knock at the door. It was old Joseph, the messenger, bearing an engraved visiting card, which read: Léon Florentin, Antique Dealer. " 'How old would you say he was?'
'About your age.'
'Tall and thin?'
'That's right. Very tall and thin, with a regular mop of grey hair.'
"Yes, that was the man all right. Florentin, who had been at school with him, at the Lycée Banville in Moulins, the clown of the form.
" 'Send him in.' " [p. 9-10, Maigret's boyhood friend]

"The Florentin now facing Maigret across his desk was more seedy than the dashing figure in the Place de la Madeleine. !he was wearing a rather shabby grey suit, and his manner was a good deal less self-assured." [p. 10]

" 'So you're an antique dealer now?'
'In a manner of speaking … I buy old furniture and do it up. I rent a small workshop in the Boulevard Rochechouart. You know how it is, almost everyone is an antique dealer, nowadays.'
'Doing all right, are you?'
'I can't grumble. Everything is fine, at least it was until the sky fell about my ears this afternoon.'
"He was so used to playing the clown that, almost mechanically, his features took on an expression of comical dismay. All the same, his face was grey, and his eyes troubled.' " [p. 11]

" ' You surely don't imagined that I killed her?'
'Why not?'
'But you know me …'
'The last time I saw you was twenty years ago, in the Place de la Madeleine, and that, if you remember, was our first meeting since we were schoolboys in Moulins.'
'Do I look like a murderer?'
'A man may be a blameless citizen one minute and a murderer the next. Up to the moment of his victim's death, he is a man like any other. " [p. 27]

"Do you think it's a crime passionel?'
It was on the tip of his tongue to say that there was no such thing, because that, more and more, was what he believed. In his experience, a lover scorned or a woman slighted was more often driven to murder by hurt pride than by thwarted passion. "That evening, he and Madame Maigret were watching the television […]
" 'What did you think of the film?'
"He almost said, 'What film?'"Certainly he had been watching the screen. There had been a lot of movement and bustle an agitation, but if e had been asked to summarize the plot, he could not have done it." [p.118]

"He [Florentin] had always been able to shed tears to order." [p.119]

"What queer cattle human beings were, ready to break into a run at the slightest provocation! Where did they think they were going? What was all the rush for?" [p.126]

Maigret hésite (1968)

recommended reading
Maigret Hesitates

Widely discusses the agency or lack of agency of murder (crime).
71 Maigret à Vichy (1967) Maigret Takes the Waters
Maigret in Vichy

An interesting tour of the town of Vichy as Maigret takes the waters accompanied by his wife.
70 Le voleur de Maigret (1966) Maigret's Pickpocket
Maigret and the Pickpocket

A tour around the sort of people Simenon would have been mixing with as he tried to sell his books as films and film scripts - a bit of a struggle to make this into a detective story.
69 Maigret et l'affaire Nahour (1966) Maigret and the Nahour Case

International, Lebanese family and professional gambling - weak.

"He did not follow any preconceived plan. He went straight ahead, haphazardly, trying, above all, not to make up his mind." [p. 216, Maigret and the Nahour Case]
68 La patience de Maigret (1965) — Aline 2 The Patience of Maigret
Maigret Bides His Time

Interesting structure. Gangster runs his crime empire with consummate skill. It takes Maigret twenty years to work out how he is doing it. It is an adequate and competent story, but is not psychologically impressive.
67 Maigret se défend (1964) — Aline 1 Maigret on the Defensive
Maigret defends himself

See also Maigret Sets a Trap
66 Maigret et le fantôme (1963) Maigret and the Ghost
Maigret and the Apparition

Lognon gunned down in the street. Adequate time-consumer.
65 La colère de Maigret (1962) Maigret Loses His Temper
Maigret's anger

"He was a bit like a gundog running around, sniffing left and right." [Maigret's anger, p.44]

Insipid. A harmless way of using up a few hours.

Maigret et le clochard (1962)

recommended reading
Maigret and the Dosser
Maigret and the Bum
Maigret and the Tramp

The world from the point of view of a drop-out doctor. Set on the canals, a common Simenon theme, and the murderer profits from his crime. All quotes taken from this edition, Maigret and the tramp

'I don't have anything bad to say about her. She has her way of looking at things. I suppose we all. The word "domineering" is too strong, but all the same she likes things to be the way she wants them.' [p. 51]

'It doesn't matter. I might as well be here as anywhere else.' [ p. 81]

It was true in a way. Words were too precise for him, which is why he preferred to keep quiet. [p. 83]

'Losers don't get killed.' [p. 94]

Another old trick of Maigret's: jumping from one subject to another and suddenly talking about things that have nothing to do with the conversation.

The other person, fearing a trap, tries to guess at an ulterior motive when there isn't one? They make an intese effort of the imagination, become frustrated tired, and end up losing their train of thought."That's what I was telling the doctor. By the way, who does the cooking in their house?" [ p.101]
63 Maigret et le client du samedi (1962) Maigret and the Saturday Caller

I cannot see Simenon writing this other than for money, but he does mention on p. 75 that 100 Old Francs became 1 New Franc (this actually happened in 1958). [Maigret and the Saturday Caller]
62 Maigret et les braves gens (1961)

Maigret and the Black Sheep
Maigret and the good people of Montparnasse

More like a supermarket bin romance than a policier. Simenon does tend to be a bit experimental, and try to work out ideas in his writing.

61 Maigret et le voleur paresseux (1961) Maigret and the Lazy Burglar
Maigret and the Idle Burglar […]

" 'In point of fact our chief job is to protect the State in the first place—whatever government is in power, with its institutions; in the second place the currency, public property and private property; and then, last of all, the lives of the individual private citizens.

" 'Did you ever take a look into the Penal Code? You have to read as far as page 177 before you come to anything about crimes against human beings. One day later on, when I retire, I'll work it out precisely. But let's say that three-quarters of the Code, if not four-fifths, is concerned with goods and chattels, real estate, forged currency, forgeries of public and private documents, falsifications of wills, etc., etc. In short, with money in all its shapes and forms … To such an extent that Article 274, on mendicancy, comes before Article 295, on wilful homicide …' " [p.230, Maigret and the Lazy Burglar]

" 'I know. And very wealthy, so I'm told.'
'Very wealthy, yes, and a good friend of France. In fact he chooses to live in this country for the greater part of the year.'
'For one thing because he prefers the life.'
'And then?'
'Perhaps because he feels freer here than across the Channel. …' " [p.276]
60 Maigret et les vieillards (1960) Maigret in Society
[Maigret and the Princess]

"I can't think of any [reasons to commit suicide], but then you never know what's going on in people's heads."

"He didn't regard himself as a superman; he didn't consider himself infallible. On the contrary, it was with a certain humility that he began all his investigations, even the simplest. "He distrusted the evidence, suspected hasty judgments. He patiently tried to understand, never forgetting that the most obvious motives are not always the most important. "If he hadn't a very high opinion of men and their capabilities, he went on believing in man himself." [p.207]

" 'I'm afraid I don't understand.'
"Of course he [ed.: the magistrate] didn't! He'd been stuffed with theories, and expected the truth to adapt itself to them, to fit into one category or another." [p.419]

Very poorly adapted as the television film, Maigret and the Princess, where there are grave distortions of Catholic theology.
Whereas, here is an example of Simenon/Maigret's accurate knowledge:

" 'The Comte de Saint-Hiliare committed suicide?'
" 'I am afraid that that is the truth of the matter. But as I told Mademoiselle Larrieu, we have no proof that he didn't repent what he had done at the last moment. No death is instantaneous in the eyes of the Church. Infinity exists in time as well as in space, and an infinitely small lapse of time, though it may defy measurement by doctors, is sufficient for contrition.' " [p.210, Maigret in Society]
59 Maigret aux assises (1959) Maigret in Court

I was interested to read this book as it gave insight into the attitudes and workings of the French legal system. Like Maigret's Memoirs, this book is a bit off-beat from the generality of the Maigret stories.


" '… You swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth … Raise your right hand … Say : I swear …' " [ p.45, Maigret in Court]

As a doctor, I have a waiting room full
" 'Show me your tongue! Take off your clothes! In most cases an hour wouldn't be sufficient to find out everything one should know. Each patient is a separate case, and yet I have to work on the conveyor-belt system …' " [ p.49]

" 'All he [the magistrate] has in front of him, in fact, are men already reduced to mere diagrams.'
" 'If it is mere disincarnate beings who leave his office, what is left for the Assizes, and on what basis are the jury going to decide the fate of their own kindred?' " [ p.50]

"A case was finishing or appeared to be finishing at the Palais. A fresh one was beginning here. At one end there was already a crowd, at the other only the specialists were left. " [ p.53]

quot;That was all. For lack of proof, the jury had just acquitted the frame-maker.

"They found it impossible to declare him guilty, but they had found it equally impossible to declare him innocent." [p.70]
Une confidence de Maigret (1959) Maigret Has Doubts
Maigret's Secret

Certainly in the top two or three of the Maigret series. A caustic criticism of the French legal system and hysteria of the nation.

The French innocent until proven guilty system.

Very well written - this borders on an important book.
57 Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants (1958) Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses

Simenon, like many a series writer, has difficulty maintaining continuity. In this novel, Maigret is nearing the end of his career and looking forward to retirement to the country with his wife at Meung-sur-Loire, south-west of Orleans. But like so many a detective, Maigret keeps stumbling on to one more case.

An old merchant family is failing, but their pride and selfishness outranks their abilities.

Well constructed, but rather ordinary. Just another peek into Simenon's rather hopeless and depressive world.

"People were far too apt to imagine that these celebrated methods were something in the nature of a cookery recipe, laid down once and for all, needing only to be followed to the letter." [p.348, Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses]

" 'I'm afraid I [ed.: the magistrate] don't understand.'
" Of course he didn't! He'd been stuffed with theories, and expected the truth to adapt itself to them, to fit into one category or another.." [p.419]
56 Les scruples de Maigret 1957) Maigret Has Scruples

Can you read psychobabble and predict a crime? Simenon tries hard, but he's not convincing.

"…but Lucas had one great fault : it was easy to guess his profession.

"He picked young Lapointe, who had less training and less experience, but who often passed for a student or a young clerk." [p.261, Maigret Has Scruples]

"…Perhaps he was a normal man, who felt his life was in danger and had honestly come to tell the police all about it.
"Perhaps too he was a neurotic, suffering from persecution mania, who needed reassurance.
"Perhaps he was a lunatic.
"And finally, perhaps he was a man tormented by diabolical ideas, a madman too, in a certain sense, but a lucid, intelligent madman, who had drawn up a detailed plan which he intended to carry out at all costs.
"His face was very ordinary. He had a nose, a mouth, eyes and ears like everybody." [p.274]

"You know how it is. You get the impression of following a continuous line of thought, but in reality, there are gaps." [p.309]

"There exists, between responsibility and irresponsibility, an indefinite zone, a realm of shadows into which it is dangerous to venture." [p.319]

Maigret voyage (1957)

recommended reading
Maigret and the Millionaires

Set in the large hotels of Paris.

This is one of Simenon's better stories. It can easily be read as the poor Belgian Simenon projecting his insecurities and insights as he moved into the world of money.

"... and so with the doctor, with his list of illustrious patients. "He somehow felt a sort of complicity between them. They uttered the same words as everybody else, and yet they spoke a different language. When they mentioned 'the Countess' or 'the Colonel', the words bore a meaning that eluded ordinary mortals." [p.27, Maigret and the Millionaires]

"Even though she's thirty-nine she is, and always will be, a child. That's what gives her her charm, in fact. And that's what makes her get into impossible situations." [p.66]

"... 'What gives us the most trouble is . . .'
He had paused for a moment.
'Is keeping the passengers amused. We have to find occupations for them from the moment they get up until the moment they go to bed, and some of them don't go to bed before dawn. . . .' " [p.116]
54 Maigret s'amuse (1956) Maigret's Little Joke
None of Maigret's Business

Not amusing, not interesting.
Maigret watches a case as a member of the public.

A better translation of this title is "Maigret amuses himself ".

"No more was it surprising that Jave should have fallen in love with a woman who resemblrd his wife. It's common enough. All men are more or less attracted by a definite type." [p.166, Maigret's Little Joke]

"It remains true that, even if he had known, he would probably have still been as confident of his opinion. The less knowledge or experience people have to back it, the more faith they have in their own judgement." [p.166,Maigret's Little Joke]
tion of the tatioon Un échec de Maigret (1956) Maigret's Failure

Nasty capitalist butcher gets his come-uppance.
(See Maigret and the wine merchant.)

"The rain had just stopped, but things were no better for that. A cold, wet wind has just strung up, forcing the passers-by to cling to their hats, and blowing their clothes hard against them. People on the Pont Saint-Michel were leaning backwards as they walked, as though someone were pushing them."
p. 17, Maigret's Failure
52 Maigret tend un piège (1955) Maigret Sets a Trap

On the imagined line between responsibility and madness.

"Nearly every week I am called into court to give evidence as an expert. In the course of my career I have see the concept of the criminal's responsibility changing so rapidly that in my opinion all our ideas about justice have been altered by it, if not actually unsettled."
Maigret, p.425, and further pages on the subject.

This one of three attempts by Simenon to write on mad mass murderers. He isn't very good at it, but then a great deal more study has gone into the problem in the last fifty years. This attempt features an unsuccessful designer, the next one a dentist (Maigret defends himself), and a short story where the culprit is a pharmacist
(Mrs. Four and her children) - none of them are impressive.

Maigret et le corps sans tête (1955)

recommended reading

Maigret and the Headless Corpse

This is a well-constructed policier, and at 178 pages, rather longer than most of Simenon's Maigret novels. Not very subtle, but satisfying to read. This book is a good example of when Simenon does not try too hard.

"Maigret has always preferred to wait. Sometimes, in difficult cases,when he didn't feel sure of himself, he actually preferred to leave a suspect at large for as long as was necessary, even if that meant taking a bit of a risk. It always worked." [Maigret and the Headless Corpse, p.133]

"She had preferred to stay in her place, a place she had made for herself, rather like an animal in its burrow." [p.170]

50 Maigret chez le ministre (1954) Maigret and the Minister
Maigret and the Calame Report

Yet another caricature of corruption among the rich and powerful.
49 Maigret et la jeune morte 1954) Inspector Maigret and the Dead Girl
Maigret and the Young Girl

Well written. Lognon appears from time to time. He is a miserable git, but highly conscientious.

"Detective-sergeant Lognon was waiting on the edge of the pavement in the Rue de la Rochefoucauld, and even from a a distance he looked as though his shoulders were bowed beneath the burden of his fate. He invariably, wore mousey grey suit, which was never pressed, and his overcoat was also grey, his hat an ugly shade of brown. His sallow face and air of having a cold in the head were not due to the fact that he had been up all night. He always looked like that, and even when he was just out of bed his appearance was no doubt quite as depressing.

"Maigret had said on he telephone that he would call for him, but had never suggested he should wait outside. But Lognon had purposely planted himself on the kerb, as though he had been there for hours. Not only had he been robbed of his case, but his time was being wasted and after a sleepless night he was being kept hanging about in the street." [pp.20-21]

" ... poor Lognon's ambition for the past twenty years had been to be promoted to Police Headquarters, he would never achieve." [p.50]

"...in fact, he very likely got a bitter satisfaction from being soaked, from being the only one, at the height of the downpour, to walk along the pavement, a martyr to injustice and to his own conscientiousness." [p.57]

"We each of us choose our own path in life, often at an age when we lack judgement, and afterwards it's too late." [p.101]
All quotes from Second Maigret Omnibus

Maigret l'école (1953)

recommended reading
Maigret Goes to School

The behaviour of small village where people all go to school together and never leave the village. They do not grow up and have no experience of the world.

"Why did Maigret suddenly imagine them in the school playground? They were just like schoolboys in their laughter and in the glances they exchanged. They had been to school together. Later in life they had pulled the same girls into ditches and had seen one another married, attended the funerals of their respective parents, their children's weddings and the christenings of their grandchildren."
[Maigret, p.366]
47 Maigret se trompe (1953) Maigret's Mistake

Simenon spends the whole novel trying to convince himself that he is a genius. Instead, he makes a song and dance about how objective- detached he is about supposed lesser humans.

You can also watch the provincial Simenon straining hard to convince you of his sexual sophistication.

Both interesting and boring.

"She did not like policemen. They were her natural enemies." [Maigret's mistake, p.170]

" 'Do you think I'm fool enough not to know that when the police have a choice between a big shot and a poor bastard of a musician like Pierrot, it's the poor bastard they'll go for?' " [p.173]

" 'She needed some sentimental interest in her life. She also needed to create problems for herself. I said just now that women like to feel themselves important. Because of that, I suppose, they have to complicate their lives, perplex themselves and constantly imagine that a choice lies before them.' ' [p.210]

Maigret a peur (1953) Maigret Afraid

Remarkably well written. Description of a dying and deteriorating French village and culture. Depressing realism.

"It was funny hearing someone who lived in a town where cows grazed 500 metres from the main square talking about the country." [Maigret afraid, p.126]

"I wasn't alone in not believing it. Public opinion can sometimes be wrong. Often too, it has the same sort of intuition as women and children." [p.157]
45 Maigret et l'homme du banc (1953) Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard
Maigret and the Man on the Bench
The Man on the Boulevard

A man is killed, exposing his double life. What is interesting is that his second life is a carbon copy of his 'respectable' life. This is another recurring theme with Simenon.
The idea is interesting, but the writing is rather dull.
[See also DVD : Maigret sees double - short story.]
44 Le revolver de Maigret (1952) Maigret's Revolver

Not worth writing - not worth reading.
43 Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters (1951) Inspector Maigret and the Killer
Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters
Maigret and the Gangsters

Trash - what some people will write for money. Even Henry Ford would be ashamed.
American gangsters in Paris.
42 Maigret et la grande perche (1951)
[la grande perche = lanky woman]
Inspector Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
The tall woman (Penguin, 2017)

Middle-class lives of quiet desperation - a common theme. A burglar goes out to his chosen trade and gets a shock.

Squeezing obviously guilty suspects. Very realistic police behaviour and methods.

"He [Maigret] was is in a bad temper. She didn't know that he rather liked feeling bad-tempered at the beginning of a difficult case."
Maigret, p.180
41 Maigret en meublé (1951) Maigret Takes a Room
Maigret Rents a Room

A shooting in a street. Maigret takes a room in an auberge (hostel). The owner thinks everybody is good. Simenon goes through the personalities - rather a bore.
40 Maigret au "Picratt's" (1950) Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret in Montmartre
Maigret and the Night Club Dancer
Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper

Yet another seedy, half-baked novel from Simenon.

"No rooms would have looked cheerful in weather like this. It was one of those gloomy days that make you wonder why you came into the world and why you take so much trouble to stay in it." [Maigret in Montmartre, p. 21]

Maigret didn't very much care whether it settled or not. He liked every kind of weather—especially the extreme kinds, which were reported in the papers the next day—torrential rain, hurricanes, bitter cold or scorching heat. He liked snow too, because it reminded him of his childhood; but he wondered how his wife could find it cheerful in Paris—especially that morning. The sky was even heavier than on the previous day, and against the white snow, the black, shiny roofs looked still blacker, the houses still more drab and dirty, and the curtains at most of the windows still dingier than usual." [pp.58-59]

"In his heart of hearts he was proud of it, like all pansies, and an involuntary smile crossed his unnaturally red lips. Maybe he even got a thrill from being pushed about by real men." [p.74]

"These people spy on one another, envy one another, steal from one another and sometimes inform on one another. The police were always getting anonymous telephone calls from vengeful characters." [p.78]

" 'Go to the wardrobe room and pick yourself out something suitable for an unemployed man who's looking for work and hoping not to find any. Take a cap rather than a hat. And be careful not to overdo it.' " [p.92]
39 Maigret et la vieille dame (1950) Maigret and the Old Lady

Well written. Much about a dysfunctional family.

'Does he know you hate your mother?'
'I don't hate her. I don't love her, and that's all there is to it. Can I catch the eight o'clock train?' [p.248]

Why is reality always so different? Or rather, why do people put into children's heads the illusion of a world which doesn't exist, an illusion they will compare with reality all their lives. [p.252]
All quotes from Second Maigret Omnibus
38 Les mémoires de Maigret (1950) Maigret's Memoirs

Maigret tells you about Simenon, including how he researches the police. This special is of more contextual interest.

"In which I am not displeased to have the opportunity to at last say something about my relations with a man named Simenon." [Spoken by Maigret, p.3, Maigret's Memoirs]

"Always the newspaper! And always, in high places, the fear of the newspapers, and of public opinion. No sooner has a crime been committed that (sic.) we are enjoined to find the culprit immediately, come what may." [p.6]
It is common for press, so-called pundits, and their audiences to harry public figures in order to try and force them into unwarranted actions.

L'amie de Mme Maigret (1949) Madame Maigret's Own Case
Madame Maigret's Friend
The Friend of Madame Maigret

This is a surprising, well-written and interesting side-line.

"Their statements had appeared in the newspapers and they had to stand by them. It was like a track that fifty people had already trodden thoroughly." [p.85]

Finding out about Mrs. Maigret and her famous husband.

"The chicken was on the stove, along with a fine red carrot, a big onion and a bunch of parsley, the ends sticking out of the pan. Madame Maigret leaned down and checked that the gas, which had been on a very low flame, wasn't likely to go out. Then she closed the windows, except for the one in the bedroom, asked herself if she had forgotten anything, glanced at herself in the mirror and, satisfied, left the appartment, locked the door behind her and put the key on her bag."
[Madame Maigret's Friend, p.1]

"The first day, because of her obsessive fear of keeping people waiting, she'd arrived a good fifteen minutes ahead of time and had twiddled her thumbs in a room over-heated by a gas stove." [p.2]

"It was better to let her [Mme Maigret] get on with it, and to keep his grumpy air, because she liked it." [p.92]

"They argued a little, just for fun." [p.122]

"All his pipes were laid out on his desk, and he took from his pocket the big black notebook he always filled with notes but almost never consulted." ²[p.123]

Maigret chez le coroner (1949) Maigret at the Coroner's

This is not a standard Maigret. Essentially, this is a comparison of the French and the American legal processes. The book is well written, well structured, and worth reading.
35 Mon ami Maigret (1949) My Friend Maigret
The Methods of Maigret

This story has many funny passages, mostly derived from Simenon's somewhat cliched notion of English precision in work, politeness and primness. This is contrasted with the apparently more relaxed French behaviours. For instance (one of several instances), while the English Mr Pyke soon 'goes native' in the southern sun, Maigret still wears his jacket so as to be professional, and does not approve of the Englishman's casualness of bathing trunks while talking about the case.

Note, the English translations often lose the nuances, including humour, somewhat similarly to the dramatic interpretations.
34 La première enquête de Maigret, (1948) Maigret's First Case

Set before the First World War in a time when taxis and delivery vehicles were pulled by horses. The story discovers Maigret's history of moving from being a very unimportant policeman toward the big time. All rather convoluted and disorganised, common Simenon traits. Yet another rich, dysfunctional family, again a frequent theme.

"For he realized that it was not merely question of money. Above a certain level of wealth, it isn't money that matters but power." [p.407] Second Maigret Omnibus
Incidently, here Simenon is commenting on a mistake deeply embedded in the socialist cult.
33 Maigret et son mort (1948) Maigret's Dead Man
Maigret's Special Murder

One of the longest Maigret novels. It could have been written by any other crime fiction writer. Much description of sleazy Paris.

"They had chosen for once and for all to live on the margins. They were wild beasts, and the bleating of sheep touched off no spark of compassion." [Maigret's Dead Man, p.154]
32 Les vacances de Maigret (1947)

A Summer Holiday
No Vacation for Maigret
Maigret on Holiday
Maigret's Holiday

Set in Les Sables d'Olonne on the Atlantic coast, a bit north of the Ile de Re and the Ile d'Oleron.

" 'I don't think I am liked, because I am not bothered about endearing myself to people. Did you know that that is generally what people are the least willing to forgive their fellow human beings? That is probably why so few men have the courage to live their lives without worrying what people think of them.' " [p.55, Maigret's Holiday]

Simenon's version of the song by the Beatles, She's leaving home.
"But you see, dear Mother, I have such a need to live. Can you understand that, you who have spent your life making sacrifices for others, for your husband, your children ..." [p.139]

From She's leaving home by Lennon and McCartney, 1967
She (We gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She (What did we do that was wrong)
Is having (We didn't know it was wrong)
Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can't buy)

One of Simenon's longest Maigret novels. It gives the impression of being written to be a significant work of 'literature', rather than to entertain as a detective novel. Complete with a mad doctor.

31 Maigret à New York (1946) Maigret in New York
Inspector Maigret in New York's Underworld
Maigret in New York's Underworld

Well-written, sentimental slop. By now, Simenon seems to think that Maigret can crack a case by using empathy. Reading this book is not a productive use of time.

[See also Maigret Has Scruples]

Maigret se fâche (1945) Maigret in Retirement
Maigret gets angry

Among the best of the Maigret novels. It could almost be a follow-up of Lock No.1.

"At Place de la Bastille, at the corner of Rue de la Roquette, the lights were brighter, lurid, with that pallid glare typical of poor neighbourhoods - like those fairground stalls where you can win packets of sugar or bottles of sparkling wine- lights to lure the people out of their dark, narrow, suffocating streets."[p.136, Maigret gets angry]
29 L'Inspecteur Cadavre (1944) Maigret's Rival
Inspector Cadaver

Very philosphical, depressing, cynical, and sad. This book gives a flavour of the real Maigret/Simenon.

To note, the video version is a travesty, nothing like the original story. It is a shame that second-rate writers think that they know better than someone like Simenon.

Félicie est là (1944) Maigret and the Toy Village

Meet Félicie, a stronger character than Maigret. I suspect Simenon rather resents this, but the book is generally well-constructed, an impressive achievement.

" "Maigret? How can I put it? He settles into a case as if it were a pair of comfortable old slippers." " [p.21, Maigret and the Toy Village]
27 Signé Picpus (1944) To Any Lengths
Maigret and the Fortune Teller
Signed, Picpus

Simenon describing Maigret's attitude to the law system's bureaucrats, schooled in academia, but with very little real world experience. This is in contrast to police with their years and decades of everyday experience on the streets.

"Maigret does not resent the over-confidence you showed this morning nor the family ironic self-satisfaction with which you told him of the steps you had taken.

" 'You don't run a police force by employing choirboys…'
"Nor do you hand over the investigation of a crime to a little girl. And, in terms of character, a little girl is what you are next to Maigret. Books have taught you a great many things about human nature. You could reel them off by heart, but none of that counts, and what proves it is that only a short while ago you turned bright red and even now you are still shaking."
[p.105, Signed, Picpus]

A very similarly stuctured tale is repeated in Maigret's boyhood friend.
26 Cécile est morte (1942) Maigret and the Spinster
Cecile is dead

An advantage of seeing Maigret being written over so long a period is that you can watch Simenon's thinking mature, and with it, the changes in French society.

"Maigret finally looked up and said, with a tiny spark of malice in his eyes. 'Then why, Monsieur Spencer, do you expect their mentality to change all of a sudden because they've just killed one of their fellow men?' " [p.127, Cecile is dead]

" 'And remember we can use brute force - not as often as it's sometimes claimed, but more than an examining magistrate or a deputy public prosecutor …' " [p.140]

" 'When we hand him over to the lawyers, that's the end of him. He's broken with his life as an ordinary man, and almost always it's a final break. He's a criminal, that's all, and the lawyers treat him as such.' " [p.141]

The casual acceptance of police violence, and of guilty until proved innocent, moderates in his later work as more rational and civilised attitudes emerge. It is very hard for eighty year-olds to understand and adjust to the present society of twenty and thirty year-olds. By this time, Simenon is already becoming more sophisticated, as he moves with society instead of just clinging to his earlier experiences.

This is an interesting story as Simenon grows in complexity.
25 Les Caves du Majestic (1942) Maigret and the Hotel Majestic
The Hotel Majestic

Complex and interesting background story, but little psychology. Not bad to read.
24 La Maison du juge (1940) Maigret in Exile
The Judge's House

After seven years lay-off, Simenon returns as a far better writer. This book is the first of the new batch, and involves good descriptions of a small coastal village, where mussels are the main activity.

Maigret still has to grow in stature.
23 Maigret (1934) Maigret

Just another dreary policier. Maigret returns from retirement to help out his nephew. Maigret's retired - who knew?

And then he battles on for another thirty years, between 1940 and 1972. Simenon dug Maigret up for gold, but by then Simenon had become a much more interesting and experienced writer.
See also The Improbable Mr. Owen.
22 La femme rousse (1933) The Redhead

L'écluse no. 1 (1933)

recommended reading
The Lock at Charenton
Lock No. 1

This story explores the complex world of relationships on the canal side.

See also Maigret gets angry.
20 La figurante (1932) The figurehead/the figurative
The Extras
19 Liberty Bar (1932) Liberty Bar
Maigret on the Riviera

The underbelly of the Côte d'Azur. Set in Cannes and Antibes. Written before his more mature style, this is a rather well-written story set along the French Riviera. I liked the book because it is a region I like and know quite well. I lived there for a while, but decided it was too noisy, too polluted, and driving was a real pain, so I went to live on the west coast instead.

Only two of his books and a short story are set in this part of France - the other stories being My Friend Maigret and The Improbable Mr. Owen (a short story). I think that Simenon was toying with retiring Maigret when he wrote that short story, and eventually decided Maigret should live on.

Maigret also thought better of the Côte d'Azur and eventually retired to Meung-sur-Loire, south-west of Orleans.
18 Le fou de Bergerac (1932) The Madman of Bergerac
[DVD: Maigret et le fou de Sainte Clothilde]

This story, published in 1932, is rather spooky. A small group of ne'er-do-wells from Vichy take over a local village and make it their own corrupt fief. A pattern I'm sure is familiar to the French.
17 Le Port des brumes (1932) )

Death of a Harbour Master
The Misty Harbour

By the 1932 editions, Simenon is becoming more coherent, and is developing style in his writing.

The Misty Harbour is set in Ouistreham, atmospheric and even stylish. Readable, but it does not reach the sublety of his later work.

" 'Monsieur Grandmaison has killed himself!' announced Maigret firmly. 'It is for you to discover what illness carried hm off. You understand me? And I will deal with the police ...' " [The Misty Harbour, p.175]
(Maigret instructs the doctor to not put on the death certificate that Grandmaison had committed suicide, which he had committed in full view of several people.)
16 Chez les Flamands (1932)

The Flemish Shop
Maigret and the Flemish Shop

In this volume, you can see Simenon developing. He is learning his trademarks of weather descriptions and interest in individuals. However, he has not yet learnt what most top writers achieve, the removal of all unnecessary words. His writing has become better organised and more coherent, but still he lacks the richness and quality of some of his later, more experienced work.

Once again, this is set on a canal.

L'affaire Saint-Fiacre (1932)

recommended reading
Maigret and the Countess
The Saint-Fiacre Affair
Maigret Goes Home
Maigret on Home Ground

Plenty of interesting social comment.
Maigret goes back to his childhood environment, growing up in the shadow of a chateau's fading glory., and the conditions of Maigret going out into the big, wide world.

"There was no sunshine to deform the pictures, no mist either to blur the contours. Everything stood out with cruel clarity: the tree-trunks, the dead branches, the pebbles, and above all the black clothes of the people who had come to the graveyard. The whites, on the other hand, the tombstones or starched shirt-fronts or old women's bonnets, took on an unreal, deceptive value: whites which were too white and seemed out of place. "Without the dry north wind which cut your cheeks, you might have thought that you were under a rather dusty glass cloche."
Maigret, p.26
14 L'ombre chinoise (1932) The Shadow in the Courtyard
Maigret Mystified
The Shadow Puppet

A tale of greed and envy. Coherently written.
13 La guinguette deux sous (1932) Guinguette by the Seine
Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine
A Spot by the Seine
The Two-Penny Bar
The Bar on the Seine

Not bad, as Simenon's early Maigret novels go. That is until about half way through, when the story descends into farce.

In his earlier novels, Simenon tends to start without knowing where the story is going, so the plot slides down into prolix and chaos as he tries to find an ending to the story.
[The Two-Penny Bar]
12 La danseuse du Gai-Moulin (1931) At the Gai Moulin
The dancer at the Gai-Moulin

Waste of reading time. Set in Liège, Simenon's birthplace.
11 Au Rendez-vous des Terre-Neuves (1931) The Sailor's Rendezvous
The Grand Banks Cafe
Maigret Answers a Plea

The story rather drags. abelard couldn't be bothered to read the whole thing a second time for this review.
10 Un crime en Hollande (1931) A Crime in Holland
Maigret in Holland
[DVD : Maigret in Finland]

Set among the canals. A fellow who spends his life playing with model trains.
9 La nuit du carrefour (1931) Maigret at the Crossroads
Night at the Crossroads

This is rather like a common or garden detective story before Maigret had developed his advanced social style and analysis.
8 La tête d'un homme
L'homme de la Tour Eiffel (1931)
A Battle of Nerves
Maigret's War of Nerves
A Man's Head

Not too far from trash. Set along the Seine.
7 Le chien jaune (1931) A Face for a Clue
Maigret and the Concarneau Murders
Maigret and the Yellow Dog
The Yellow Dog

A muddled and badly written plot, which in itself is so ridiculous as to bring shame on Simenon.

" 'I never believe in anything. You should do the same, madame. Tomorrow is another day.' " [p.99, The Yellow Dog]

This is one of ten Maigret novels listed as written in 1931, a year in which Simenon was 27 to 28 years old. I have an awful suspicion that he had been saving these plots up since he was about fifteen. God knows how he managed to get a publisher.
6 Le pendu de Saint-Pholien (1931) The Crime of Inspector Maigret
Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets
The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien

A fantasy unworthy of a fourteen-year-old boy. They must have been very short of French language fiction to print this.
5 M. Gallet décédé (1931) The Death of Monsieur Gallet
The Late Monsieur Gallet
Maigret Stonewalled

In Maigret Stonewalled, we find that in 1931, Maigret was 45 years old (born approximately 1886 - p.26) and weighed 16 stone (p.75).

The book is a trash novel. A chancer purchases the entitlements of an old, dying family, including the name.

At the end of the book, Simenon tries to rationalise stealing from an assurance company.

Until the early 1930s, Simenon is learning his trade [book numbers 1 to 23]. After a seven year rest, Simenon's writing has become much more mature [book numbers 24 to 79 ].

4 Le charretier de la Providence (1931) The Crime at Lock 14
Maigret Meets a Milord
Lock 14
The Carter of 'La Providence'

It's readable, but poorly organised.
On the canals.

"He gets up at half past two every morning, see to his horses, downs a bowl of coffee and then starts walking alongside his animals.
"He does his daily thirty or forty kilometres like that, every day, at the same pace, with a swig of white wine at every lock." [The Carter of 'La Providence', p.48]

" 'My life, you know, is my home, my pots and pans, my sticks of furniture. I think that if they gave me a palace to live in, I'd be as miserable as sin living in it.' " [p.124]
3 Pietr-le-Letton (1931) The Strange Case of Peter the Lett
The Case of Peter the Lett
Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett
Pietr the Latvian

The usual chaos of Simenon's early Maigret novels, but he does get lots of his stereotypes and prejudices out of the way, all rather naïve. For a person interested in the real Simenon behind the motor manufacturer of novels for money, this story shows more of himself than I would expect to be his hope in later years.

Simenon's brother thought the better part of valour after WW2 was to join the French Foreign Legion and change his name, finishing by holing up in Vietnam. My guess is that Maigret's puppeteer was better protected by his money and contacts.

There are no other Maigret novels with these characteristics. Here, Maigret gets shot, losing two or three ribs, while Torrence gets killed - only to reanimate in later novels!

"He couldn't afford to buy the print versions of the lectures so he had to study in public libraries." [Pietr the Latvian, p.92]

"All the same she was a good-looking woman, in a common, feral way. Sitting sideways on the stool, or rather huddling up in self-defence, she fired daggers from her eyes as she scowled at the inspector." [p.123]
2 La maison d'inquiétude (1930) The House of Unease
The House of Anxiety
The House of Concern
1 Train de nuit (1930) Night Train

Short stories

  English translations, published by Harvest Books, U.S.A., and badly bound so sections unglue and fall out :
Maigret's Pipe, 1977 - 17 stories (stories from 1944 on)
• Maigret's pipe
• Death penalty
• Mr Monday [DVD : Maigret chez le docteur]
• The open window
• Madame Maigret's admirer
• The mysterious affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais
• Two bodies on a barge
• Death of a forester
• In the rue Pigalle
• Maigret's mistake
• The old lady of Bayeux
• Stan the killer
• The drowned men's inn
• At the Etoile du Nord
• Mademoiselle Berthe and her lover
• The three daughters of the lawyer
• Storm in the Channel
Maigret's Christmas, 1979 - 9 stories (stories from 1948 on)
• Maigret's Christmas
• Seven little crosses in a notebook [DVD: Not Maigret, but filmed as a Maigret.]
• Maigret and the surly inspector
• The evidence of the altar-boy [DVD : Maigret and the choirboy]
• The most obstinate customer in the world
• Death of a nobody [DVD: Maigret sees double?]
• Sale by auction
• The man in the street
• Maigret in retirement
  only in French :  
Little Pigs with no tails – Les Petits Cochons sans Queues, 1950, 9 stories
• Les petits cochons sans queues / The little pigs without tails
• Sous peine de mort / Under penalty of death
• Le petit tailleur et le chapelier / The little tailor and the hat maker
• Un certain Monsieur Berquin / A certain Mr. Berquin
• L'escale de Buenaventura / The Buenaventura stopover
• L'homme dans la rue / The man in the street
• Vente à la bougie / Sale by candle
• Le deuil de Fonsine / Fonsine's mourning
Madame Quatre et ses enfants / Mrs. Four and her children - See also Maigret Sets a Trap
L'improbable Monsieur Owen / The Unlikely M. Owen.
This was written in 1937-38, but only published in 1967 by Editions Rencontre.
Ceux du Grand-Café / Those at the Grand-Café, also published in 1967 by Editions Rencontre.

Maigret on screen - selected dvds

It is a vanity of script writers to believe that they can do better than the original writer. Consequently, the films are often hacked around, expanded, contracted, or even mixed into a soup. Further, a script writer will put words into Maigret's mouth that were never written in the originating book. Several of the films are derived from short stories, rather than full-length novels.


By far the most useful series is that published by French company OnePlusOne, with French actor Bruno Cremer, made from 1991 to 2005. The first four coffrets (sets) of 40 stories have English sub-titles. In the eight stories of coffret 5, only the first two have sub-titles. However, Maigret season 1, published by Arrow Films, includes several stories from coffret 5 with English sub-titles.
An American company, Mhz Networks Home, has remastered all 52 Bruno Cremer productions and added (permanent) subtitling. The images are much cleaner, brighter, and so clearer, while the sound is much improved.

Although the films do give the impression of seedy and impoverished Paris of those times, Maigret's Paris world, they were mostly filmed in Hungary!


There are also twelve episodes in English acted by Michael Gambon, while many, many others have also tackled Maigret. I do not intend to review or publicise these as none of them look interesting enough.


In the early 1960s, the UK broadcast organisation, the BBC, produced a series of 52 Maigret films with the actor Rupert Davies. These black and white films were not as good as the Bruno Cremer editions, with the stories distorted and chopped about towards the end to fit a one-hour format. They provide useful background of Paris and its streets in the 1960s. Davies' acting gives a flat characterisation of Maigret. The remastering process has not led to clear film images. Davies might have been the best Maigret in Simenon's opinion, but the Cremer versions were produced after Simenon's death so Simenon could not make a complete assessment.

The French scenes are better, partly because they were filmed in France (the Cremer episodes were filmed in Hungary, at a much later time).

The stories are turned into run-of-the-mill tales of crime, this is just not Simenon. He concentrated much more on the behaviours and personalities of the proponents. It is interesting how many adapters believe that they can improve on the work of the creators.


Opening in French cinemas from 23 February 2022 is a film version of Maigret, starring Gérard Depardieu. A great bear playing another great bear? Here is a short trailer:

1 min 56 secs

Although Simenon was very exacting about his books, he did not give a damn about the adaptations beyond how much money he could make from them - more than from the books.

with Bruno Cremer
Maigret seasons 1 - 7, 1991 - 2005
maigret on dvd vol.1

Maigret - Coffret 1 (Volumes 1 - 5)

Les scruples de Maigret / Maigret et l'inspecteur Cadavre / Les petits cochons sans queue / La maison de Félicie / Maigret et le clochard / Signé Picpus / Maigret et l'ombre chinoise / Maigret voit double / Mon ami Maigret / Maigret et l'enfant de choeur

Maigret's scruples / Maigret and Inspecteur Cadavre / The little pigs without tails / Félicie's house / Maigret and the tramp / Signed Picpus / Maigret and the shadow puppet / Maigret sees double / My friend Maigret / Maigret and the choirboy

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2007
Publisher:  OnePlusOne
Run time: 885 minutes
10 discs
Region 2


maigret on dvd vol.2

Maigret - Coffret 2 (Volumes 6 - 10)

Maigret et l'improbable Monsieur Owen / Un meurtre de première classe / Maigret et la fenêtre ouverte / Maigret tend un piège / Maigret et la vente à la bougie / Madame Quatre et ses enfants / Maigret chez le docteur / Maigret et la vieille dame / Maigret chez les riches / Maigret et le Liberty Bar

Maigret and the improbable Monsieur Owen / A first-class murder / Maigret and the open window / Maigret sets a trap / Maigret and the candle sale / Madame Four and her children / Maigret at the doctor's / Maigret and the old lady / Maigret among the rich / Maigret and the Liberty Bar

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2004
Publisher:  OnePlusOne
Run time: 932 minutes
10 discs
Region 2

ASIN: B00066K29W


maigret on dvd vol.3

Maigret - Coffret 3 (Volumes 11 - 15)

Maigret en meublé / Maigret à l'école / Un échec de Maigret / L'ami d'enfance de Maigret / Maigret chez le ministre / Maigret et l'homme du banc / Maigret a peur / Maigret et les sept petites croix / Maigret et le fou de Sainte Clothilde / Maigret et le port des brumes

Maigret in a furnished flat / Maigret at school / A failure of Maigret / Maigret's childhood friend / Maigret at the minister's / Maigret and the man on the bench / Maigret is afraid / Maigret and the seven little crosses / Maigret and the madman of Saint Clothilde / Maigret and the port of the mists

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2007
Publisher:  OnePlusOne
Run time: 891 minutes
10 discs
Region 2



maigret on dvd vol.4

Maigret - Coffret 4 (Volumes 16 - 20)

Maigret et le fantôme / Maigret et le marchand de vin / Maigret en Finlande / Maigret et la demoiselle de compagnie / Maigret et la croqueuse de diamants / Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre / Maigret et l'écluse N° 1 / Maigret et la princesse / Maigret et la nuit du carrefour / Meurtre dans un jardin potager

Maigret and the ghost / Maigret and the wine merchant / Maigret in Finland / Maigret and the lady companion / Maigret and the diamond crusher / Maigret and the Saint-Fiacre affair / Maigret and lock N° 1 / Maigret and the princess / Maigret and the night of the crossroads / Murder in a vegetable garden

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2007
Publisher:  OnePlusOne
Run time: 893 minutes
10 discs
Region 2



maigret on dvd vol.5

Maigret - Coffret 5 (Volumes 21 - 25)

Maigret et les plaisirs de la nuit / Maigret et l’Etoile du Nord
/ Maigret se défend / La patience de Maigret / Maigret et la Grande Perche / Cécile est morte / Maigret chez les Flamands / Les vacances de Maigret / Maigret et la maison du juge / Maigret se trompe / Maigret et les caves du Majestic / Maigret et la tête d’un homme / Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants / Maigret et le corps sans tête

Maigret in Montmartre / Maigret and the North Star
/ Maigret defends himself / Maigret's patience / Maigret and the Burglar's Wife / Cécile is dead / The Flemish shop / Maigret's holidays / Maigret and the judge['s house] / Maigret is wrong / Maigret and the cellars of the Majestic / Maigret and the head of a man / Maigret and the recalcitrant witnesses / Maigret and the headless body

Language: Volume 21: French with English subtitles (discs 1 & 2)
Volumes 22 to 25: French only (discs 3 to 10)
Released 2009
Publisher:  OnePlusOne
Run time: -
10 discs

American editions  

maigret on dvd 'complete'

Maigret: The Complete Series

vol. 1 : episodes 1-12
vol. 2 : 13-24
vol. 3 : 25-36
vol. 4 : 37-48
vol. 5 : 49-54

This set had been remastered (though not to HD standard as the advertising indicates). The images are much cleaner, brighter, and so clearer, while the sound is much improved. The subtitles are permanent.

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2018
Publisher:  Mhz Networks Home
Run time: 4920 minutes
27 discs
Region 1

$149.95 (amazon.com)
maigret on dvd 'complete'

Maigret - Set 1 (Region 1 version)

Episodes 1- 6: Maigret in Montmartre [Maigret et les plaisirs de la nuit], Maigret and the Burglar's Wife [La grande perche], Maigret and the Flemish Shop [Chez les flamands], Maigret and the Judge, Maigret and the Headless Corpse, Maigret at the Crossroads

[Region 2 versions may also be available on the secondhand market.]

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2012
Publisher:  Mhz Networks Home
Run time: 540 minutes
1 discs
Region 1



maigret on dvd 'complete'

Maigret - Set 2

epsiodes 7-12: Maigret at the Majestic, Maigret on trial, Maigret's patience, Maigret and the man on the bench, Maigret and the reluctant witnesses, Maigret and the ghost

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2012
Publisher:  Mhz Networks Home
Run time: 540 minutes
1 discs
Region 1
ASIN:  B0085XN91Q



maigret on dvd 'complete'

Maigret - Set 3

episodes 13-18: Maigret and the No. 1 Lock, Maigret and the Spinster, Maigret's War of Nerves, Maigret's Mistake, Maigret and the Old Lady and Maigret and The Candle Auction

[Sets 4 and onwards are not available]

Language: French with English subtitles
Released 2012
Publisher:  Mhz Networks Home
Run time: 554 minutes
1 discs
Region 1
ASIN:  B008K17K2M



with Michael Gambon  
Maigret with Michael Gambon

Maigret - Series 1 And 2 - Complete [1992-93]

Series 1: The Patience of Maigret, Maigret and the Burglar's Wife, Maigret Goes to School, Maigret and the Mad Woman, Maigret on Home Ground, Maigret Sets a Trap;
Series 2: Maigret and the Nightclub Dancer, Maigret and the Hotel Majestic, Maigret on the Defensive, Maigret's Boyhood Friend, Maigret and the Minister, Maigret and the Maid [12 episodes]

Released 2018
Run time: 620 minutes
27 discs
Region 2

£16.73 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
[amazon.com] {advert}

with Rupert Davies  
Maigret with Michael Gambon

Maigret DVD - 52 episodes - complete [1960-63]

Series 1: Maigret and the Lost Life, Murder in Montmartre, Unscheduled Departure, The Burglar's Wife, The Revolver,The Old Lady, Liberty Bar, My Friend the Inspector, The Mistake, On Holiday, The Experts, The Cactus, The Children's Party

Series 2: Shadow Play, The Simple Case, Death of a Butcher, The Winning Ticket, Inspector Lognon's Triumph, The Lost Sailor, The Golden Fleece, Raise Your Right Hand, The Liars, A Crime for Christmas, The Reluctant Witnesses, The White Hat, Murder on Monday

Series 3: Voices from the Past, The Madman of Vervac, The Countess, The Wedding Guest, High Politics, Love from Felicie, The Dirty House, The Crystal Ball, The Crooked Castle, Death in Mind, Seven Little Crosses, The Trap, The Amateurs

Series 4: Poor Cecile!, The Fontonay Murders, The Lost Life, The Cellars of the Majestic, A Man Condemned, The Flemish Shop, A Taste of Power, The Log of the Cap Fagnet, The Judge's House, Another World, The Crime at Lock 14, Peter the Lett, Maigret's Little Joke

  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ PAL
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 45 hours 43 minutes
  • 14 discs
  • Region 2
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ 25 Oct. 2021
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Network
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09DMW57XC

£53.99 [amazon.co.uk]


Maigret novels are the version from which quotations are taken.

Simenon, a biography
by Pierre Assouline
Jon Rothchild (translator)

Everything, and more, that you ever wanted to know about Georges Simenon. A very efficient summary. 391 pages plus bibliography etc.

Simenon, a biography by Pierre Assouline

Chatto & Windus
1997, hbk

ISBN-10: 0701137274
ISBN-13: 978-0701137274

amazon.com {advert}
amazon.co.uk {advert}

Maigret and the Killer
Shaun Whiteside (translator)
Maigret and the killer by Georges Simenon Penguin, 2019, pbk

ISBN-10: 0241304261
ISBN-13: 978-0241304266

£5.25 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
Kindle edition
Penguin, 2019

page no.s ISBN: 0241304261

£0 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
[amazon.com] {advert}

The Madman of Bergerac
Ros Schwartz (translator)
The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon Penguin Classics, 2015, pbk

ISBN-10: 0141394560
ISBN-13: 978-0141394565

£6.45 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
$9.96 [amazon.com] {advert}
Kindle edition
Penguin, 2015
page no.s ISBN: 0141394560

[amazon.com] {advert}
Maigret and the tramp
Howard Curtis (translator)
The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon Penguin Classics, 2018, pbk

ISBN-10: 0241303990

£6.46 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
$9.70 [amazon.com] {advert}
A Maigret Trio
Maigret's Failure, Maigret in Society, Maigret and the Lazy Burglar

A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book,
Harcourt Brace Javanovich Inc., 1973, hbk

ISBN-10: 0151551391
ISBN-13: 978-0151551392

amazon.com {advert}
amazon.co.uk {advert}

Maigret goes home, Maigret and the burglar's wife, Maigret goes to school, Maigret sets a trap, The patience of Maigret, Maigret and the madwoman

[Series one stories acted by Michael Gambon]
Maigret - stories acted by Michael Gambon BCA,1992 (Hamish Hamilton, 1983),


amazon.com {advert}
amazon.co.uk {advert}
The night at the crossroads The night at the crossroads

Penguin Classics, pbk, 2014

ISBN-10: 0141393483
ISBN-13: 978-0141393483

£6.50 [amazon.co.uk] {advert}
amazon.com {advert}

Maigret at the crossroads
Maigret stonewalled
Maigret mystified
Maigret at the crossroads, and 2 other stories

Penguin Classics, pbk, 1983

ISBN-10: 0140066527
ISBN-13: 978-0140066524

amazon.co.uk {advert}

return to page index
Lock No.1 Lock No.1

Penguin Classics, pbk, 2015


amazon.co.uk {advert}
$20.91 [amazon.com] {advert}

The second Maigret Omnibus  

Hamish Hamitton, hbk, 1964

SBN 241 990583 4

Maigret and the millionaires and
Maigret and the gangsters
  The Companion Book Club
(Hamlyn Publishing Group) 1975, hbk
Maigret's pickpocket and
Maigret and the Nahour case
  The Companion Book Club
(Hamlyn Publishing Group) 1967, hbk
Maigret's boyhood friend and
Maigret and the wine merchant
  The Companion Book Club
(Hamlyn Publishing Group) 1972, hbk
Maigret's memoirs   Penguin Classics, pbk, xxxx  
Maigret and the loner and
Maigret and the man on the boulevard
  The Companion Book Club
(Hamlyn Publishing Group) 1976, hbk

Five times Maigret
Maigret right and wrong (Maigret in Montmartre
and Maigret's mistake)
Maigret has scruples
Maigret and the reluctant witnesses
Maigret goes to school

  Helen and Kurt Wolff Book,
Harcourt, Brace World Inc, hbk, 1964
Maigret and the Toy Village   A Harvest Book
A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book,
Harcourt, Brace & Company, pbk, 1987
Cecile is dead   Penguin, pbk, 2015  
Maigret in Court   Penguin, pbk, 1961  
Signed, Picpus  

Penguin, pbk, 2015

Maigret's anger   Penguin, pbk, 2018  
Madame Maigret's Friend   Penguin, pbk, 2016  
Maigret Stonewalled   to follow  
Maigret gets angry   Penguin, pbk, 2015  
Maigret's Holiday   Penguin, pbk, 2016  
Maigret and the Saturday Caller   Penguin, pbk, 2018  
Maigret and the Headless Corpse   Penguin, pbk, 2017  
Maigret's Dead Man   Penguin, pbk, 2016  
Maigret afraid   Penguin, pbk, 2017  
The Yellow Dog   Penguin, pbk, 2003  
The Carter of 'La Providence'   Penguin, pbk, 2014  
The Misty Harbour   Penguin, pbk, 2015  
Pietr the Latvian   Penguin, pbk, 2013  
Maigret's Pipe, 1977      
Maigret's Christmas, 1979      
Les Petits Cochons sans Queues, 1950      
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end notes

1 Proto-Maigret novels
  • Night Train is Maigret's first novel, published in series form, when Arthème Fzyard agreed to publish it under the pseudonym of Christian Brulls in September 1930. Night Train is not clearly a crime novel, being published in the collection The masters of the popular novel.

  • The House of Concern was published under the pseudonym of Georges Sim in 1932, and by Tallandier in the Criminals and Police collection.

  • Fayard published La Figurante [The Extra] under the pseudonym of Georges Sim in 1932.

    La Femme rousse [The Redhead] by Georges Sim was published by Tallandier in 1933.

  • Chair de Beauté [The Beautiful Flesh] published in 1928 and La Femme qui Tue. [The Woman who Kills] published in 1929, were both signed Georges Sim.
2 DVD regions
  • Region 1: U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda
  • Region 2: Japan, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East, including Egypt
  • Region 3: Southeast Asia, East Asia, including Hong Kong
  • Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean
  • Region 5: Eastern Europe, Baltic States, Russia, Central and South Asia, Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
  • Region 6: Mainland China

DVDs for another region will probably only play using a an 'unlocked' DVD player or a region-free player.

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all rights reserved

the address for this document is https://www.abelard.org/jules-maigret-georges-simenon.php

21,550 words
prints as 18 A4 pages (on my printer and set-up)