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Maigret-of-the-Month lists

La maison du juge
1/31/18 –

Quelle folie, je me demande, est celle de Lise en La Maison du Juge?

I wonder what Lise's madness could be, in La Maison du Juge?

Robert Lantz

Quai des Orfèvres at high water
1/27/18 –

The Quai des Orfèvres with the Seine very high...


More on La Nuit du carrefour
1/25/18 –

Night at the Crossroads: location

Luc Secret

original French

I can add some infomation to supplement Murielle's text, Maigret and the mysteries of the crossroads...

In Pierre Assouline's biography of Simenon, we find this about Jean Renoir's film, La nuit du carrefour:

"The interiors were shot in a studio in Billancourt, outside Paris, the exteriors at the intersection of Routes 1 and 309, in La Croix-Verte, [by Bouffémont]. Simenon was careful to show personal interest in the proceedings, visiting the set many times between January and March 1932. Marcel Lucien, the director of photography, submerged the images in a thick fog. The atomosphere was truly sinister, and the overall effect had a rare poetry.

A month before the commercial release, Simenon was invited to a small private screening. When the lights came on, he could not contain his emotion. Eyes wet, he put his arm around Pierre Renoir, not sure whether he was embracing the actor or the inspector." (tr. Jon Rothschild, Simenon: A biography, pp 106-108)*

And, at the site of the online archives of the Bibliothèque nationale française, we can find an article about it written by Simenon for the newspaper Paris-Soir, April 16, 1932, p.6...

complete article

re: Letter to The Times

1/18/18 – It is becoming more and more probable that BBC does not have Maigret with Rupert Davies any longer.


Letter to The Times

1/7/18 – A comment I had in the TV pages of the Sunday Times Culture section (January 7th 2018):

Anthony Green

re: Penguin Maigret - The Madman of Bergerac

1/1/18 – Thanks, Andrew!

Just for fun, I tried "Bergerac" in the Search form at the top of the page - and got 122 results! The Maigret-of-the-Month was #1, of course, but also this interesting #2 from 14 years ago (Dec. 29, 2003):

Comparison of Piron, Forest, Alavoine / Maigret handbook pages

(translations of)
the respective sections on
"The Madman of Bergerac" (Le Fou de Bergerac)

Maurice Piron's L'Univers de Simenon
Jean Forest's Les Archives Maigret
Bernard Alavoine's Les enquêtes de Maigret


Penguin Maigret - The Madman of Bergerac
1/1/18 –
The Madman of Bergerac

a review by Andrew Walser

By the end of the first chapter of The Madman of Bergerac, Inspector Maigret has already spent a sleepless night on a crowded train, jumped off in pursuit of his nervous cabinmate, received a gunshot wound in the left shoulder, and lost consciousness in a forest outside town. He has wakened to find himself in a hospital bed, surrounded by hostile interrogators and mistaken for a murderer. It will take some time before the skeptical prosecutor will admit “that Maigret was indeed Maigret and not the madman of Bergerac!”

Despite these dramatic beginnings, the rest of the novel is marked by near-stasis, an immobility caused by both Maigret’s confinement and the provinciality of life in Bergerac. Yet Simenon manages to energize the plot anyway. How? Through what one might call a structuralist motor, one that works by setting two opposing principles in simultaneous motion.

The first principle is Anti-Enlightenment – a worldview that emphasizes irrationality, uncertainty, and disorder. The Madman of Bergerac replaces the typical mystery’s stable core with a narrative in which (to repurpose both Marx and Marshall Berman) all that is solid melts into air. Instead of formal investigation, we get accident: “It all came about by pure chance!” Instead of comprehensible motives, we get behavior that baffles even the actor, with the Inspector as perplexed as we are about “what instinct had prompted him to jump off the train while his luggage continued on its way to Villefranche-en-Dordogne.” Instead of evidence, we get unbridgeable gaps in knowledge – signs that lie just outside the “halo of moonlight,” memories that collapse into one another. Every detail – bushy eyebrows, a pair of socks, a particular hat – could point to Maigret’s assailant, or to someone glimpsed during his delirium, or to nothing at all. The clues, in other words, seem to be originating within the seeker – a situation that raises the possibility, fatal to the Enlightenment myth, that we are not so much discerning patterns in the world as imposing patterns on the world. (For more on the mystery as the embodiment of the Enlightenment ethos, see my review of The Two-Penny Bar.)

A case so resistant to comprehension inevitably acquires a “nightmare” quality, which may explain why Simenon uses the word three times in the first chapter. The atmosphere of irreality grows especially dense in a strange, striking passage in which Maigret dreams he is a “gleaming black animal,” fat as a seal and awkward as a beached whale, sinking second by second into wet sand. The dream obviously refers to the Inspector’s physical condition – “Why was he so stiff? Had he been wounded by a hunter?” – but also seems to me a figure for a detective out of his depth, mired in a world in which reason and observation no longer take him where he wants to go...

complete review

Maiget et son mort - the Atkinson film...
12/30/17 – I watched Maigret et son mort [Maigret's Dead Man] with Atkinson on TV today, for about half an hour. Well, it was on a French channel and in French only, so I couldn't understand the dialogue. What I saw looked like a well-made movie. The scenes, costumes, background, cars... all looked authentic, good enough for a feature film, not just a TV movie. The action looked exciting and dramatic. It was fully dubbed, each character with their own voice. I can't say if the conversations were interesting or boring as I didn't understand the language.

A quite different question is whether this well-done movie was also a well-done Maigret movie? Here I'm not so excited. One thing we know about Maigret is that he had a 'bulky' figure. Atkinson is a skinny fellow, not exactly how I'd expect Maigret to look. But than, I measure all actors playing Maigret by the Gambon standard, so none of them will fully measure up.

And I'd like to question Atkinson's choice of this particular story for his movie. What is so special, so outstanding about this story? If he asked me, I could give him one good reason not to use this story. It paints people from specific ethnic backgrounds in a bad light. Maybe it was okay in 1948 when France and Czechoslovakia were separated by the 'iron curtain', but it seems a little defamatory when GB, France, and CZ are all EU friends (never mind Brexit)...


re: Models for Maigret characters
12/17/17 – Simenon always said that he never invented anything, but that the characters he depicted were a mixture of various people he had met over the course of his life.

And so we can often find traits in a character of a person who had actually lived. For more on this subject see Michel Carly's book, Simenon et les femmes, which gives many examples of real people who inspired certain characters, (such as the Crosbys in La tête d'un homme).

With regard to Maigret himself, we know that he was inspired by several people Simenon knew... In addition to Guillaume, there was also Massu, and another policeman Simenon would have met when he was in Liège. And Maigret also contains characteristics of Simenon's father and grandfather…



Models for Maigret characters
12/16/17 – Marcel Guillaume is believed to be the model for Simenon's famous detective Maigret. Have models for other characters appearing in Maigret stories been identified? I have in mind well-drawn characters like Sir Walter Lampson and Mme Negretti (Le Charretier de la Providence [PRO]).

I feel that the appearance, attitudes and mannerisms bestowed by Simenon on such characters must owe much to people encountered by Simenon. It would be interesting to indulge in a little speculation about their identity.

William Russell

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

William Russell

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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


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

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

Martin Cooke

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

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



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

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

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


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


re: A Maigret Christmas

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

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

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

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



re: A Maigret Christmas

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

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


searching for: Triumph of Inspector Maigret

10/1/17 –

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

Best regards,
Christophe Janvier


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Maigret of the Month - 2012

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


Maigret of the Month - 2011

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


Maigret of the Month - 2010

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


Maigret of the Month - 2009

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

Maigret of the Month - 2008

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

Maigret of the Month - 2007

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

Maigret of the Month - 2006

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

Maigret of the Month - 2005

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

Maigret of the Month - 2004

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



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