Mon ami Maigret - 1
MON AMI MAIGRET - My friend Maigret - Georges Simenon - 1949 (Tumacacori - U.S.A.)
The story - a summary
Maigret receives the visit of Mister Pyke of Scotland Yard. Pyke is a very pleasant and courteous police inspector who is eager to get to know Maigret's famous methods.
But no interesting case arises in Paris.
Until a telephone call from the small island of Porquerolles in the South of France informs Maigret of the murder of a certain Marcellin, who, little time before his death, claimed to be "a friend" of the police chief.
In fact, Maigret had known Marcellin formerly, when he helped his girlfriend Ginette, a tubercular patient, to be admitted in a sanatorium, whereas Marcellin himself was in prison.
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La nuit du
Maigret, accompanied by the phlegmatic inspector Pyke, leaves for Porquerolles.
Thanks to the testimony of several inhabitants of the island and assisted by the "clairvoyance" of Mister Pyke, Maigret gathers the elements which will enable him to throw light on this crime.
His suspicions go towards two men:
Phillipe de Moricourt, a kind of gigolo who is provided for by a rich English art collector, Mrs. Wilcox, and the young Dutch artist Jef de Greef.
La guinguette
à deux sous
L' inspecteur
Les larmes
de bougie
Marcellin had discovered a swindle: de Greef had signed one of his own paintings with the name of Van Gogh and then sold it to Mrs.Wilcox by intermediary of her lover de Moricourt.
Marcellin, determined to blackmail the two accomplices, and trying to put them under pressure, had not hesitated to proclaim that Maigret was his friend.
The same evening one of the swindlers, covered by the tumult of the mistral [1], killed him with a revolver.
Vente à la
La maison
du juge
Mon ami
Maigret - 1
Mon ami
Maigret - 2
Mon ami
Maigret - 3
Maigret à
Remains the mystery: which of both is the culprit.
Maigret suspects de Greef, an unflinching man without any scruples, rather than de Moricourt, who does not display the characteristics of a criminal.
Further events will confirm Maigret's assessment.
While de Moricourt is weak and timorous, de Greef is self-assured and shows a firm attitude.
A story with a tragical outcome because after de Greef's arrest Anna, his 18- year old Belgian girlfriend, commits suicide out of fear to have to betray him as a witness. (2)
L'Auberge aux
Le notaire de
M.Gallet, décédé
The island
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
The island of Porquerolles is part of the archipelago Iles d'Hyères, a group of small islands in front of the Mediterranean coast in the South-East of France.
The other main islands in the group are Port-Cros, also a day-tripper island. The uninhabited and not to be entered Ile-de-Bagaud and the intriguing Ile-du-Levant, on the one side a training ground for Marines, on the other side the internationally renown nudist resort "Héliopolis".
Chez les
Porquerolles is only 7 km (4.6 mi) long and 3 Km (1.8 mi) wide at its broadest point.
The etymology of the name "Porquerolles" is a little obscure. It could be derived from the old language of the region, le Provençal, in which "Port-Cayrola" means Port of the lavender or it could originate from "Port-Quairolles" (or Quèroles) which means Port of the rocks from the Celtic word "caer" meaning rock.
The first human occupation probably dates from the 4th century BC. It is mentioned in Greek mythology under the name "Stoechades". The first real village appears in the 1st century BC, under Roman influence.
From then on different occupants control the island but almost always with the same intention: establish a defence post for the mainland.
4 photos: Jean-Louis Fourtanier
That is why the ruins of 10 fortifications can be found scattered over its territory.
From 1905 on Porquerolles was privately owned and in 1912 it was bought by F. Fournier as a wedding present to his bride Sylvia for a price that would reach today about 2,700,000 or US$.
Fournier died in 1935, but thanks to him tourism became a welcome source of income for the 400 villagers.
To-day about 500.000 tourists visit the island each year.
Other sources of income for the local residents are vineyards, olives and fishery.
1/5 of Porquerolles is still in the hands of the Fournier family. The other 1000 Ha (2770 acres) of the remarkable beautiful island were bought by the French government in 1971 to preserve it from further expansion of the tourist industry. This part now is a natural reserve.
Go to Mon ami Maigret - 2
From top to bottom:
- Cover of first French edition of "Mon ami Maigret", 1949, Presses de la Cité, Paris, France. From Marco Sabatti's website: Brasserie Dauphine
- Composition of a drawing of Maigret's silhouette from the cover of: Georges Simenon, "Maigret hesite", Presses de la Cite, Paris and map on Design G. de Croock.
- Map by:Route 66, Route Europa 2000, Copyright Route 66 Geographic Information Systems B.V., Ede (NL). Adaptation by G. De Croock.
- Photo from: Mon ami Maigret. France 2/Dune/ Filmes Do Tejo / RTBF / Télévision Suisse Romande/ Ceska TV (French). 1992. Réalisation : Bruno Gantillon, avec Alexandre Brasseur (Paul Lachenal), Michaèl Morris (Inspecteur Pyke), Annie Sinigalia (Ginette), Anna Korwin (Mrs Wilcox), Marc Chapiteau (Carrouge), François Lalande (Zucca), Jean-Michel Portal (Yann Deferre), Blandine Bury (Anna), Emmanuel Guttierez (Philippe De Moricourt), Georges Neri (Justin), Sara Martins (Jojo), Jean-Christian Grinevald (Le dentiste), Mama Prassinos (Aglaé):
- Photo of Blandine Bury in the character of Ana in the Mon ami Maigret (see above).
- Map by:Route 66, Route Europa 2000, Copyright Route 66 Geographic Information Systems B.V., Ede (NL). Adaptation by G. De Croock.
- 4 photo's by Jean-Louis Fourtanier from his remarkable website: Iles @ Rêver - Jean Louis Fourtanier
- Photo of F.Fournier and his wife Sylvia: Collection Jean Louis Fourtanier.
(1) Mistral: a strong north wind typical for the south-east of France, caused by the collision of cold air from the north and the hot air above the Mediterranean and generated by a low pressure area above the Gulf of Genoa. This wind can reach hurricane force.
(2) Translation and compilation from: Maurice Piron, L'Univers de Simenon, Presses de la Cité, Paris, 1983, p.315. Translation of excerpt: G. de Croock.
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La nuit du carrefour - 1, - 2
La guinguette à deux sous - 1, - 2
L' inspecteur Cadavre - 1, - 2, - 3
Les larmes de bougie - 1, - 2
Vente à la bougie - 1, - 2
La maison du juge - 1, - 2, - 3
Mon ami Maigret - 1, - 2, - 3
Maigret à Vichy - 1, - 2
l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 1, - 2
l'Auberge aux Noyés - 1, - 2
Le notaire de Chéteauneuf - 1, - 2
M.Gallet, décédé - 1, - 2, - 3
Le charretier de "La Providence" - 1, - 2
Chez les Flamands - 1, - 2