Le notaire de Châteauneuf - 2
Gérard Donavent's Cottage
Gérard Donavant, the fiancée of the notary's daughter Armande and son of a master-swindler lives in Châteauneuf also.

"Il a loué depuis un an une maisonnette sur le bord de la Loire et il prépare..." (6)
"Since a year now he has rented a cottage on the bank of the Loire and he prepares... "

"Avec la voiture, vous serez en quelques minutes à son atelier...
Et quelques instants plus tard, en effet, Maigret débarquait dans une petite maison de paysans qu'on avait quelque peu transformée. Elle était isolée au bord de la loire. " (6)
"with the car you will be in his studio in a few minutes. And indeed, only some moments later Maigret arrived at a small country cottage that was somewhat altered. It was situated at the edge of the Loire, on its own."

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Looking for an isolated cottage on the shore of the Loire river, only a few minutes away by car from the notary's residence may look at first sight an onerous undertaking, but it was made easy with the help and the indications of the Goussard family.
Of course, years ago, after reading the story, the family also speculated about the question which cottage Simenon had in mind.
Knowing the area by heart and realizing that there are a limited number of possibilities, they came to the conclusion that it could have been only
La nuit du
La guinguette
à deux sous
L' inspecteur
one particular location. The more so because they knew that Simenon loved to wander around in the surroundings of the places he visited and absorb the ambiance. When someone wants to take a walk from the town of Châteauneuf along the borders of the Loire river, the logical thing to do is go eastward following a path, leading to a spot called: La Ronce.
In fact La Ronce is a historical landmark. It is situated in a sharp bend of the Loire, and gives a magnificent outlook on the river. Thousands of years ago, because of this outlook, but at the time with military objects in view, Celtic tribes founded a settlement there. In time this settlement evolved in what is now the town of Châteauneuf.
La Ronce is a deserted place with only a few houses and a splendid point of view to admire the river and the landscape.
The cottage that is put up on the bank, overlooking the river bend is old but in a very good state. It would have been perfect for an artist, it's quiet, it's superbly situated and it is not more than 2 km from the town center.
Les larmes
de bougie
Vente à la
La maison
du juge
Mon ami
Maigret à
It all adds up perfectly!
"- Si vous le permettez, je rentrerai à pied...
Et Maigret se trouva seul dans les rues de Châteauneuf...
- Dans ce cas, grommela t-il encore en contournant le marché ouvert qui était desert comme un skating..." (6)
"- If you don't mind, I will return on foot...
And a few moments later Maigret was alone in the streets of Châteauneuf...
- In this case, he grumbled by himself while walking by the covered marketplace that was deserted like a empty skating rink..."

The footpath ends by the cottage, the only way to go back to town is via the same path or, taking the small road that leads away from the river and eventually comes out in Châteauneuf's La Grande Rue. It is the only way to get there by car and that is the road that Maigret pursues in the story. Following the main street one sees the typical French covered market place, then the Cathedral and crossing the square taking the first street on the left.., there is the notary's house. It all adds up perfectly.
L'Auberge aux
Le notaire de
Châteauneuf - 1
Le notaire de
Châteauneuf - 2
M.Gallet, décédé
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
First issue
Click on the cover to see a larger image
This story was first published in book form in "Les Nouvelles Enquêtes de Maigret", by Editions Gallimard in 1944. But it has been published before. In 1938 a weekly periodical appears under the name "Police-Film, Police-Roman" [7]. In the 8th edition of this periodical, on June 17th 1938, the story Le notaire de Châteauneuf is inserted. The issue is illustrated with some noteworthy drawings, very much in the spirit of that epoch.
Illustrations from the first issue
Click on the illustration to see a larger image
For more information on the localities go to the Travel Log.
From top to bottom:
- Cottage at La Ronce, Photo: G. de Croock.
- Plan de Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, on : http://www.chateauneuf-sur-loire.com/ website van: Ville de Châteauneuf-sur-loire, adaptation G. de Croock
- Plan de Châteauneuf-sur-Loire on: http://www9.mappy.com, © 2003 Mappy
- Cover and 8 illustrations from the periodical "Police-Film, Police-Roman", #8, June 17th, 1938, Edt. Gilbert Alfred Georges, Corbeil, France.
(6) Georges Simenon, Le notaire de Châteauneuf. In: Oeuvres Complètes, Tome IX, Edition Rencontre, 1967.
(7) Police-Film, Police-Roman (Fr.): Police-Movie, Police-Novel.
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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