Bibliography  Reference  Forum  Plots   Texts  Simenon  Gallery  Shopping  Film  Links

A Comparison of Simenon's and Drake's
Chronologies of Maigret's Life

The Chronology of Maigret's Life and Career

David F. Drake

1887Jules Amedée François Maigret is born on February 13 in Saint-Fiacre, near Moulins in Central France.
1895-1906Maigret's mother dies in childbirth, forcing Maigret to attend boarding school in Moulins and then to stay with his aunt (his father's sister) in Nantes. His time with his father is limited to weekends and holidays.
1907Maigret enrolls in medical school at Nantes.
1908Maigret's father, Evariste, dies of pleurisy, but his son suspects that it might have been TB.
1909Maigret abandons medical school and Nantes, moves to Paris, and joins the Paris Police Department.
1912Maigret meets and marries Louise Leonard, and the couple moves into an apartment at 132 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir.
1913-1921Maigret conducts his first investigation, M's First Case [1]*, while serving as secretary to the Station Officer of the Saint Georges (17th) District and, as a result of the case, Maigret is promoted to Commissaire (lowest rank) in the Judicial Police, and begins a long and extensive training program in many areas of police operations, such as the vice, public highway, and railway station squads.
1922At 35, Maigret is promoted to Inspector in the Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) and has a case, M Mystified [2], which is written up by Simenon.
1923Only two cases are written up by Simenon, M and the Tavern by the Seine [3] and M and the Yellow Dog [4] in which Maigret is transferred out of Paris to be the Division Superintendent in Luçon and a trouble shooter for the Sûreté Nationale.
1924Simenon summarizes three other cases: "Sale by Auction"[5], M on the Riviera [6], and "The Drowned Men's Inn" [7].
1925Simenon writes three of this year's cases: M in Exile [8], "The Old Lady of Bayeux" [9], and "Evidence of the Altarboy" [10].
1926Maigret returns to CID in Paris, and two cases are summarized: M at the Crossroads [11] and M and the Enigmatic Lett [12] in which he is wounded.
1927The year is spent recovering and repairing relationships within the Judicial Police hierarchy. His only case is his last case as the Superintendent of Flying Squad #1 in M Meets the Milord [13].
1928A death threat draws Maigret back to Saint-Fiacre in M Goes Home [14], and then he stakes his entire career on freeing a wrongly-convicted murderer to catch the real killer in M's War of Nerves [15]. Successful, he is promoted to Chief Inspector and Superintendent of CID.
1929Simenon writes three cases: "Maigret's Pipe" [16], "Death Threats" [17], and "Mr Monday" [18].
1930Simenon writes up three cases, The Madman of Bergerac [19], in which Maigret is again wounded, M Stonewalled [20], and "Death of a Woodlander" [21].
1931Although Maigret is spending much more time on cases in Paris, Simenon chooses to write up two cases while he is out of town: M at Gai-Moulin [22] and M and the Death of the Harbor Master [23] and only one in Paris, "M's Mistake" [24].
1932Again Simenon chooses to write up cases out of Paris in the two '32 cases, M in Holland [25] and M and the Hundred Gibbets [27], and one Paris case, "Madame M's Admirer" [26].
1933Four of five cases are Parisian: "The Man in the Street" [28] and "Death of a Nobody" [29], the third is in Normandy, The Sailor's Rendezvou [30] where Maigret goes to assist a school friend, "The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais" [31], and "In the Rue Pigalle" [32].
1934Again Simenon chooses half of his cases out of Paris, M and the Flemish Shop [33] which Maigret accepts at the request of Madame Maigret's cousin, and "Two Bodies on a Barge" [36], two Parisian cases: "The Most Obstinate Customer in the World" [34] and "The Open Window" [35].
1935Simenon writes up three cases, "Stan the Killer" [37], M and the Spinster [38], and "Death Penalty" [39].
1936Simenon only writes up one of his cases: M and the Hotel Majestic [40].
1937Simenon writes up two cases from the year: M's Rival [41] and M and the Fortuneteller [42].
1938Simenon summarizes three cases: "Jeumont, 51 Minute Stop" [43], M and the Toy Village [44] and M and the Old Lady [45] .
1939-1944Maigret locates Madame Maigret and her sister's family in the Loire valley, and he flees to England to serve as a colonel in the Free French Army and Security Director for General de Gaulle (an assignment that Maigret never discusses and on which Simenon, respecting his wishes for secrecy, only makes one slip in a later case write up).**
1945Maigret returns from the war to resume his position as Chief Inspector and Superintendent of CID, but only two cases are described, "M and The Surly Inspector" [46], which is Lognon's first case, and "M's Christmas" [47].
1946Maigret resumes his full case work: My Friend M [48], and M and the Burglar's Wife [49].
1947Simenon writes up three cases: M's Special Murder [50], M Goes to School [51], and M on Holiday [52].
1948Maigret makes his first trip to U. S. for M at the Coroner's [56], and a new inspector, Albert Lapointe, joins the squad for M and the Calame Report [54], which saves a French government from scandal. Three other cases are written up: M and the Young Girl [53], M's Revolver [55], and M and the Gangsters [57],
1949Janvier is wounded in M Takes a Room [58] and Simenon writes up three other cases: M Sets a Trap [59], M and the Millionaires [60], and M and the Man on the Bench [61].
1950Five cases are summarized, Madame M's Own Case [62], M and the Headless Corpse [63], M in Montmartre [64] in which Lapointe gets too personally involved, M's Mistake [65], and M's Failure [66].
1951Six cases are recorded: M Has Scruples [67], M Has Doubts [68], M Loses His Temper [69], M's Little Joke [70], which is Judge Comeliau's last case due to retirement and Maigret misses it, M in Court [71] in which the loss of Maigret's stove is reported, and M and the Reluctant Witnesses [72]. The Maigrets also begin preparations for retirement by buying an old rectory in Meung-sur-Loire.
1952Simenon summarizes five cases in Maigret's 65th year: M and the Nahour Case [73], M and the Lazy Burglar [74], which is Lognon's penultimate case with the chief inspector, M and the Bum [75], M and the Informer [76], and M and the Loner [77]. Maigret suffers the first loss of an immediate staff associate when Dr. Paul dies in January.
1953Four cases are selected for summarizing this year: M and the Apparition [78] , M and the Madwoman [79], M's Boyhood Friend [80], and M and the Black Sheep [81].
1954For the first time Maigret's integrity is challenged in M on the Defensive [85]. Four other cases are summarized: M and the Saturday Caller [82], M Afraid [83], M in Society [84], and M Bides His Time [86],
1955Simenon is slowing down and only four cases are written up: M and the Killer [87], M's Pickpocket [88], M in Vichy [89], and M and the Wine Merchant [90].
1956Four cases describe Maigret's last year of active duty: M Hesitates [91], M and Monsieur Charles [92], The Lock at Charenton [93], and, on almost his last day, "At the Etoile du Nord" (94]. On May, 15, at 69, Maigret retires to his cottage in Meung-sur-Loire. In the fall Maigret accidentally gets involved in his first retirement case while on a trip to England in "Storm in the Channel" [95].
1957In his first year of retirement, Maigret is tricked into returning to Paris for his first private case, "Mademoiselle Berthe and Her Lover" [96], and returns to the United States for his second, M in New York's Underworld [97].
1958At 71 Maigret accepts his last three cases: M Returns [98] to clear his nephew of murder charges, and aids in clearing up two wealthy family scandals in "The Three Daughters of the Lawyer" [98] and M in Retirement [100], which brings him into an adversarial contact with a boyhood acquaintance in his final, final case.
1959The shooting of a fellow belote player in "The Group at the Grand-Café" [101] makes a recluse of Maigret, who refuses to cooperate with the police inquiry or to tell Madame Maigret what happened for three years, treating her like a Dr. Watson.
1960While on vacation alone in Cannes, Madame Maigret was off caring for an aunt in Quimper, Maigret learns of a crime in his hotel, questions the prime suspect, and later serves as a witness at the suspect's trial in "The Unlikely Monsieur Owen" [102]. Although technically not his case, Maigret solves one last murder. Malgret's Memoirs [103] are finally completed and published without much fanfare in Meung-sur-Loire.
1972At 85 Maigret is hit by a tour bus and killed instantly. His sense of smell and his sight were still acute, but his hearing loss was his downfall. Louise handles his unexpected death much better than expected, and she becomes Maigret's replacement in his old belote game. She lives comfortably and happily into her 90s without remarrying.**

* The number in brackets indicates the order of Maigret's cases and the letter M represents "Maigret" in the case names (novel titles are italicized and short story titles are in quotation marks).
** (not reported by Simenon)

Home  Bibliography  Reference  Forum  Plots   Texts  Simenon  Gallery  Shopping  Film  Links