Jules Maigret

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Jules Maigret
Bruno Crémer.jpg
Bruno Cremer as Jules Maigret
First appearance The Strange Case of Peter the Lett
Last appearance Maigret and Monsieur Charles
Created by Georges Simenon
Portrayed by Charles Laughton
Bruno Cremer
Jean Gabin
Jean Richard
Gino Cervi
Richard Harris
Michael Gambon
Rupert Davies
Basil Sydney
Maurice Denham
Rowan Atkinson
Gender Male
Occupation Police officer
Family Evariste Maigret (father)
Hernance Maigret (mother)
Spouse(s) Louise Léonard (m. 1912)
Nationality France French

Jules Amedée François Maigret [ʒyl mɛɡʁɛ], simply Jules Maigret or Maigret to most people, is a fictional French police detective, actually a commissaire or commissioner of the Paris "Brigade Criminelle" (Direction Régionale de Police Judiciaire de Paris), created by writer Georges Simenon.

Seventy-six novels and twenty-eight short stories about Maigret were published between 1931 and 1972, starting with Pietr-le-Letton (Pietr the Lett) and concluding with Maigret et Monsieur Charles (Maigret and Monsieur Charles). The Maigret stories were also adapted for television and radio.

An ambitious project by Penguin Books saw the publication of new translations of 75 books in Georges Simenon’s Maigret series over as many months begin in November 2013, by translators David Bellos, Anthea Bell, and Ros Schwartz.[1]


The character of Maigret was invented, but after the first few novels was influenced by Chief Inspector Marcel Guillaume, said to be the greatest French detective of his day, who became a long-time friend of Simenon.[2]

Maigret is described as a large, broad shouldered man — he is gruff, but patient and fair. Recurring characters in the series include Maigret's wife Louise (usually referred to simply as Madame Maigret) and in particular "The Faithful Four", a group consisting of his four loyal police colleagues (Sgt./Inspector Lucas, Janvier, Lapointe and Torrence).

List of novels[edit]

List of Maigret novels by date of French-language publication.

Title Date English title(s)
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
Le Charretier de la Providence 1931 The Crime at Lock 14
Maigret Meets a Milord
Lock 14
The Carter of La Providence
M. Gallet décédé 1931 The Death of Monsieur Gallet
Maigret Stonewalled
The Late Monsieur Gallet
Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien 1931 The Crime of Inspector Maigret
Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets
The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien
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
Le Chien jaune 1931 A Face for a Clue
Maigret and the Concarneau Murders
Maigret and the Yellow Dog
The Yellow Dog
La Nuit du carrefour 1931 Maigret at the Crossroads
Night at the Crossroads
The Night at the Crossroads
Un Crime en Hollande 1931 A Crime in Holland
Maigret in Holland
Au Rendez-vous des Terre-Neuves 1931 The Sailors' Rendezvous
Maigret Answers a Plea
The Grand Banks Cafe
La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin 1931 At the Gai Moulin
Maigret at the Gai Moulin
The Dancer at the Gai Moulin
La Guinguette à deux sous 1932 Guinguette by the Seine
Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine
Maigret to the Rescue
A Spot by the Seine
The Bar on the Seine
The Two-Penny Bar
L'Ombre chinoise 1932 The Shadow in the Courtyard
Maigret Mystified
The Shadow Puppet
L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre 1932 Maigret and the Countess
The Saint-Fiacre Affair
Maigret Goes Home
Maigret on Home Ground
Chez les Flamands 1932 The Flemish Shop
Maigret and the Flemish Shop
The Flemish House
Le Port des brumes 1932 Death of a Harbour Master
Maigret and the Death of a Harbor Master
The Port of Shadows
The Misty Harbour
Le Fou de Bergerac 1932 The Madman of Bergerac
Liberty Bar 1932 Liberty Bar
Maigret on the Riviera
L'Écluse no. 1 1933 The Lock at Charenton
Maigret Sits It Out
Lock No. 1
La femme rousse 1933 The Redhead
Maigret 1934 Maigret Returns
La Maison du juge 1942 Maigret in Exile
The Judge's House
Les Caves du Majestic 1942 Maigret and the Hotel Majestic
The Hotel Majestic
The Cellars of the Majestic
Cécile est morte 1942 Maigret and the Spinster
Cecile is Dead
Signé Picpus 1944 Maigret and the Fortuneteller
Signed, Picpus
Félicie est là 1944 Maigret and the Toy Village
L'Inspecteur Cadavre 1944 Maigret's Rival
Inspector Cadaver
Maigret se fâche August 1945 Maigret in Retirement
Maigret Gets Angry
Maigret à New York March 1946 Maigret in New York
Inspector Maigret in New York's Underworld
Maigret in New York's Underworld
Les Vacances de Maigret November 1947 A Summer Holiday
No Vacation for Maigret
Maigret on Holiday
Maigret's Holiday
Maigret et son mort January 1948 Maigret's Dead Man
Maigret's Special Murder
La Première enquête de Maigret, 1913 October 1948 Maigret's First Case
Mon ami Maigret February 1949 My Friend Maigret
The Methods of Maigret
Maigret chez le coroner July 1949 Maigret at the Coroner's
L'Amie de Mme Maigret December 1949 Madame Maigret's Own Case
Madame Maigret's Friend
The Friend of Madame Maigret
Les Mémoires de Maigret September 1950 Maigret's Memoirs
Maigret et la vieille dame December 1950 Maigret and the Old Lady
Maigret au "Picratt's" December 1950 Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret in Montmartre
Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret at Picratt's
Maigret en meublé February 1951 Maigret Takes a Room
Maigret Rents a Room
Maigret et la grande perche May 1951 Inspector Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret and the Tall Woman
Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters September 1951 Inspector Maigret and the Killers
Maigret and the Gangsters
Maigret, Lognon and the Gangsters
Le Revolver de Maigret June 1952 Maigret's Revolver
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
Maigret a peur March 1953 Maigret Afraid
Maigret is Afraid
Maigret se trompe August 1953 Maigret's Mistake
Maigret à l'école December 1953 Maigret Goes to School
Maigret et la jeune morte January 1954 Inspector Maigret and the Dead Girl
Maigret and the Young Girl
Maigret and the Dead Girl
Maigret chez le ministre August 1954 Maigret and the Minister
Maigret and the Calame Report
Maigret et le corps sans tête January 1955 Maigret and the Headless Corpse
Maigret tend un piège July 1955 Maigret Sets a Trap
Un Échec de Maigret March 1956 Maigret's Failure
Maigret s'amuse September 1956 Maigret's Little Joke
None of Maigret's Business
Maigret voyage August 1957 Maigret and the Millionaires
Les Scrupules de Maigret December 1957 Maigret Has Scruples
Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants October 1958 Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses
Une Confidence de Maigret May 1959 Maigret Has Doubts
Maigret aux assises November 1959 Maigret in Court
Maigret et les vieillards June 1960 Maigret in Society
Maigret et le voleur paresseux January 1961 Maigret and the Lazy Burglar
Maigret and the Idle Burglar
Maigret et les braves gens September 1961 Maigret and the Black Sheep
Maigret et le client du samedi February 1962 Maigret and the Saturday Caller
Maigret et le clochard May 1962 Maigret and the Dosser
Maigret and the Bum
La Colère de Maigret June 1962 Maigret Loses His Temper
Maigret et le fantôme June 1963 Maigret and the Ghost
Maigret and the Apparition
Maigret se défend July 1964 Maigret on the Defensive
La Patience de Maigret March 1965 The Patience of Maigret
Maigret Bides His Time
Maigret et l'affaire Nahour February 1966 Maigret and the Nahour Case
Le Voleur de Maigret November 1966 Maigret's Pickpocket
Maigret and the Pickpocket
Maigret à Vichy September 1967 Maigret Takes the Waters
Maigret in Vichy
Maigret hésite January 1968 Maigret Hesitates
L'Ami d'enfance de Maigret June 1968 Maigret's Boyhood Friend
Maigret et le tueur April 1969 Maigret and the Killer
Maigret et le marchand de vin September 1969 Maigret and the Wine Merchant
La Folle de Maigret May 1970 Maigret and the Madwoman
Maigret et l'homme tout seul February 1971 Maigret and the Loner
Maigret et l'indicateur June 1971 Maigret and the Flea
Maigret and the Informer
Maigret et Monsieur Charles February 1972 Maigret and Monsieur Charles

List of short stories[edit]

List of Maigret short stories by date of publication.

Title Date English title(s)
"Une erreur de Maigret" 1938 "Maigret's Mistake"
"L'amoureux de Madame Maigret" 1938 "The Stronger Vessel"
"Madame Maigret's Admirer"
"Stan le tueur" 1938 "Stan the Killer"
"L'Auberge aux noyés" 1938 "The Inn of the Drowned"
"The Drowned Men's Inn"
"La péniche aux deux pendus" 1938 "The Barge with Two Hanging Bodies"
"Inspector Maigret Thinks"
"Dead Man's Barge"
"Two Bodies on a Barge"
"L'affaire du Boulevard Beaumarchais" 1938 "The Affair of the Boulevard Beaumarchais"
"The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais"
"Monsieur Lundi" 1938 "Mr. Monday"
"Inspector Maigret Hesitates"
"Jeumont, 51 minutes d'arrêt" 1938 "Jeumont, 51 Minutes Wait!"
"Inspector Maigret Deduces"
"Jeumont, 51 Minutes Stop"
"Les larmes de bougie" 1938 "Journey Into Time"
"Journey Backward Into Time"
"Death of a Woodlander"
"Rue Pigalle" 1938 "Rue Pigalle"
"Inspector Maigret Investigates"
"In the Rue Pigalle"
"La vieille dame de Bayeux" 1938 "The Old Lady of Bayeux"
"L'Étoile du Nord" 1938 "At the Étoile du Nord"
"Tempête sur la Manche" 1938 "Storm in the Channel"
"Storm over the Channel"
"Mademoiselle Berthe et son amant" 1938 "Maigret and the Frightened Dressmaker"
"Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover"
"L'improbable Monsieur Owen" 1938 "The Unlikely Monsieur Owen"
"Ceux du Grand Café" 1938 "The Group at the Grand-Café"
"Le Notaire du Châteauneuf" 1938 "Inspector Maigret and the Missing Miniatures"
"The Three Daughters of the Lawyer"
"La fenêtre ouverte" 1938 "The Open Window"
"Inspector Maigret Smokes His Pipe"
"L'Homme dans la rue" 1939 "The Man on the Run"
"Inspector Maigret Pursues"
"The Man in the Street"
"Vente à la bougie" 1939 "Under the Hammer"
"Inspector Maigret Directs"
"Sale by Auction"
"Menaces de mort" 1942 "Death Threats"
"La pipe de Maigret" June 1945 "Maigret's Pipe"
"Le témoinage de l'enfant de choeur" 1946 "Elusive Witness"
"According to the Altar Boy"
"Crime in the Rue Sainte-Catherine"
"The Evidence of the Altar-Boy"
"Le client le plus obstiné du monde" May 1946 "The Most Obstinate Man in Paris"
"The Most Obstinate Customer in the World"
"The Most Obstinate Man in the World"
"Maigret et l'inspecteur malgracieux" May 1946 "Maigret and the Surly Inspector"
"On ne tue pas les pauvres types" August 1946 "Death of a Nobody"
"Sous peine de mort" November 1946 "Inspector Maigret's War of Nerves"
"Death Penalty"
"Un Noël de Maigret" May 1950 "Maigret's Christmas"

In other media[edit]


The cinematic potential of Maigret was realized quickly: the first screen Maigret was Pierre Renoir in 1932's Night at the Crossroads, directed by his brother Jean Renoir; the same year brought The Yellow Dog with Abel Tarride, and Harry Baur played him in 1933's La Tête d'un homme, directed by Julien Duvivier.

Charles Laughton played the first English-language Maigret in the 1950 film, The Man on the Eiffel Tower (adapted from the 1931 novel "La Tête d'un homme (A Man's Head)"). The film co-starred Franchot Tone, Burgess Meredith and Wilfrid Hyde-White.

In France, Jean Gabin played the part in three films, released in 1957, 1959 and 1963.


There have been numerous incarnations of Maigret on the small screen all around the world. He has been portrayed by French, British, Irish, Austrian, German, Italian, Dutch, Japanese and Russian actors.

A French version, Les Enquêtes du Commissaire Maigret, starred Jean Richard in more than 80 episodes of a long-running series from 1967 to 1990 on French television — however, Simenon himself is said to have disliked Richard's Maigret because he would not take his hat off when entering a room. Later, Bruno Cremer played the character in 54 adaptations during 1991–2005.

The Italian actor Gino Cervi played the character on Italian television, starting from 1964 up to 1972; Simenon himself considered Cervi's interpretation of the character to be possibly the best. This series resulted in 14 novels and 2 short stories being adapted: "Maigret and the Spinster", "To Any Lengths", "Maigret's Christmas", "A Battle of Nerves", "Death of a Nobody", "Death of a Harbour Master", "The Old Lady of Bayeux", "Madame Maigret's Admirer", "Maigret's Pipe", "The Headless Corpse", "Maigret and the Surly Inspector", "The Lock at Charenton", "Maigret on the Defensive", "Madman of Bergerac", "Maigret and the Loner", and "Maigret in Retirement".

In the Soviet Union Russian theater actor Boris Tenin portrayed Maigret in a number of TV films in the 1970s. In Soviet cinema, apart from Boris Tenin, Maigret was portrayed by cinema actors Vladimir Samoylov and Armen Dzigarkhanyan.

In Japan, Kinya Aikawa played Megure, a Japanese-born equivalent to the French Maigret, reinvented in a modern Japanese setting, in Tōkyō Megure Keishi,[3] a 25-episode TV Series aired from 14 April to 29 May 1978 on Asahi TV. Megure's wife was played by Etsuko Ichihara, who earned the praises of Simenon himself: "The best 'Madame Maigret' in my opinion, even including the French ones, was the 'Madame Maigret' on Japanese television. She was exactly right".[4]

The title role in the British Maigret TV series was played by the actor Rupert Davies who made his debut on 31 October 1960. Davies took over the part after Basil Sydney, who appeared as Maigret in the original transmitted pilot, proved unavailable due to ill-health. Davies went on to star in 52 adaptations for BBC TV in the 1960s. His portrayal won two of the highest accolades: his versions were dubbed into French and played across the Channel; and Simenon himself presented Davies with a novel inscribed to his "perfect Maigret". The theme tune to the TV series was composed by Ron Grainer.

Granada Television produced an adaptation of Maigret for ITV in 1992 and 1993, in which Michael Gambon starred as Maigret; there were 12 adaptations in the two series. An earlier version (1988) on ITV cast Richard Harris in the lead role, with a somewhat idiosyncratic reading of the character.[according to whom?]

Rowan Atkinson plays Maigret in Maigret for TV-films made by ITV from 2016. The first two episodes were adapted from Maigret Sets a Trap and Maigret's Dead Man. Two further episodes have been commissioned for broadcast in 2017.[citation needed]


Maigret statue by Pieter d'Hont in Delfzijl. The unveiling was made by Simenon himself on 3 September 1966, at the place where he had written the first Maigret novel, and was attended by Maigret actors from various countries.[5]
Jules Maigret memorial plaque

Maurice Denham played Chief Inspector Maigret in a series of half-hour dramatizations of the novels on BBC Radio 4 from 1992 to 2002, with Michael Gough playing Georges Simenon.

The format of each play would begin with Maigret and Simenon sitting together discussing some fact or event which would then lead into Maigret's recounting a particular case, with Simenon asking questions or commenting from time to time.

After Denham's death, the series was continued in 2003 with Nicholas Le Prevost playing a gruffer, more earthy Maigret and Julian Barnes playing Simenon.


Jacques Blondeau adapted the novels into the comic series 'Maigret' (1950-1953), published in Samedi Soir and Paris Journal.[6] Rumeu (drawings) and Camille Dulac (script) adapted the Maigret story 'L' Affaire Nahour' into the comic strip 'Maigret' in 1969. Between 1992 and 1997 the series 'Maigret' inspired five albums, drawn by Philippe Wurm and Frank Brichau.[7]

Other appearances[edit]

Inspector Juzo Megure from Detective Conan is loosely based on Maigret, in both appearance and name. Both are police inspectors, and are known for wearing hats and overcoats. The rendering in the Japanese syllabary for Megure and Maigret is the same (me-gu-re; in other words, the names are pronounced the same in Japanese).

Maigret himself was also highlighted in volume 5 of the Detective Conan manga's edition of "Gosho Aoyama's Mystery Library", a section of the graphic novels where the author introduces a different detective (or occasionally, a villain) from mystery literature, television, or other media.

The character of Detective Marcel Guillame appears as a visiting investigator on the fourth season episode "Monsieur Murdoch" of "Murdoch Mysteries".


External links[edit]