Maigret and the Headless Corpse

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First edition (publ. Presses de la Cité)

Maigret and the Headless Corpse (French: Maigret et le corps sans tête) is a detective novel by the Belgian writer Georges Simenon.


When a man's arm is fished out of the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, Maigret and his colleagues are puzzled. A woman's arm they would understand as the work of a psychopath or a man's body as a gang related killing, but they are even more puzzled when the rest of the man, minus his head, is dug out of the Canal. Maigret's attention turns to Madame Calas, a strange woman running a bistro along with her husband near the canal. The husband is away in the country, Madame Calas willingly sleeps with anyone who asks (Maigret does not test this theory) and the judge soon arrests her, her lover (the main one), and a young delivery boy (also a lover). But Maigret is not satisfied and pushes further and uncovers a story, and a motivation for murder, that is far stranger than anything he has ever seen before.

Originally written in French in 1955,[1] the novel was translated into English by Eileen Ellenbogen and published by Harcourt Brace in 1968.


A BBC TV version of the book first aired on October 30, 1963 under the title A simple case with Rupert Davies playing Maigret.[2] A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation version aired in 1957 with Budd Knapp as Maigret.[3]

Two French TV adaptations have been aired both under the French title, Maigret et le corps sans tête. Jean Richard starred in the first which aired on 8 March 1974.[4] and Bruno Cremer starred in the second, which aired on 11 September 1992.


  1. ^ Liukkonen, Petri. "Georges Simenon". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Maigret Films & TV
  3. ^
  4. ^ Maigret Films & TV