My Favourite Maigret Novels So Far

25tmag-rosen-1-jumboHaving read a fair amount of Maigret novels, I would like to highlight here some of my favourite stories (in order of publication)

  1. The Carter of ‘La Providence’ (Fayard cycle) Le Charretier de “la Providence”: Inspector Maigret is standing in the pouring rain by a canal. A well-dressed woman, Mary Lampson, has been found strangled in a stable nearby. Why did her glamorous, hedonistic life come to such a brutal end here? Surely her taciturn husband Sir Walter knows – or maybe the answers lie with the crew of the barge La Providence.
  2. A Crime in Holland (Fayard cycle) Un crime en Hollande: When a French professor visiting the quiet, Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they’re letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer, Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased and a notorious local crook.
  3. A Man’s Head (Fayard cycle) La Tête d’un homme [L’homme de la Tour Eiffel]: Maigret sets out to prove the innocence of a man condemned to death for a brutal murder. As his audacious plan to uncover the truth unfolds, he encounters rich American expatriates, some truly dangerous characters and their hidden motives.
  4. The Saint-Fiacre Affair (Fayard cycle) L’Affaire Saint-Fiacre: The last time Maigret went home to the village of his birth was for his father’s funeral. Now an anonymous note predicting a crime during All Souls’ Day mass draws him back there, where troubling memories resurface and hidden vices are revealed.
  5. The Flemish House (Fayard cycle) Chez les Flamands: Maigret is asked to the windswept, rainy border town of Givet by a young woman desperate to clear her family of murder. But their well-kept shop, the sleepy community and its raging river all hide their own mysteries.
  6. Liberty Bar (Fayard cycle) Liberty Bar: Dazzled at first by the glamour of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Riviera as he retraces the final steps of a local eccentric.
  7. Cécile is Dead (Gallimard cycle) Cécile est morte: In the dreary suburbs of Paris, the merciless greed of a seemingly respectable woman is unearthed by her long suffering niece, and Maigret discovers the far-reaching consequences of their actions.
  8. The Cellars of the Majestic  (Gallimard cycle) Les Caves du Majestic: Below stairs at a glamorous hotel on the Champs-Élysées, the workers’ lives are worlds away from the luxury enjoyed by the wealthy guests. When their worlds meet, Maigret discovers a tragic story of ambition, blackmail and unrequited love.
  9. Signed, Picpus  (Gallimard cycle) Signé Picpus: A mysterious note predicting the murder of a fortune-teller; a confused old man locked in a Paris apartment; a financier who goes fishing; a South American heiress … Maigret must make his way through a frustrating maze of clues, suspects and motives to find out what connects them.
  10. Maigret’s Holiday (Presses de la Cité cycle) Les Vacances de Maigret: When Inspector Maigret’s wife falls ill on their seaside holiday, a visit to the hospital leads him on an unexpected quest to find justice for a young girl.
  11. My Friend Maigret (Presses de la Cité cycle) Mon ami Maigret: An officer from Scotland Yard is studying Maigret’s methods when a call from an island off the Côte d’Azure sends the two men off to an isolated community to investigate its eccentric inhabitants.
  12. Maigret at Picratt’s (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret au “Picratt’s”: A young cabaret dancer in a black silk dress leads Maigret into a seamy world of nightclubs, drug addiction and exploitation on the streets of Montmartre.
  13. Maigret’s Mistake(Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret se trompe: Maigret’s fascination with a charismatic brain surgeon nearly blinds him to the truth at the heart of a case involving a mysterious young woman in a luxury Paris apartment block, in Book 43 of the Maigret series.
  14. Maigret Goes to School (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret à l’école: When a school teacher from a small coastal town near La Rochelle asks Maigret to help prove he is innocent of murder, the Inspector returns with him to his insular community and finds the residents closing ranks to conceal the truth.
  15. Maigret`s Doubts (Presses de la Cité cycle) Les Scrupules de Maigret: When a salesman from a Paris department store confides his secret fears to Maigret, the Inspector soon becomes caught up in a treacherous feud between husband and wife that is not as clear cut as it seems.
  16. Maigret Sets a Trap (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret tend un piège: Paris comes under siege when someone starts killing women on the streets one summer – and Maigret must hatch a plan to lure the murderer out.
  17. Maigret in Court (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret aux assises: Maigret receives an anonymous phone call concerning the brutal murder of a woman and young child. The tip off concerns the woman’s nephew, a mild-mannered man by the name of Gaston Meurant. Maigret remains unconvinced of the man’s guilt and at his trial exposes some shocking truths about Meurant’s private life that may prove his innocence.
  18. Maigret and the Old People (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret et les vieillards: Maigret is called to the home of Armand de Saint-Hilaire, a highly respected official who has been found shot dead in his study by his housekeeper. After interviewing everyone concerned Maigret is at a loss to the identity of the perpetrator until he comes across a series of letters from the past fifty years between the victim and a recently widowed woman. As Maigret uncovers the details behind the two’s relationship he gets closer to discovering the tragic truth behind the official’s demise.

    4 thoughts on “My Favourite Maigret Novels So Far”

    1. That’s quite a lot of favourites, Jose! And a few of my own favourites in there too (Maigret’s Mistake, My Friend Maigret, Maigret Goes to school). I also like The Yellow Dog and Night at the Crossroads (not sure if that’s how they have been translated).

    2. This is a very helpful list, as I’ve been considering trying some Maigret and have no idea where among the 432 available title to begin. So, thank-you! I’ll be sure to bear your recommendations in mind when I eventually get round to more Simenon.

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