Georges Simenon: Bill Alder

Most of us who attended the August 4th, ’21 meeting of the Society were familiar with the Belgian author, Georges Simenon (1903-1989), because of his best-selling Inspector Maigret books which were turned into a long-running television series years ago.

We knew little about the author, though, so it was intriguing and most enjoyable to hear

more about him. Bill Alder spoke entertainingly and knowledgeably, painting a picture of a

hard-working and prolific writer who was more interested in the ‘why’ rather than the ‘who dunnit’

aspects of crime and who based his characters on the ordinary people he encountered in daily life.

Simenon wrote in an impressionistic style and often set his stories in provincial locations evoking

what you could call ‘Maigret’s France’. With the support of his wife and his publishers he became

very popular and saw his stories transformed into films and a TV series.

In later life, between 1931 and 1972 , he also wrote 117 other novels which featured anti-heroes, loners and misfits, which were literary in construction and more stylistically sophisticated. These he called his ‘Romans Dur’ or ‘Hard Novels’ . He also wrote what he called his ‘unreliable memoirs.’

Richard Davies


A Simenon Bookshelf


L’Affaire Saint-Fiacre (1932) (The Saint-Fiacre Affair)

L’Ecluse no. 1 (1933) (Lock No. 1)

L’Inspecteur Cadavre (1942) (Inspector Cadaver)

Maigret et la vieille dame (1950) (Maigret and the old lady)

Maigret en meublé (1951) (Maigret takes a room)

Maigret et le corps sans tête (1955) (Maigret and the headless corpse)

Un Echec de Maigret (1956) (Maigret’s Failure)

Maigret aux assisses (1960) (Maigret in court)

Maigret et le voleur paresseux (1961) (Maigret and the lazy burglar)

Maigret et le tueur (1969) (Maigret and the killer)


Romans Durs

Les Fiançailles de Monsieur Hire (1933) (Mr. Hire’s enagagement)

L’Homme de Londres (1934) (The Man from London)

La Fuite de Monsieur Monde (1945) (Monsieur Monde Vanishes)

La Neige était sale (1948) (The Snow was dirty)

Feux rouges (1953) (Red Lights)

Dimanche (1959) (Sunday)

Betty (1961) (Betty)

Le Train (1961) (The Train)

Le Chat (1967) (The Cat)

La Main (1968) (The Hand)