Jules Maigret, (titled Commissaire) Maigret to most people, including his wife, is a fictional police detective, actually a commissaire or commissioner of the French Sûreté, created by writer Georges Simenon.
Seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short stories about Maigret were published between 1931 and 1972, starting with Pietr-le-Leton (The Case of Peter the Lett) and concluding with Maigret et Monsieur Charles (Maigret and Monsieur Charles). The Maigret stories were also adapted for television and radio.
Some of his trademark features are his pipes, his mixed approach to detecting (at times relying on pure intuition, at times on method), and his fondness for alcohol. Often during an investigation, he will step into a small cafe or bar for a drink and possibly a light lunch. His drink of choice is beer or cider, though he has also been known to drink pastis as well as wine at dinner or when it is the only thing available. This is not to say that he is a drunk, as it is a matter of personal pride that he can hold his liquor, and would be deeply embarrassed if he allowed himself to get intoxicated. Maigret often wears a heavy overcoat, even when traveling to the Riviera — a fact which leads people unfamiliar with him to mark him instantly as a policeman.
Maigret was supposedly born in 1884 at Saint-Fiacre, although different birth dates can be concluded from different books. He is married to Louise, who is almost exclusively referred to as Madame Maigret in the books. They had a daughter who died at birth.
While not having any children of his own, Maigret has shown himself to be fond of children, treating them with kindness and patience, and often indulging them. He is shown as living with his wife at 132 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir in most books but, in Maigret in Retirement, he is said to have retained his apartment on the Place des Vosges in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.
As with most protagonists in detective fiction, he is usually successful. His relationship with his sidekicks, usually junior Metropolitan officers or the local constabulary (when he is away from Paris), is most often portrayed as a mentor-pupil relationship. Maigret is genuinely proud and happy when one of his junior officers meets with some professional success. The role of mindless puppet, only there to contrast with the brilliance of Maigret, is reserved for the public prosecutor or more frequently the Juge d'instruction or Examining Magistrate.
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