One of the most prolific writers of detective fiction in France and the creator of Inspector Maigret, Georges Simenon was only a teen when he got his start working as a newspaper journalist. By the time he was 19, he had published his first novel and had begun supplying stories for a number of French tabloids. As a novelist he wrote around two score novels under 17 different names between 1924 and 1933. He introduced his Maigret character in 1931 and later wrote 83 novels chronicling his exploits. The character went on to appear in numerous French feature films helmed by the country's biggest directors. By the time of his death in 1989, Simenon had sold hundreds of millions of books and was still popular around the world even though he hadn't penned a new novel since 1973.