Maigret is the second Inspector Maigret novel I’ve read by Georges Simenon. I was hopeful that because the title was so simple that this might be the first novel in the set, but no. Pietr the Latvian was the first and Maigret turned out to be novel #19.
This story began with Maigret and his wife being woken in the middle of the night by an unexpected visit from their dopey nephew Philippe, who had foolishly managed to get himself framed for the murder of a gangland crook. Maigret had retired, but returned to Paris to clear his nephew’s name and save him from going to jail for a crime that he knew Philippe hadn’t committed.
Maigret soon realised that although Philippe was also a police officer his former colleagues in the police force had little interest in investigating the murder any further, so although Maigret had no official power, he immersed himself in the world of nightclubs, prostitutes, petty criminals, drug dealers and murderers, endangering his own life in his attempt to prove Philippe’s innocence.
It was clear by the second half of the story who the murderer was, but the interest came from wondering how and if Maigret might be able to prove his case.
As in Lock 14 (The Carter of La Providence), I found Simenon’s writing style to be quite terse but this time I enjoyed it better. More details of Maigret’s character and personal life were included than in the previous novel I’d read and I’m looking forward to discovering more about him as I read more of this series.