- Series: Inspector Maigret Mysteries
- Paperback: 180 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books (April 21, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0156028409
- ISBN-13: 978-0156028400
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,506,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Maigret and the Burglar's Wife Paperback – April 21, 2003
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"Maigret...ranks with Holmes and Poirot in the pantheon of fictional detective immortals."--People
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Meanwhile, the reader is taken on a tour of 1950s Paris--the suburbs at least--with regular stops at cafes and restaurants. It's a short, but satisfying story that represents author Georges Simenon's mastery of the genre. Entertaining and recommended.
Maigret decides to trust her, for the moment anyway.
The trouble is, there's no corpse to be found - only a lovely home inhabited by an elegant old lady and her dentist son who deny having had a break-in. Simenon faces the daunting task of identifying an invisible corpse and the motives behind the crime (if there was one).
Simenon has a genius for filling out Maigret's character bit by bit in each novel, which may partly explain why these little books are so addictive. You keep wanting more.
Ernestine's levelheaded affection for her hapless husband adds to the charm of the story.
The book opens with Maigret being visited by an old acquaintance called Ernestine Micou. Unfortunately, they had known each other professionally, rather than personally. Seventeen years previously, when she had been more widely known as Lofty, Maigret had arrested her in a small hotel near the Porte Saint Denis. (It had only been a petty theft but Lofty didn't make things easy for Maigret - who'd only been a young cop at the time. She was stark naked when he arrived and refused point blank to get dressed). This time, however, she's coming to Maigret for help - and has arrived fully clothed. Lofty is now married to Alfred Jussiaume - also known as "Sad Freddie", the unluckiest safecracker in France. He had once been employed by Planchart's, a firm of safe makers. Since he installed safes right across Paris, he knows exactly where to go and how to break into them. Unfortunately, he never finds the one big payday he needs inside the safe he has chosen. Despite having already spent five years inside, the press love him, and paint him as something of a romantic figure. Two nights previously, according to Lofty, Freddie went out on a job in Neuilly and never came home. He'd phoned Lofty at five in the morning from a little cafe near the Gare du Nord. Apparently, he'd stumbled across a corpse mid-job, and was spotted fleeing the scene. Since he'd left his tools at the scene and he'd be easily identified by his bike, he's clearly afraid of being set up for murder - so he's decided to make himself scare. There's only one problem : there have been no reports of any murders in Neuilly and no random bodies turning up. Maigret decides to look into things anyhow : he starts with Planchart's, looking for the houses in Neuilly that had a safe installed by Sad Freddie had worked in. They soon settle on Guillaume Serre's house as the most likely scene...unfortunately, not only do the Serres deny there was a murder, they also deny there was an attempted burglary.
A fun book and not a particularly long one - however, it doesn't feel rushed at any point and all the bases are covered. Monsieur Serre isn't a likeable sort - surly and unhelpful, he seems strangely unwilling to answer Maigret's questions. However, Maigret plays it shrewdly, poking in all the right places and asking all the right questions. Very enjoyable.