cover image The Door

The Door

Georges Simenon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $18.95 (138pp) ISBN 978-0-15-126370-7

Chief Inspector Maigret remains in remarkably good humor tackling this knotty case involving a Belgian emigre bookbinder accused of burning a body in his furnace. The protracted search for evidence beyond the teeth found in the furnace and a blood-stained suit follows the arrival of spring in Paris, which finds Mme. Maigret befriending a woman in a white hat and the little boy she watches in the Place d'Anvers. When it turns out they are connected to her husband's case, Mme. Maigret herself begins to sleuth, tracking down the milliner who made the woman's hat. The ensuing complications involve an ambitious young attorney hoping to make a name for himself from the case, a circus acrobat turned con man, an elderly Italian countess and the leak of information from the Police Judiciare via the sister of a young policeman. Published in France in 1950, this tale is looser in plot than other Maigret mysteries, but, like them, displays Simenon's convincing evocation of his hero's world. (Sept.)