cover image Maigret and the Saturday Caller

Maigret and the Saturday Caller

Georges Simenon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $17.95 (124pp) ISBN 978-0-15-155566-6

The redoubtable chief inspector is startled when Leonard Planchon, a desperately unhappy fellow with a harelip, confesses to Maigret that he wants to kill his wife and Roger Prou, her virile young lover. For two years they have tormented him, forcing him to turn over his business, his home, and his half of the bed (he has been relegated to a cot in the dining room). In this first American edition of a 1962 procedural by French master Simenon, Planchon disappears shortly after signing a document turning the business entirely over to Prou, and Maigret, already investigating a jewel robbery and battling an incipient flu, begins digging into a crime that may not have happened. It's a pleasure to follow the inspector through Montmartre as he patiently questions Parisian prostitutes, bartenders and others as to Planchon's whereabouts, stripping away a bit more of the mystery's camouflage with each encounter, arriving finally at a meticulously plotted but strangely disappointing denouement. (May)