Simenon was a machine cranking out these Maigret titles, and I have to think that all the time the chief inspector spends thinking about his retirement – two years away in this book, as he’s fifty-three – reflects an authorial burn-out as well. But then Maigret was ready to retire as early as Lock No. 1, which was still early going in the series, so there’s that.
Another incompatible couple. An older man who is a bit of a loser marries a younger woman who is “petite and very curvaceous, with a come-hither look in her eye, a suggestive pout and seductive manner.” In short, she’s trouble. In these mysteries the women either love too much or not at all, and bubble-headed Ginette falls into the latter category.
This is a weaker effort, as the crime is brutal and uninteresting, the characters dull and undistinguished, and the solution just a matter of following people around.