Maigret: The Little Restaurant near Place des Ternes

This story is the last, and much the shortest, of the three seasonal pieces collected in A Maigret Christmas (the others being the title novella and Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook). Maigret himself doesn’t appear (he stays at home all day solving the mystery of the secret Santa across the street from his apartment), but we are briefly entertained by Inspector Hard-Done-By, that sad Eeyore of the Paris police, Lognon. At least he doesn’t have the sniffles and isn’t being shot at this time, though he is stuck working on Christmas Eve, and it looks like it’s going to be a late night when a man kills himself in a bar.

That suicide doesn’t turn out to have anything much to do with the rest of the story, which instead leaves the bar behind as a prostitute named Long Tall Jeanne spends her evening keeping a younger woman out of trouble by starting some of her own. So not a mystery at all but “A Christmas Story for Grown-Ups.” Jeanne does have a bit of Maigret about her though in the way she tries to steer a young person away from danger. That’s what good people do in this world.

Maigret index

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