The Friend of Madame Maigret by Georges Simenon

Good one, this. There is a sub plot involving Madame Maigret, whose devoted relationship to here husband is nicely reflected. But the main plot concerns a murder committed by a varied group of individuals and the police inquiry that follows.

As always with Maigret novels, it seems, 1950s Paris can be enjoyed as a place of quaint, village-like relationships and clearly delineated characters: the garrulous cobbler, the nosy concierge, the cynical but essentially public-spirited policeman.

And there is a lot of boozing. Next time I read a Maigret novel, I am going to play that game people sometimes play with certain films, where you have to match a character drink for drink as the work unfolds. I will put some white wine in the fridge, with some cold beers, and see how far I get.

I will report in due course.

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