Not the best in the long running series. On one hand it is a quick read on the other not a whole lot is going on as Maigret gets a letter predicting a murder.
The letter is easy to trace. It leads him to the home of famous maritime lawyer Emile Parendon. Parendon has followed Maigret’s cases in the newspapers and is glad to see him. He’s obsessed with Article 64 of the French Penal Code: “If the person charged with the commission of a felony or misdemeanor was then insane or acted by absolute necessity, no offense has been committed.”
There are a lot of people in the house including Emile’s snobbish w1fe and their two kids who insist on the nicknames Gus and Bambi. Along with numerous household staff and clerks for Parendon is his twenty-four year old secretary Antoinette Vague. Emile didn’t write the letter and Maigret can’t find out who among them all composed it.
Later on a second letter comes in saying Maigret’s wasn’t expected to come by so soon and that pushed up the coming murder. He goes back to the house to talk to everyone. He finds out Emile and Antoinette have been having an affair. His wife caught them once and they now sleep in separate rooms.
Maigret stations a few cops to keep an eye on the house. In spite of all the cautions a murder is committed. Maigret gets his pipe and brain going to solve the case. It wasn’t that hard to figure it out early. If you’re new to the Maigret series don’t start with this one.