“One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequaled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.” —The Guardian
When the head of a powerful Parisian family business is murdered in his bed, Maigret must pick apart the family's darkest secrets to reveal the truth
"The curious thing was that there seemed to be no grief here, only a strange dejection, a kind of uneasy stupor..."
Maigret is called to the home of the high-profile Lachaume family where the eldest brother has been found shot dead. But on his arrival, the family closes ranks and claims to have heard and seen nothing at the time of the murder. Maigret must pick his way through the family's web of lies, secrets, and deceit, as well as handle Angelot, a troublesome new breed of magistrate who has waded into the case. And it's the estranged black sheep of the family, Veronique, who may hold the key to it all with her knowledge of the depths to which the family will sink to protect their reputation.
Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses is an engrossing mystery that examines the intricate tangle of artifice that can entrap even the most influential families.
About the Author
Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was born in Liège, Belgium. He is best known in the English-speaking world as the author of the Inspector Maigret books. His prolific output of more than four hundred novels and short stories has made him a household name in continental Europe.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Simenon was so prolific a writer that it can be hard to separate one Maigret story from another. He is reputed to have nearly all of them at one go. There is a sameness to them, but that is a good thing. The stories are as reliable as Maigret himself.Chief Inspector Maigret solves crimes by real police work, investigation, and psychological understanding. He relies on his assistants Lucas, Janvier, and Lapointe to find the answers to his inquiries [albeit most of their work is done off stage (or off page as it were)]. He probes the key witnesses with his sometimes seemingly odd questions. And then at the correct moment he faces the criminal and allows them to confirm their guilt to him. If he can keep the examining magistrate out of the way, that is.Most of his criminals are not particularly evil, just flawed people (like most people) who chose to act wrongly. And most of the victims are not particularly morally elevated. Maigret understands the world is not widely populated with saints and devils. This understanding allows him to be psychologically comfortable in widely differing social settings. And Maigret himself is not without flaws. He is no blooming optimist and is rarely to be found without some cloud hanging over him.In this edition, Maigret's retirement is within sight. He feels nearly used up and passed by. In particular, he has to deal with a young and aggressive chief magistrate, a man from a new more refined and educated generation. A man from an old and formerly wealthy family is murdered by a burglar. Or is he? The family biscuit-making business is in a downward spiral, which is fitting because pretty much the whole family is crackers. Who would bother to kill one of them? And why?