Maigret’s Anger is my fifth Maigret. It was probably the lightest, easiest one of the lot so far, but it was also very atmospheric. Paris in summer hummed and sweated along in the background as Maigret worked a case around his old beat, in Montmartre.
It was almost as hot that evening as it had been during the day. Maigret went for a walk with his wife and sat outside a cafe in Place de la Republique, nursing a glass of beer for almost an hour.
They talked mainly about their holidays. Many of the men passing by had their jackets over their arms; most of the women were wearing cotton print dresses.
The case was fairly simple to solve, but it got extremely personal when Maigret realised that his good name had been taken in vain by a blackmailing lawyer playing a very lucrative game with his clients. Maigret’s anger is of the steely, self-contained kind. He brooks no arguments or discussion. The guilty flounder (and confess) before his quiet fury.
Fortunately Maigret has his favourite Sunday treat to look forward to – a visit to Morsang-sur-Seine with Madame Maigret and his favourite hotel: Vieux-Garcon.
Reading up on it, he had discovered that Balzac and Alexandre Dumas had once been regular visitors, and that later the Goncourt Brothers, Flaubert, Zola, Alphonse Daudet and others had attended literary lunches there.
They ended up spending a peaceful Sunday by the river…around ten o’clock, as they were finishing their breakfast under the trees, watching the sails manoeuvring on the water, Madame Maigret murmured: ‘Aren’t you going fishing?‘
As a starting point for my #ParisinJuly 2019 campaign, it was ideal. To the point and a reminder of warmer, gentler times.
Favourite Quote: because it sums up Maigret perfectly.
He had the heavy, stubborn look he wore in the doldrums of an investigation, when he didn’t know how to proceed and was half-heartedly trying every angle.
- Translated by William Hobson (who I’ve just discovered also translated Max Gallo’s Napoleon series into English.)
- belote – a popular 32 card, trick-taking, card game invented in France around 1920.