A big part of the reason I love reading Maigret’s so much is the glimpse into life in Paris in the middle of the 20th century. Maigret and the Killer opens with Mrs Maigret and her man, dining out with friends discussing the merits of the Madame Pardon’s ‘unparalleled boeuf bourguignon…filling, yet refined‘, provincial cookery that was ‘born of necessity‘, whilst finishing off the meal with the obligatory ‘coffee and calvados‘.
This is the 70th book in the series and the year is 1969. The setting is Quai d’Anjou – the home of the young man killed in the first chapter. His parents are the wealthy owners of a cosmetic company. A stroll around the Quai d’Anjou is definitely on the cards if I ever return to Paris in real life!
As always, time with Maigret is easy. He may be getting stressed out by the details of the crime, but all the reader has to do is simply sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s a pleasure watching how Maigret works to solve the case. It’s a joy to walk the streets of Paris with him and I never get tired of watching him eat. Whether its a golden tench baked in the oven, or ‘rilletes made locally, coq au vin blanc and, after goat’s cheese, rum babas‘ washed down with a little after dinner cognac, Maigret looks forward to each and every meal.
And I look forward to each and every Maigret.
- This Penguin edition was published 5 November 2019.
- Originally titled Maigret et le tueur.
- Translated by Shaun Whiteside.
Book 6 of 20 Books of Summer Winter
- 23. Signe Picpus (1944)
- 30. Maigret’s First Case (1948)
- A Maigret Christmas (1951) | short stories
- 43. Maigret’s Mistake (1953)
- 44. Maigret Goes to School (1953)
- 46. Maigret and the Minister (1955)
- 60. Maigret and the Tramp (1962)
- 61. Maigret’s Anger (1962)
- 62. Maigret and the Ghost (1963)
- 70. Maigret and the Killer (1969)