While Maigret is dining at Pardon's a neighbor, Gino Pagliati comes in to report that a young man has been stabbed in the Rue Popincourt. He was Antoine Batille, son of the owner of Mylène perfume and beauty aids. He'd been wearing a tape recorder, as his hobby was recording and collecting sounds and conversations. He died upon arrival at the hospital. There seemed to be no motive for the crime, but one of his last recordings included a conversation at the Café des Amis, which sounded like a robbery was being planned. Some of the men on the tape are identified, and watched, and with the assistance of Superintendent Grosjean of CID, are caught in the act of burglarizing a villa outside of Paris. But the men do not seem likely to be involved in Batille's stabbing, and furthermore, hadn't taken the recorder, which would have been their only motive.
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Maigret has photos taken of everyone who attended Antoine Batille's funeral, and finds a man wearing the same outfit as the killer's, who appears frequently. A photo of one of the men in the robbery with the caption "Is this the killer" brings an anonymous response of "No", and further responses are followed by phone calls to Maigret from the killer, who finally appears in person at Maigret's home to surrender. He was Robert Bureau, who had killed a boy when he was 14, and been haunted by the urge to kill ever since. He'd kept himself in control until the evening of Antoine Batille. Though Maigret hoped he'd receive treatment, he was sentenced to 15 years.
The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson