Maigret and the Old Lady Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Maigret and the Old Lady

Maigret is visited in his office by Valentine Besson, a lively old widow from Étretat, whose maid, Rose Trochu, has been poisoned — or at least she'd drunk poison that apparently was intended for Valentine. Valentine's step-son, Charles Besson has recently become a Deputy, and the Minister has asked the Chief to send Maigret.
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At Étretat Maigret is met by Inspector Castaing, of Le Havre, who was in charge of the case. So far nothing was clear, but Valentine's daughter, Arlette Sudre, had stayed in the house and been visited by a man Hervé Peyrot, who wasn't her husband. Maigret visits Valentine's house, and has a chance to interview Arlette, and so gets some of the background of the family. Arlette and her mother weren't fond of each other. Maigret had also seen Valentine's two step-sons, Charles and Théo Besson, the latter with Henri Trochu, Rose's brother. Maigret takes a trip to Yport to visit Rose's family, and discovers that she had an emerald ring of great value. He returns to Étretat with Henri, who is soon to set to sea, and charges Castaing with keeping an eye on Théo, who he has learned had been seeing Rose. But Théo has left his room without being spotted, so Maigret and Castaing rush to Valentine's, where they find she has shot Henri through the door, assuming he was trying to break in. But Maigret has understood. Rose had found the emerald, and Théo had learned of it from her, confirming his belief that his step-mother still had her real jewels. Valentine had tricked Rose into drinking the poison once she'd learned Théo was seeing her, afraid of what he'd learn. She called Théo to come up to her house, but he'd sent Henri ahead, and he'd gotten shot in his place.

The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson

Chapter Analysis of Maigret and the Old Lady

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 10%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   nearly 100% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, Foreign Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   French Unusual characteristics:    -   Super genius


Europe    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Georges Simenon Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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