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Maigret in Society Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Maigret in Society

Maigret is requested by the Director to handle the murder of an ex-Foreign Ministry official, Comte Armand de Saint-Hilaire, who had retired 12 years earlier, found shot in his study, by his housekeeper of 42 years, Jaquette Larrieu. His death coincides with the funeral of Prince Hubert de Vth, of one of the great French familes. Prince Hubert's wife, Princess Isabelle de Vth, had been a lifelong friend of Saint-Hilaire's they'd intended to marry, but circumstances weren't apt, and she'd married Prince Hubert. They'd maintained a life-long correspondence, and everyone had known the romantic story that they intended to marry at the death of Prince Hubert. Saint-Hilaire had no enemies, and there was no sign of forced entry. All of the people connected were old and noteworthy.
After reading Isabelle's letters to Saint-Hilaire, and interviewing everyone concerned, Maigret is at a loss. However, Maigret has Moers administer a paraffin test to Jaquette, and to everyone's shock, it is positive. She refuses to say anything until she confers with a priest. Saint-Hilaire had committed suicide, and when she'd found the body she'd been afraid he wouldn't be able to receive the last blessing of the Church, and so she'd made it look like a murder. Maigret learned from his "nephew", actually Isabelle's grandson, that he believed he had a terminal disease, and so killed himself from fear of subjecting Isabelle a life of caring for him as an invalid.
This report prepared by Dana Samson








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Chapter Analysis of Maigret in Society

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 50%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%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?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues 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

Setting

Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets 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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