Riding to work on an open bus, Maigret has his pocket picked, his wallet, including his badge, stolen. He'd seen the young man, but he couldn't give chase. The next day he receives his wallet and all the contents in the mail, and a few minutes later a phone call from the thief, François Ricain, who arranges to meet Maigret near his home. Ricain, terribly agitated, takes Maigret to his apartment on the Rue Saint-Charles, and shows Maigret the body of his wife, Sophie Ricain, dead of a gunshot to the head. Ricain claims it happened while he was out trying to get money for the rent, and that he's been in a panic since, and thought Maigret might believe him. Maigret questions him, and goes to the Old Wine Press, a restaurant where Ricain and his friends related to the movie business gather.
Maigret questions Walter Carus, the producer, richest of the set, as well as his strange mistress Nora. Eventually, returning to Ricain's apartment, Maigret notices Jacques Huguet, the photographer of the group, in his window overlooking the courtyard, and on questioning him, learns that he had seen Ricain leave his apartment that night, and that shortly after Huguet and gone to call on Sophie but there had been no answer. The murder had been by Ricain, who had thought up the pickpocket ploy to throw Maigret off the track. Maigret and Huguet rush to Ricain's apartment, where they find him with his wrists cut, in the bath, but they arrive in time for him to be saved for arrest.
The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson