The Crossroad Murders Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Crossroad Murders

For 17 hours Inspector Maigret and Lucas have interrogated Carl Anderson, but he is unperturbed, and sticks to his story. He lives near Arpajon with his sister Else Anderson, at the Three Widows Crossroads. His neighbor, Émile Michonnet's new car has been found in Anderson's garage with a dead man, Isaac Goldberg, a diamond merchant of Antwerp, at the wheel. Anderson's old car was found in Michonnet's garage. Maigret goes to the crossroads with Lucas, and interviews Else, who also claims to know nothing. Mrs. Goldberg comes to Arpajon, but is shot to death before Maigret's eyes, as he goes towards the car. There are only three houses, Anderson's, Michonnet's, and the garage of Mr. Oscar, who regularly invites Maigret in for a drink, which he as regularly refuses. Carl drives off to Paris in the morning to get his monthly pay, but never appears at his company, and his car is found abandoned near the Belgian border, as if he'd crossed over. Else refuses to believe he's run away, but suggests he may be mad.
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That night, Oscar and his wife go to Paris, and Maigret calls in for reinforcements to guard the area. He goes to the garage, and discovers it to be a front for a major fencing operation, and he arrests the mechanic Jojo. A car drives by and shoots at Maigret, who is unhurt. A following car with Inspector Grandjean continues the chase. It was Oscar, his wife, and some other men they'd followed from Paris. Maigret is with Else when another shot rings out, and Carl Anderson is found, wounded twice. He'd been shot in his car that morning, pushed out into the woods, but made his way back, where he was shot again. Else is not in her room... a scream is heard, and she's found in the well with Michonnet, gun in her hand, he choking her. They're all brought into the house, where soon the captured Oscar, Guido Ferrari, an Italian gunman, and the other mechanics are brought.

Else, actually Bertha Krull, and Carl's wife, had arranged with Goldberg to bring stolen jewels to Oscar's, with whom she'd taken up, unknown to Carl. Goldberg was killed, his car hidden, and the switch made to throw suspicion on Carl, who was likely to be arrested or commit suicide. Michonnet had been brought into the gang, seduced by Else, to serve as a signal post for passing trucks and a fence for some of the stolen goods. Ferrari was the killer. All but Carl are arrested, Ferrari sentenced to death. Carl's family have him put in a hospital, but when his mother dies and he inherits, he comes back to Paris to wait the three years for Else's release, saying "After all, she's my wife..."

The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson

Chapter Analysis of The Crossroad Murders

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% 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


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

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--bullets Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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