The Death of Monsieur Gallet Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Death of Monsieur Gallet

Émile Gallet, apparently a commercial traveler, had been found dead in a hotel room in Sancerre. But actually for 18 years, unknown to his wife, he had been bilking money from Royalists as Mr. Clément, using the subscription lists from his wife's father's Royalist newspaper, Le Soleil to find his sources. Maigret discovers that he had been to see the owner of the neighboring estate, Tiburce de Saint-Hilaire, apparently attempting to raise 20,000 francs he needed to pay off a blackmailer he didn't know the identity of, who threatened to reveal his dual existence. When Maigret locates the "blackmailer", Mr. Jacob, he turns out to be a news dealer who merely received the packages for Gallet's son's fiancée, Éléonore Boursang, who with Henri Gallet, the son, had been blackmailing him. A visit to a tax agent who had known Gallet in Indo-China leads Maigret to the discovery that Gallet and Saint-Hillaire had switched identities many years earlier, when the real Gallet, in Indo-China, had discovered that Saint-Hillaire was to be the beneficiary of a large inheritance. At the time Saint-Hillaire was impoverished, and so agreed. Since then, after discovering the truth, he had visited Gallet-Saint-Hillaire from time to time to ask for money. This time, unable to pay his debts, he'd worked out an elaborate suicide to look like murder, so that his wife could receive the 300,000 franc policy payment he'd been paying off for the past five years.
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Chapter Analysis of The Death of Monsieur Gallet

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%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% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, Foreign Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   theft/fraud investigation 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

Writing Style

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

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