The Shadow in the Courtyard Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Shadow in the Courtyard

Maigret is called to the Place des Vosges, where the owner of a drug company, Raymond Couchet, has been found shot to death, seated at his desk. Behind him, the empty safe, unlocked, but unreachable with him in his chair. Maigret wonders if the robbery and murder were two separate crimes. He soon becomes convinced that the answer lies among the residents of the block of apartments. Couchet's former wife, Juliette Martin and her husband live across the square. His girlfriend, Nine Moinard, a sometime dancer, lives in the Hôtel Pigalle, and in the next room lives Couchet's son, Roger Couchet.
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Mrs. Martin comes to Maigret's office, and Maigret visits her home to return a forgotten umbrella, where he discovers that the window overlooks Couchet's office. Both Mrs. and Mr. Edgar Martin had been seen scavenging among the rubbish bins the night of the crime. Roger commits suicide, jumping out of his hotel window, and Couchet's will is found, leaving a third of his fortune to his wife, his ex-wife, and his girlfriend. Mrs. Martin becomes ill, and Maigret's suspicion's focus on the Martins. Mr. Martin heads for the Belgian border, with Maigret in pursuit, and they return to his apatment for a final confrontation, where it turns out his wife nagged him into robbing the safe while Couchet was away at the toilet, but he forgot his glove on the desk. She went down to the office with a revolver, was caught by Couchet, who threatened to call the police, and she shot him. Her husband, feeling guilty, tossed the money into the Seine, and didn't realize his wife was the murderer till later. His run to Belgium had been to establish her innocence, so that she could inherit. Apprehended, she loses her mind.
The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson

Chapter Analysis of The Shadow in the Courtyard

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% 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% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect 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    -   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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