Two Bodies on a Barge Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Two Bodies on a Barge

Commissar Maigret is called to the lock at Le Coudray, where a barge, the Astrolabe, cut loose, has drifted. On the board there were three dead bodies: an old Alsacian dog, Claessens, the skipper, Arthur Aerts, hanged with his dog's chain and his wife, Emma Aerts, hanged with a bedsheet. Everyone believes that the murderer is Emile Gradut, the stoker of the Aiglon VII, who was known as Emma's “boyfriend” and who had disappeared. Later, he was captured in the Forest of Rougeau, but he pretended he was innocent.
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Maigret visits the bistro at La Citanguette, where the incident had taken place, then he decides to spend the night on board of the Astrolabe. During the night, he realizes that the reason of the murder was the money, as he knew that Emma had married Arthur for his reputed hoard of 100,000 francs. He digs through the concrete floor and finds the stash, truly 100,000 francs in gold coins. But, if the reason was robbery, why is the money still there and why was the barge cut loose. Also, if Emma wanted her husband's money, why was she dead? Or did Emile kill them both?            

The review of this Book prepared by Dana Samson

Chapter Analysis of Two Bodies on a Barge

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 60%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?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   nearly 100% Special suspect?    -   relative 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

Writing Style

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