Inspector Maigret must untangle the web of lies left behind by a murdered man whose family didn't know him as well as they thought. When a man is found stabbed to death in an alley off Boulevard Saint-Martin, his identity card shows a workplace that had gone out of business three years earlier. As far as his wife knew, he still worked there, and she insists that the shoes and a tie he was wearing when he was killed 'couldn't be his'. It soon becomes evident that although he had a source of income, he spent most of his time sitting on a bench in the neighbourhood, often with the same unknown man. Can Maigret find him?