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Prosper, the head coffee maker at a luxury hotel in the Rue de Ponthieu, gets a flat tire on the way to work. It isn't long after his late arrival that he finds the body of a hotel guest in the staff locker room.
We meet an assortment of characters, including some aging "hostesses" who are no better than they ought to be. These are not Somerset Maugham's "Three Fat Ladies of Antibes," but three of a very different kind. As usual, everyone has secrets to keep, and nothing is as it seems.
There is a good bit of sadness here, as there is in all of Simenon, but there is great humor, too. For example, after Maigret gets punched, Madame accuses him of provoking the man: "Admit it, you did it on purpose! I know that look of yours. You'd drive an angel wild with rage." (And this after he sent her a basket of mimosas from the Cote d'Azur). I love these two, and Madame appears several times in this one.
Simenon's observation is that of a great artist. He never misses a thing and understands human nature so well. I never regret the time I spend reading him.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
but even not the best is still pretty good! and the narration is excellent as ever