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By Georges Simenon
Translated by Robert Baldick

Penguin Books, August, 2006 ($12.00)
ISBN: 0-14-303727-7

Reviewed by Dawn Crawford

Inspector Maigret is stationed in Paris and is often called away to head up murder investigations.

He is usually a cool customer, but for some reason he is in a foul mood. It may have something to do with the fact that he had to leave the comforts of his home and travel to investigate a murder that took place near a canal. To add to his misery it has been raining hard for a day and when he arrives at Lock 14 nearwhere the murder occurred, he has to trudge through a muddy path in order to get to the lock office.

The victim, Mary Lampson, was in her mid forties. She was found under a stack of hay in a stable near Lock 14. Although it was springtime she was wearing light-coloured shoes and a summer dress. It had been raining all day, however she was not wet, nor did she have any mud on her clothing. As she was still wearing her expensive jewelry, robbery was ruled out as a motive.

As Maigret starts to investigate he finds the people who travel through the locks, and those that work around them, to be a very diverse group of individuals. The case is going to take all of Maigret's acute skill and concentration to solve.

Georges Simenon was a most prolific writer, having written several hundred books in his lifetime.

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