I received this from NetGalley and, Woe, the ‘other stories’ weren’t included. I was quite unreasonably disappointed by this because I’d enjoyed A Maigret Christmas so much. The events take place on one Christmas day and Maigret solves the whole case from his apartment, getting his research done by phone and nipping over the road to the opposite apartment block where a crime may possibly have been committed. I’ve never been a huge Simenon fan but I do love all the detail about French domestic life and manners, which a French readership would presumably take for granted.
I’m fascinated by Madame Maigret, the perfect wife who keeps a spotless flat and is forever shopping and cooking. Maigret even goes home for lunch when he can; very French or, perhaps, very French in the past. The odd (to us) formality of French bourgeois life is very evident. It’s interesting to find that the good Madame goes out early on Christmas morning to buy croissants for her husband’s breakfast and that local shops will be open even on a public holiday. It's this kind of detail which I found sadly lacking from the recent TV series starring Rowan Atkinson. But then, even though I only ever saw one episode at a friend’s house, Rupert Davies is my Maigret and Maigret is definitely black and white.