Maigret Afraid is an interesting work for fans of the series.
The plot itself is fairly standard. He rolls into town, there have been murders and there are more to come. Maigret takes a back seat and watches everything, from the process of the law to the main suspects and eventually does put all the pieces together in the way we have come to expect.
Included is a fairly heavy dose of class analysis and our detective provides an excellent filter through which to see the world as is always the case. The subtle and the obvious are all pointed out as he wanders between the homes of the rich and poor and the roles of the women are of particular interest.
What I found to be more engaging than the plot was Maigret’s personal reflection. He’s returning from a course where the young pups have made him feel his age. He also happens to be staying with an old university friend who is the town’s Examining Magistrate. By watching his friend, he draws parallels with his own life. We get to see into the distant past and into the very real present of a man who really just wants to go home.
Worth reading for any crime fiction fans, but especially so for admirers of Maigret who like to collect nuggets about his personal life and history.