For ten years, Maigret has been in the habit of dining with his friend Dr Pardon. Even though they don’t use each other’s Christian names, the doctor ranks among one of Maigret’s closest friends.
It’s after one such dinner that Pardon contacts Maigret to seek advice. Following their social evening, a couple arrive at the doctor’s home in the early hours, the woman needing urgent attention. The woman, a blond beauty from northern Europe, has been shot in the back and the man claims to have been an innocent bystander who found her in the street after witnessing the drive-by shooting. Once the treatment has been given and the doctor has set about tidying up, the couple disappear, driving off in a swanky red Alfa Romeo that is later found at the airport.
The next day, a wealthy Lebanese gambler is found dead by his maid. He’s been shot and his attractive Dutch wife is nowhere to be seen. The other members of the household, an offhand secretary who is like a brother to the victim and a group of servants who work in unusual ways, appear to know nothing about anything.
Maigret’s attempts to see behind the thick curtains or resistance that are being held firmly closed by all concerned soon come to fruition as he pieces together the evidence by following his intuition to shed light on the truth.
The Nahour case is nicely set up and the limited cast offers a traditional whodunit of real quality. It’s tense and puzzling and a pleasure to read, though the ultimate conclusion felt a tad flimsy given the pleasure offered by the journey and the atmospheric settings.