this is third i've read, and so far my least favourite. i like a lot of what is done in this one: take maigret out of paris, away from his reputation and see how effective an investigator he can be is an interesting to place to go, and to read this one right after the one where i became aware that he feels held apart from others was interesting. but, perhaps based on current mood, i didn't like the conclusion of the novel: it left a bad taste in my mouth. there's always some moral ambiguity in these endings: some internal judgement on whether the murder has been done *matters* and while i could rationalize along with maigret (who is keenly aware he is doing so, and i imagine one would if you investigated murder for a living) in these others i've read, in this one i had a tougher time. i don't know if that's because he made the victim more attractive in this case, less cardboard than in prior outings, or whether it was my own sensibilities allowed for more sympathetic outrage on their part. i still liked it but i'm kind of mad at it.