Maigret investigates a gang who are holding up jewellers and security guards collecting money from businesses. He’s not really in control of the case due to recent new procedures introduced by the public prosecutor’s office. The case that really interests him is one involving the murder of Cuendet the burglar of the title, though I would have said that Cuendet wasn’t ‘lazy’ more incredibly patient.
In the end, Maigret knows who murdered Cuendet – the burglar chose the wrong house at the wrong time – but the crime will go unpunished as the people responsible are well connected in Paris.
The gang are also caught and so both cases are closed, but Maigret seems to gain little satisfaction from this.
The book is 151 pages and the story just flies by as it’s so easy to read. The reader is there with Maigret at all times. There’s no unnecesary detail and the characters of the people are well defined. I can imagine myself going around Paris and seeing the places Maigret goes too in these stories and appreciating this is what real life was like at the time. There are no descriptions of the well-known tourist places, just the neighbourhoods Maigret knows and works in. It’s all incredibly impressive.
Julian Worker is a writer of travel books, mystery stories, and fictional lists. His work can be seen here.