Maigret is in the first of these three stories by Georges Simenon, but not the other two. In these two stories, his ‘supporting’ cast come to the fore, people such as Janvier, Lognon, and Lecoeur. The second story, Seven Small Crosses in a Notebook, is the best. All the story is set in a control room with the action taking place at the end of the phone and in your imagination, accompanied by the deductions and logical reasoning of the police.
A Maigret Christmas is also set in a small area, namely in Maigret’s apartment and in another apartment opposite where Father Christmas has been sighted by a child and when Maigret starts asking questions, the child’s mother starts acting suspiciously.
Indeed, care and protection of the young is a pattern in all three stories. In the third story The Little Restaurant near Place des Ternes, a young woman is out and about on Christmas Eve and needs saving from herself, before she gets into trouble. A slightly older version of herself, it seems to me, almost like a ghost of Christmas future, comes to her rescue in an inelegant and scruffy way.
Once again, Georges Simenon or The Postman as he should be called, delivers a first-class package of beautiful, simple writing.