‘There was no lack of picturesque individuals in a neighbourhood like Quai de Valmy. But he had seldom encountered the kind of inertia he had seen in that woman. It was hard to explain. When most people look at you, there is some sort of exchange, however small. A contact is established, even if that contact is a kind of defiance.
With her, on the contrary, there was nothing.’
The discovery of a dismembered body in the Canal Saint Martin leads Maigret into a tangled, baffling case involving a taciturn bistro-owner and a mysterious inheritance.