Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, capable of writing 60 to 80 pages per day. His oeuvre includes nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several autobiographical works, numerous articles, and scores of pulp novels written under more than two dozen pseudonyms. Altogether, about 550 million copies of his works have been printed.
Slowly the Czech was becoming animated, but in a muted way, so typical of the man. Maigret now noticed his hands, which were long, surprisingly white, and dotted with freckles. They seemed to reach out and take part in the conversation. 'Let's be clear that it's not your professionalism which I question. If you understand nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, it's because from the very start you've been working with facts which had been falsified.'
Set in the in the atmospheric and squalid streets of Paris, Maigret sets out to prove the innocence of a man condemned to death for a brutal murder. In another one of Maigret's unconventional and audacious plans, he arranges the escape of the condemned man in an attempt to prove his theory. The presumed murderer goes on the run across Paris and its suburbs, dropping misleading clues along the way and leading Maigret into the labyrinthine twists of the mystery. Maigret is in for more than he bargained for, as he encounters rich American expatriates, dangerous foreigners and their hidden motives.