MAIGRET AND THE WINE MERCHANT - Georges Simenon
When prosperous wine merchant Oscar Chabut is shot dead outside a fashionable bordello he has just been visiting with his mistress and secretary, Maigret finds that extra-marital behaviour in Chabut's social group is pretty much the norm. Chabut seems to regard sexual conquest as a means of exerting power and maintaining his self-esteem, and has in the course of his business, created rather a large cast of enemies. Hints of blackmail, anonymous telephone calls and letters and glimpses of a shadowy figure tracking Maigret complicate the case Maigret is struggling to come to grips with, all the while fighting a bad dose of the flu.
The richest wine merchant in Paris is found dead -- shot in front of an elegant house where discreet clients are in the habit of renting rooms for discreet purposes. Everything seems to point to a crime sparked by jealousy. But Maigret is surprised to find a curious absence of shock or grief in the victim's family and colleagues, and further investigation into the life and habits of the murdered man reveals some singularly unlovable traits.