Maigret and the Yellow Dog, Georges Simenon 1931
This is the sixth of the ten Jules Maigret novels which Simenon launched in 1931, the first year of Maigret’s appearance, and it is evident that our dear Chief Inspector is just beginning to evolve. He’s not even in Paris since he had been dispatched to Rennes to reorganize its mobile police unit. When a leading citizen of Concarneau, a peaceful fishing village in Brittany, is inexplicably shot late one night, Maigret arrives to lead the investigation, but before he can even get settled in the Admiral Hotel, another murder is attempted, two more occur, and a shooting takes place. The mayor and the town are in an uproar and panic before Maigret brings the leading actors together and explains the crimes and identifies the culprit. Simenon in this early work is clearly developing the character who he will take through 70 some novels over nearly 20 years, but it’s a gripping story with fine characters and an unusually happy ending.