In this slight, mildly diverting puzzle, first published in the 1950's, Inspector Maigret goes contrary to his nature and acts as a psychological bully to Dr. Giullaume Serre, his chief suspect in a possible murder case. A story told to Maigret by a prostitute has alerted him to the possibility of a corpse in Dr. Serre's house--where the woman's husband, in the course of an attempted burglary, saw the body of a woman, apparently shot, in one of the well-appointed rooms. Here, Serre has a small dental practice and lives with an aged, indomitable mother--as well as, until a few days ago, with his second wife Maria, who has supposedly left with trunk and valises to return home to Amsterdam. She hasn't arrived there yet, however, despite an appointment to meet an old friend. But with no corpse, not a shred of evidence to be found in Serre's house or car, an unflappable suspect and his even more unflappable mother, Maigret impulsively decides to take some unorthodox steps that could jeopardize his career. The decision pays off eventually, but there are no real surprises here--just a close look at some psychological cripples and a moderately intriguing plot, whose tension begins to flag well before the finish. Minor Simenon--but that's no bagatelle.