What's going on in the little Brittany town of Concarneau? First wine-dealer Mostaguen is near-fatally shot--through a door's mail-slot--during a nighttime stroll. Then strychnine is spotted in the local pub's Pernod--just in time to save some prominent citizens from poisoning. One of them doesn't remain so lucky, however: aging playboy Le Pommeret later gets a fatal dose of strychnine at home. So the town is soon frantic with fear, crying out for the arrest of a giant seaman who's been seen lurking about the area. Inspector Maigret, brought in on special assignment, disagrees, of course. He's more interested in the nervous behavior of barmaid Emma--and the odd appearances of a scraggly yellow dog. And, to the amazement of primly scientific sidekick Leroy, Maigret uses quiet observation and subtle manipulation to come up with a convincing explanation for all the mayhem: a tale of canny proletarian vengeance and cowardly middle-class corruption. Early (1936), low-key Simenon, slender and undramatic but neatly, ironically satisfying.