A many-faceted case, first published in 1959, for pensive, hard-working Inspector Maigret of the Paris police. It starts with an anonymous note to the Prefecture stating that a body has been burnt in a furnace at the home and workshop of bookbinder Frans Steuvels. Two human teeth are indeed recovered from the furnace, along with a bloodstained suit that Steuvels claims is not his. He's arrested and hires aggressive young lawyer Philippe Dotard to represent him. Maigret's investigation turns up little in Steuvels's apparently blameless life, but reports a mysteriously missing suitcase and a fraudulent telegram sent to the Steuvels's ex. prostitute wife, Fernande, that took her out of town during the crucial time period. Eventually, all of this ties in with an odd occurrence involving Maigret's wife, a small boy, and a young woman in a blue suit and white hat. Narrated in the late author's customary swift-moving, economical style, 'this story lacks the clarity, snap, and psychological penetration of his best work. Too many undeveloped characters; too many confusing plot ramifications make for lesser Simenon--readable but not in a class with the recently reprinted Striptease or The Door.