Seventeen Inspector Maigret stories appearing for the first time in English--and most seem to date from the middle Maigret period (post-WW II), before he became a legend and began to brood so intently on the rain, his shoelaces, and morality. Here the plots are generally tight, if never remarkable. A few professional crooks and spies do surface, but principally these are typical Simenon crimes: domestic outbreaks of greed and/or jealousy, often culminating in one or more suicides. Maigret's Quai des Orfevres colleagues remain blurry throughout, as does that monumental blur, Madame Maigret--although one story (""Madame Maigret's Admirer"") revolves around a little (very little) joke between the Inspector and his heftier half. In any case, a treat for Maigret's loyal fans.