If this is an example of what the late entries will be like in the Maigret series, I'm all in. It certainly seems like he wanted to try keep it fresh, find new angles.
Inspector Maigret is accused of a crime...and it's true he walked right in front of the bullseye without knowing it. But of course no good deed goes unpunished. At stake, his reputation, and forced early retirement or worse. He has given thirty years of service, would seem to be a fellow you could never suspect of becoming like those he has tracked his whole career - but the accusation - and the incredible story attached to it - comes from high up (sort of)...comes from - wait for it - a relative of The Master of Requests at the Council of State. After finding out who that is and what he does, and who he's pals with, and how damning his niece's distraught tale is, Maigret presents his alternate version but is then told to take time off and NOT investigate. He investigates. There is more trouble over that. It is worth noting that Madame Maigret is clearly there for a husband atypically on edge and unsettled, till death do they part.
The last section of the book, where we learn why this is all actually happening to Maigret, is no let-down. After a strange detour to something along the lines of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie (no detective likes to have someone poking at his teeth while he is actually the one there trying to extract...information) - or at least a scene or two from that book - things, though weirder, also get clearer. Let's just say that a whole sad, sinister pocket universe opens up in front of our crime-solver, and it's very can-of-wormsy. But he does discover whether any of this has to do with some old enemy getting complexly even...or not.
I rather like this one - it breaks formula when it comes to the series as a whole - and it makes you think about stuff, by the end. Well, it did that to me anyway. A lot more going on than is obvious way back at the beginning.