|"Is she mad?" muttered Maigret, sucking at his pipe. "That isn't how she strikes me. She's very quiet and composed." Everyone at the Quai des Orfevres had at some time or other had to deal with letters from lunatics or cranks, and the underlining of words was a characteristic of most of them. "You'd better see her, Lapointe. Unless someone does, we'll have her calling here every day." A few minutes later, the old woman was ushered into the little office at the back. Lapointe was waiting there alone, standing near the window. "Please come in madame. Take a seat." She looked him up and down in some bewilderment. "Are you his son?" "Whose son?" "The Chief Superintendent's."|
|"No, madame, my name is Inspector Lapointe." "But you're only a boy!" "I'm twenty-seven." And so he was. All the same, he didn't look a day over twenty-two, and was more like most people's idea of a student than a police officer. "It was Chief Superintendent Maigret I asked to see." "Unfortunately, he can't spare the time at the moment." She hesitated, standing in the doorway, fiddling with her white handbag, uncertain whether to stay or go. "What if I were to come back tomorrow?" "He still couldn't see you." "Does Chief Superintendent Maigret never grant interviews?" "Only in very special cases." "Mine is a very special case. Just that. It's a matter of life and death." "So you said on the form." "Well, then?" "If you will tell me what it's all about, I'll report to the Chief, and let him be the judge." "You think he might agree to see me?" "I can't promise but he very well might."|
"In the latter years of Georges Simenon's prolific writing life, when he had already published close to 400 novels, Alfred Hitchcock was said to have telephoned, only to be told by Simenon's secretary that he couldn't be disturbed because he had just begun a new novel. Hitchcock, knowing that Simenon was capable of writing one novel -- or two or three -- every month, replied: That's all right, I'll wait." Excerpted from Deirdre Bair's review of Simenon, a Biography by Pierre Assouline, TNYT.
- Maigret and the Madwoman, 1970
- Georges Simenon