'Just take a look,' Duclos said in an undertone, pointing to the scene all round them, the picture-book town, with everything in its place, like ornaments on the mantlepiece of a careful housewife . . . 'Everyone here earns his living. Everyone's more or less content. And above all, everyone keeps his instincts under control, because that's the rule here, and a necessity if people want to live in society' When a French professor visiting the quiet, Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they're letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer, Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased and a notorious local crook.