A small-time crook has been murdered on a Mediterranean island. He was a nasty piece of work - a drunken thug, pimp and thief. Yet just before he died he was heard boasting in a crowded bar about his policeman `friend' Maigret.
When Inspector Maigret hears about this, he decides to take a little island holiday to find out what's going on. Nobody there seems to have a motive for killing Pacaud - not the old English lady and her male `secretary' nor the ageing prostitute and the Dutch anarchist. But plenty of them have secrets they'd prefer to keep hidden . . .