Simenon, Georges, The Judge's House: A Maigret Mystery
Exiled from Paris, Maigret discovers some disturbing secrets in a sleepy coastal town, the twenty-second novel in the new Penguin Maigret series. “A short, sprightly man appeared in the doorway, looked left and right, and went back into the passage. A moment later, the improbable happened. The little man reappeared, bent over, clinging to a long mass that he now started dragging through the mud. It must have been heavy. After four meters, he stopped to catch his breath. The front door of the house had been left open. The sea was still twenty or thirty meters away.”
Maigret has been exiled from Paris to a remote province, having offended his superiors. Out of his element, he is bored – until a murder case arrives.