As we learn at the novel’s climax, the man who impregnated Geneviève Naud was not the dead youth, Albert Retailleau, but an older man, Alban, who is married (though long separated from his wife) but far better off financially than Albert and much closer to the Nauds in social status. Alban and Geneviève have hatched a plot so that she seduces Albert and gets him to believe that he’s the father of her unborn child. But what’s the point? Wouldn’t it be much more sensible if the parents simply leaned on Alban to get a divorce and marry Geneviève? (This is apparently what happens at the end of the book anyway.)

    And if she’s only three months’ pregnant, that seems to give her a ridiculously short time to (a) discover her pregnancy, (b) hatch her plot with Alban, and (c) have an affair with Albert long enough so that her claim that he made her pregnant is credible. When Maigret learns from a buddy of Albert that his affair with Geneviève began the previous October, roughly three months before the January in which the novel takes place, both the biology and the chronology become impossible----unless you want to believe that she knew she was pregnant the moment the sperm met the egg.