‘Quirky, bizarre, riveting, irresistible, utterly French… Vargas is perhaps the best mystery writer on the planet.’ – Winnipeg Free Press
‘Like legions of other devoted readers, I’ve become addicted to the adventures of Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg… If you’ve already discovered Adamsberg, this novel is essential reading. If you haven’t, this is the perfect place to begin.’ – Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
‘ The Chalk Circle Man… is everything [that] Grisham is not: witty, intriguing, disconcerting and, being French, seductively romantic.’ – The Daily Telegraph
‘Detective Adamsberg is not only unusual but irresistible as a character… Ms. Vargas’s approach to the macabre is formidably funny.’ – The Washington Times
Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is not like other policemen. His methods appear unorthodox in the extreme: he doesn't search for clues; he ignores obvious suspects and arrests people with cast-iron alibis; he appears permanently distracted. In spite of all this his colleagues are forced to admit that he is highly successful – a born cop.When strange blue chalk circles start appearing overnight on the pavements of Paris, the press take up the story with amusement and psychiatrists trot out their theories. Adamsberg is alone in thinking this is not a game and far from amusing. He insists on being kept informed of new circles and the increasingly bizarre objects which they contain: a pigeon's foot, four cigarette lighters, a badge proclaiming 'I Love Elvis', a hat, a doll's head. Adamsberg senses the cruelty that lies behind these seemingly random occurrences. Soon a circle with decidedly less banal contents is discovered: the body of a woman with her throat savagely cut. Adamsberg knows that other murders will follow. "The Chalk Circle Man" is the first book featuring Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, one of the most engaging characters in contemporary detective fiction.
Finalist for the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger
“If you haven’t cottoned on to Vargas’s brilliant Adamsberg detective series, then you’re missing a treat.” – Scotland on Sunday
“Irresistibly gripping, powerfully written and quite often frightening.” – Marcel Berlins, The Times
“Beautifully paced and elegantly written, Vargas’s fifth novel is a joy… As elegantly stylized as a tango, and just as sexy… The characters are memorable and beautifully made… I wanted this novel to go on and on and on.” – Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
“Vargas’s detective stories are so complex, yet simple, so cleverly nuanced, yet basic, so peopled with misfits, eccentrics and ne’er-do-wells that they grab the attention of any reader… Just as the various threads start coming together, the guilty becoming apparent, the whole case unravels wonderfully, again and again.” – Ottawa Citizen
“This Night’s Foul Work goes beyond the suspense and plot twists expected of detective fiction as Vargas has created enthralling characters with very real emotions.” – French Magazine
“The narrative pace and the conglomeration of oddities and details make for a high level of entertainment and mystery.” – Bookbag.co.uk
“Vargas sees the novel, and the detective story in particular, as fulfilling some of the same functions as Greek tragedy. In This Night’s Foul Work, Adamsberg travels out to a Normandy village where the locals’ caustic observations on his investigation resemble nothing so much as a Greek chorus.” – The Guardian
A phenomenal bestseller in France, This Night's Foul Work is another irresistible installment in the internationally acclaimed Commissaire Adamsberg series.
On the edge of Paris two small-time drug dealers have had their throats cut in a peculiar fashion. Setting out on the trail of the shadowy killer, Commissaire Adamsberg and his detectives travel between Paris and the Normandy countryside. Adamsberg's investigation into these horrible deaths brings him into contact with the attractive Ariane Lagarde – a pathologist who caused him professional grief some twenty-five years ago. There's also a new lieutenant on the scene, whose ties to Adamsberg's past create tension and hostility in his present. Vargas has given us another multi-layered, deliciously-paced and thrilling addition to her acclaimed series.
This Night's Foul Work is the finest novel yet from the wonderful Fred Vargas.
The Three Evangelists is an enormously entertaining departure from Vargas's Commissaire Adamsberg series. Sophia Simeonidis, a Greek opera singer, wakes up one morning to discover that a tree has appeared overnight in the garden of her Paris house. As her husband doesn't give a damn, she asks her new neighbours to dig around the tree to find out if something has been buried. Her neighbours are eccentric: Vandoosler, an ex-cop fired from the police for having helped a murderer to escape, and sharing the house are three impecunious historians: Mathias, Marc and Lucien – the three evangelists, as Vandoosler calls them. They accept the job because they are desperate for money and rather curious. When they find nothing and Sophia's dead body turns up weeks later, they decide to investigate.
Commissaire Adamsberg leaves Paris for a three-day conference in London. Accompanying him are Estalere, a young sergeant, and Commandant Danglard, who is terrified at the idea of travelling beneath the Channel. It is a welcome change of scenery, until a macabre and brutal case comes to the attention of their colleague Radstock from New Scotland Yard.
Just outside the gates of the baroque Highgate Cemetery a pile of shoes is found. Not so strange in itself, but the shoes contain severed feet. As Scotland Yard’s investigation begins, Adamsberg and his colleagues return home and are confronted with a massacre in a suburban home. Adamsberg and Danglard are drawn in to a trail of vampires and vampire-hunters that leads them all the way to Serbia, a place where the old certainties no longer apply.
In Fred Vargas’s riveting new novel, Commissaire Adamsberg finds himself in the line of fire as never before.
“Eccentric characters, complex but gripping plots and a nice wit… Vargas weaves her story expertly.” – Toronto Sun
“Bizarre and fascinating.” – Edmonton Journal
“Vargas has a wonderfully offbeat imagination that makes each of her novels a refreshing delight.” – The Observer
“A gripping chase thriller.” – The Economist
“There is a haunting quality to Vargas’s writing.” – Scotland on Sunday
Internationally acclaimed and bestselling crime writer Fred Vargas will be published for the first time in Canada in hardcover by Knopf Canada.
In this remarkable addition to the Commissaire Adamsberg series, has a serial killer followed Adamsberg to Canada on his training mission?
Between 1943 and 2003, nine people have been stabbed to death with a most unusual weapon: a trident. In each case, arrests were made, suspects confessed their crime and were sentenced to life. One slightly worrying detail: all the presumed murderers lost consciousness during the night of the crime and cannot remember whether they actually did it or not. Commissaire Adamsberg is convinced all the murders are the work of one person: the terrifying Judge Fulgence. Years before, Adamsberg's own brother had been the principal suspect in a similar case and avoided prison only thanks to Adamsberg's help. History now repeats itself when Adamsberg, who is temporarily based in Quebec for a training mission, is accused of having savagely murdered his young lover. In order to prove his innocence, Adamsberg must go on the run from the Canadian police and find Judge Fulgence. The heir to Maigret, Commissaire Adamsberg is back in a new investigation that will keep the reader spellbound until the very last word.