14 June 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet - V is for Vargas

At CrimeFest on May 20 AN UNCERTAIN PLACE by Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds (Harvill Secker) was announced as one of the nominations for the shortlist for the Crime Writers’ Association’s International Dagger. (The winner of the CWA International Dagger will be announced at the CWA Daggers awards ceremony at the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate on Friday, 22 July.)

Fred Vargas has won this particular award in 2006, 2007, and 2009, and must be a hot favourite again.
AN UNCERTAIN PLACE is a clear leader in the unofficial poll being held on EuroCrime.

Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of Frédérique Audouin-Rouzeau, who was born in 1957 in Paris (Fred is not unusual in France as an abbreviation of this feminine name). As well as being a best-selling author in France, she is by training a mediaeval archaeologist. Her books have been translated into thirty-two languages.

Synopsis: Commissaire Adamsberg leaves Paris for a three-day conference in London. With him are a young sergeant, Estalère, and Commandant Danglard, who is terrified at the idea of travelling beneath the Channel. It is the break they all need, until a macabre and brutal case comes to the attention of their colleague Radstock from New Scotland Yard. Just outside the baroque and romantic old 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.

Check the review on the EuroCrime website by Karen Meeks.

I have reviewed other Fred Vargas novels on MiP:
SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR
THE CHALK CIRCLE MAN
THIS NIGHT'S FOUL WORK
WASH THIS BLOOD CLEAN FROM MY HAND

6 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Fred Vargas has written some really interesting books. I have found that a lot of people are not neutral about her. They are either fans or don't care for her work.

Bill Selnes said...

Kerrie: Just as with Jose Ignacio you have provided another author whose books I want to purchase.

kathy d. said...

I love Fred Vargas' books, interesting, imaginative, quirky.

However, her plots are so brilliant and creative that I'll go wherever she takes me.

And it always ends up that the seemingly weird developments are based in logic, i.e., have material solutions.

No one writes like she does. Her books are about as unformulaic as a mystery can be. In fact, they're anti-formulaic.

It's true that readers like her or don't. However, this is one of the good aspects of reading; as in all things involving matters of taste, there are different opinions and preferences.

jiescribano said...

An exceellent choice, Kerrie.

steufel said...

Fred Vargas truly rocks!

Uriah Robinson said...

I would like Ernesto Mallo to win but this time the Vargas is worthy of the prize.

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