16 August 2011

Crime Fiction on a Euro Pass: France

My aim in this Crime Fiction on a Euro Pass post is to introduce you to some novels that I have read this year that are set in France.

4.8, AN UNCERTAIN PLACE, Fred Vargas
This is not so much set in France, but a novel by a very popular and accomplished French writer.

4.6, THE DARK VINEYARD, Martin Walker
A relative newcomer to crime fiction. Set in St. Drnis. Protagonist is local policeman Benoît (Bruno) Courrèges. Look for BRUNO CHIEF OF POLICE if you decide to start this series.

4.6, SARAH'S KEY, Tatiana de Rosnay

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10 year-old girl, is arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

4.4, MAIGRET & the MAN on the BOULEVARD, Georges Simenon

Maigret books are always good if you can find them. Simenon was a master story teller and they usually depict France in the 1940s to 1960s.


This fourth in the detective series featuring Aristide Pamplemousse finds the corpulent Surete officer turned gastronomic investigator for Le Guide disguised as a blind man at Chateau Morgue, a health spa near the Pyrenees. Pamplemousse despairs of satisfied appetites for a fortnight, but his bloodhound Pommes Frites discovers kilos of sausage, and then Aristide himself discovers an affectionate English manicurist. While it becomes apparent that the regime at the spa covers some other activities, including murder and blackmail, not until the inspector rigs up a flying camera, utilizing helium and Pommes Frites's inflatable kennel hung with black silk lingerie, is the mystery of Chateau Morgue resolved.

Not really my cup of tea, but, who knows, it may be yours!


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this sampling of French crime fiction :-). I'm especially drawn to the Martin Walker series, and you're right about Simenon :-).

spacelover said...

I'm waiting for Italy now (if you haven't done it yet). AA

kim23 said...

fantastic post, Kerrie! thanks for these suggestions! I'll surely read these extraordinary books! The police novels of Elizabeth K Lee are always good if you can find them. Actually, Elizabeth is one of my favorite authors! You will definitely enjoy her novels!


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