The Chalk Circle Man (A Commissaire Adamsberg Mystery #1) (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
The debut mystery in the internationally bestselling Commissaire Adamsberg series
Fred Vargas's Commissaire Adamsberg mysteries are a sensation in France, consistently praised for their intelligence, wit, and macabre imagination. This first novel in the series introduces the unorthodox detective Commissaire Adamsberg-one of the most engaging characters in contemporary crime fiction.
When blue chalk circles begin to appear on the pavement in neighborhoods around Paris, Adamsberg is alone in thinking that they are far from amusing. As he studies each new circle and the increasingly bizarre objects they contain - empty beer cans, four trombones, a pigeon's foot, a doll's head - he senses the cruelty that lies within whoever is responsible. And when a circle is discovered with decidedly less banal contents - a woman with her throat slashed - Adamsberg knows that this is just the beginning.
A Climate of Fear, the latest Commissaire Adamsberg mystery, will soon be available from Penguin.
About the Author
Fred Vargas is a French medieval historian and archaeologist who has a parallel career as a bestselling crime novelist. She adopted the pseudonym from her twin sister, an artist who works as Jo Vargas—after Ava Gardner’s character in The Barefoot Contessa. She has published ten mysteries, five of which feature Commissaire Adamsberg. Her detective fiction is published in 32 languages.
Praise for Fred Vargas and her Commissaire Adamsberg Mysteries
“Vargas writes with the startling imagery and absurdist wit of a latter-day Anouilh, about fey characters who live in a wonderful bohemian world that never was but should have been.”—The New York Times Book Review
“A wildly imaginative series.”—The New York Times
“Spry, ironic, yet fully engaged with the horror of contemporary reality”—Los Angeles Times
“It's a full, rich and strange plate.” — Seattle Times
“[A] high degree of intelligence, sophistication and perversity informs [Vargas’] fiction…I continue to be delighted by the workings of [her] imagination. It’s a tangled web she weaves, and a hard one to escape.”—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
“Few crime stories are as apt to leave a reader wondering so ardently: Who dunnit?...Vargas’ characters are like something out of a fairy tale – eternal opposites, ever-renewing archetypes despite their fresh adventures each time. That’s why each novel’s opening feels new.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Anyone who enjoys kooky characters and intricate detail will happily follow Vargas along.” – Entertainment Weekly
“Readers should settle in to be unsettled. Delight is found not so much in the details of plot as in the oddities of character. The crime, the suspects, and the commissaire are all pleasantly off-kilter and equally baffling. A definite pick for Francophile mystery buffs who also enjoy Georges Simenon's Maigret series and Pierre Magnan (Death in the Truffle Wood).”—Library Journal
“As droll and fascinating as la ville lumière itself.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Adamsberg, always an intuitive sleuth rather than a rational one, is the perfect hero for a series where reality is always a moving target.”—Booklist
"Worlds that closely resemble the real one, except that beliefs, tales, apparitions, even professions, from the Middle Ages fit in seamlessly."—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Vargas is, by some distance, the hottest property in contemporary crime fiction.” – The Guardian (London)
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