Fred Vargas

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Fred Vargas

Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of French historian, archaeologist and writer Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau, born in 1957 in Paris. Fred is the diminutive of her given name, Frédérique, while Vargas derives from the Ava Gardner character in The Barefoot Contessa and is the pseudonym adopted by her twin sister, Joëlle Jo Vargas, a painter.

She mostly writes police thrillers (policiers). They take place in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg and his team. Her interest in the Middle Ages is manifest in many of her novels, especially through the person of Marc Vandoosler, a young specialist in the period. Seeking Whom He May Devour was shortlisted by the British Crime Writers' Association for the last Gold Dagger award for best crime novel of the year, and the following year The Three Evangelists won the inaugural Duncan Lawrie International Dagger. She also won the award for the second year-running with Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand.

There is no mystery about her success. France’s most acclaimed crime writer is a fan both of P.G. Wodehouse and Stendhal. Her detective stories are published in 40 countries. Her novels about the kindly, quixotic Commissaire Adamsberg are unique, presenting a France that resembles Simenon’s in its concreteness, but with a fantastical, even surreal, twist: werewolves, vampires and armies of ghosts on horseback. British Crime Writers’ Association has awarded her its annual International Dagger three times since the prize was inaugurated in 2006.

Fred Vargas took an important part in the defence of Cesare Battisti, a left-wing activist sought by Italian and French justice since 2004 for alleged assassinations committed in the 1970s, during the "years of lead". 

All Titles from Fred Vargas

Fred Vargas

The Furious Army

The Furious Army
A little old lady, who comes from Normandy, waits for Police Superintendent Adamsberg on the footpath. Altough they have not arranged a meeting, it is with him alone that she wishes to speak. One night in her village, her daughter saw The ...read more

Fred Vargas

An Uncertain Place

An Uncertain Place
This time Adamsberg is in London accompanied by the ridiculously bright Danglar and the ingenuous Estaler. There they find many pairs of shoes with the feet within at the gates of Highgate cemetery. Then he returns to Paris in order to run into not ...read more

Fred Vargas

The Chalk Circle Man

The Chalk Circle Man
The Chalk Circle Man (French: L'Homme aux cercles bleus) is a novel by French crime-writer Fred Vargas. It is the first of her Detective Adamsberg series, published in 1996. The novel describes the background of Adamsberg's move to Paris, the ...read more

Fred Vargas

This Night's Foul Work

This Night's Foul Work
A new mystery for Adamsberg, a fantastic new novel from Fred Vargas On the outskirts of Paris, two men have been found with their throats cut. It is assumed that this is a drug-related incident of the kind so often uncovered in that area of town. ...read more

Fred Vargas

Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand

Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand
Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand (French: Sous les vents de Neptune, lit. "Under Neptune's Winds") is a crime novel by French author Fred Vargas, originally published in France in 2004. The novel is part of her Commissaire Adamsberg series. As ...read more

Fred Vargas

Have Mercy on Us All

Have Mercy on Us All
Joss, a middle-aged former Breton sailor, begins to succeed in reviving the old family trade of town crier in modern-day Paris. Business is good, since people gladly pay five francs to hear their rants and nonsensical messages in parks and squares; ...read more

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