Fred Vargas Books

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Fred Vargas is a French historian, archeologist, and author that writes mystery novels. Born in 1957 in Paris, France, writing is in Vargas’ blood. Her father (Philippe Audoin) was a surrealist novelist.

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Order of Commissaire Adamsberg Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Chalk Circle Man 1991 Description / Buy
2 Seeking Whom He May Devour 1999 Description / Buy
3 Have Mercy on Us All 2001 Description / Buy
4 This Night's Foul Work 2006 Description / Buy
5 Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand 2007 Description / Buy
6 An Uncertain Place 2008 Description / Buy
7 The Ghost Riders of Ordebec 2011 Description / Buy
8 A Climate of Fear 2015 Description / Buy
9 This Poison Will Remain 2017 Description / Buy

Order of Three Evangelists Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Three Evangelists 1995 Description / Buy
2 Dog Will Have His Day 1996 Description / Buy
3 The Accordionist 1997 Description / Buy
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Vargas made a name for herself as a scholar because of the work she did with the French National Center For Scientific Research and the Institut Pasteur. The eukaryotic archeologist has been praised for publishing a definitive work on the bubonic plague.

In the realm of fiction, Vargas writes police procedurals because the genre allows the author to indulge her interests. It also gives the author a break from her academic work. She was in her mid-thirties when she wrote her first book. The volume was an immediate hit, turning Vargas into a renowned bestseller and award winner.

Vargas is best known for the Chief Inspector Adamsberg books. People love her work because the author subverts the tropes of the genre. Adamsberg has nothing in common with the many hard-boiled detectives in publishing.

The character is not only small but soft-spoken, and he also relies on unusual investigative methods to get the job done. Adamsberg stands out from his peers because the detective has an illogical thought process.

He doesn’t understand how his intuition works, only that he can trust it to highlight and piece together seemingly inconsequential clues and details. Adamsberg’s skills continuously amaze his naysayers. This has allowed the detective to transition from a small town to a prominent Paris police post.

Adamsberg is not restricted to a particular location. His cases compel the character to travel widely, allowing the author to introduce readers to new countries and colorful settings. People that follow Vargas closely will see hints and elements of her academic work in the crime fiction she writes.

It should be noted that ‘Fred Vargas’ is a pseudonym. The author’s real name is Frederique Audoin-Rouzeau. ‘Fred’ is short for ‘Frederique.’ She copied ‘Vargas’ from her twin sister’s pen name. Although, it would be more accurate to say that they both took inspiration from “The Barefoot Contessa.’

Joelle Audoin-Rouzeau (Vargas’ sister) is a painter that uses the ‘Jo Vargas’ pseudonym. Fred Vargas created her pen name because she wanted to keep her scientific and novelist personas separate.

Fred Vargas Awards

Vargas has won multiple International Dagger Awards. She received a Gold Dagger Award nomination.

Fred Vargas Books Into Movies

‘Have Mercy On Us All’ became a live-action film in 2007. In the movie, the protagonists must contend with an outbreak of the plague in modern-day Paris.

Best Fred Vargas Books

The author gained notoriety when she joined Cesare Battisti’s defense. Cesare, a writer, was once a left-wing urban guerrilla. Vargas’ best books include:

The Chalk Circle Man: Jean-Baptise Adamsberg’s colleagues don’t understand him. His unorthodox methods seem nonsensical. After all, he won’t hesitate to arrest people with perfect alibis while paying little or no attention to the vital clues he encounters.

But Adamsberg commands a modicum of respect because he always succeeds. The detective’s results speak for themselves. But this time around, other police officers don’t know what to make of his obsession.

The public is enamored with a new fad. Someone is drawing strange circles on Paris’ pavements. They are doing this at night when no one can see them. The public is amused, and so is the press. They are more than happy to dismiss the circles as a silly prank. But Adamsberg doesn’t agree.

He thinks the strange objects in the circles (including a pigeon’s foot and cigarette lighters) betray an element of cruelty. No one believes him. Nonetheless, they agree to keep him informed whenever new circles appear.

Adamsberg’s suspicions are finally justified when a new circle appears containing the remains of a dead woman.

Seeking Whom He May Devour: A small community in the French Alps was in desperate need of Commissaire Adamsberg’s help. Initially, someone (or something) was killing the ewes by cutting their throats. But then a villager died, and the community grew suspicious.

Some voices blamed the murder on werewolves. And unfortunately for Massart, he was beardless. In the legends, werewolves kept their hair inside their body, hence their beardless state. The victim’s adopted son, a shepherd, and a lovely girl took these rumors to heart and decided to bring Massart to justice. Once their efforts failed, they turned to Adamsberg, a man renowned for his strange methods.

When Does The Next Fred Vargas book come out?

Fred Vargas doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Accordionist and was released on April, 1st 2018. It is the newest book in the Three Evangelists Series.

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