Synopses & Reviews
From the #1 bestselling French author and three-time winner of the Crime Writers' Association's International Dagger Award.
When Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, the chief of police in Paris's seventh arrondissement, is called to the scene of a ghastly and highly unusual murder, he thinks it can't have anything to do with the nine pairs of shoes and severed feet discovered outside of London's Highgate Cemetery just a few days earlier. With the help of the murdered man's gifted physician, Adamsberg delves into the victim's disturbed psyche and unexpectedly finds himself on a path that takes him deep into the haunted past of Eastern Europe, where a centuries-old horror has come to life and is claiming victims far and wide.
"Bizarre crimes drive Vargas's excellent sixth Commissaire Adamsberg mystery (after 2008's The Night's Foul Work). While in London for a conference, Adamsberg and his commandant, Adrien Danglard, inadvertently share in a macabre discovery: 17 shoes found next to Highgate Cemetery with 17 severed feet inside. Back in Paris, Adamsberg confronts a horrifying, surreal murder: someone has literally torn to shreds Pierre Vaudel, a well-to-do retired journalist, in his living room. The main suspect, Ã‰mile Feuillant, Pierre's gardener, certainly has a temper and a police record. But would a murderer name his silly dog Cupid? A cryptic message sent by Pierre to a woman in Germany and an eerily similar murder in Austria force the investigation to go international. Meanwhile, Adamsberg slowly realizes that a new suspect is emerging: himself. Vargas, who's won the CWA International Dagger three times, keeps her zany plot under tight control all the way to the surprising finish." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.