Saturday, 26 April 2014

Grey Doll & Criminal Reading: In France With Fred Vargas' "Dog Will Have His Day"

Alors! In Paris and Brittany with a new Fred Vargas translation - Dog Will Have His Day. Fred Vargas is a great favourite of mine when it comes to foreign crime fiction. Like a lot of her English fans I wait eagerly each year for the latest offering, translated by the wonderful Sian Reynolds.

Dog Will Have His Day was first published in France in 1995 so although new to the UK it is not a recently written book. I do not care. It makes little difference. Vargas' world is timeless. Her strengths are in people, eccentrics even, place, mystery, crime, human nature. Perhaps her work has grown a little darker and more complex but this is still a joy - for its characters, their conversation and plot.

In this story we are without Inspector Adamsberg - but we gain an obsessive investigator and man of personal mystery, Louis Kehlweiler. He takes the lead in the case of a piece of human bone found amongst dog's doings under a Paris tree. Vargas reintroduces us to two of her three "evangelists" (a trio of young historians who share their ramshackle house in Paris and first appeared in The Three Evangelists.) In particularly we have the company of our medievalist in black, Marc Vandoosler, who travels with Kehlweiler to Brittany where an old woman was found on the rocks so to speak and definitely dead. And what is Kehlweiler's trademark eccentricity? If Adamsberg carries stones in his pocket... Kehlweiler has a toad in his - Bufo, his companion and confidante.
You can read a full review of the book over on the Euro Crime Blog here.

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