Tag Archives: Fred Vargas

Tana French, “The Secret Place”

One of the little thrills of contemporary life: when you pre-order a book and it shows up magically on your Kindle. Even if I know it’s going to happen, I find it exciting. And of course when the book is … Continue reading

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Elly Griffiths, “A Room Full of Bones”

Ruth Galloway is a great character for a detective series:  overweight, cranky, insecure in every area but her profession, which happens to be forensic archaeology. Which is to say, Ruth studies old bones. What a terrific premise! Teamed with the … Continue reading

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Ruth Rendell, “The Vault”

We’re getting on in years, Ruth Rendell, Reg Wexford and I. I sort of dropped the ball on the Wexford novels, one of the most consistently satisfying police procedural series. I left Reg out there in Kingsmarkham, his Southern English … Continue reading

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Susan Hill, “The Betrayal of Trust”

OK, it’s official. Susan Hill enters the contemporary murder mystery pantheon, along with the goddess Tana French and the goddess Fred Vargas. Why, you may wonder, are these women deities in my little firmament? Because they consistently deliver entertainment that is … Continue reading

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Craig Johnson, “Hell is Empty”

So – why shouldn’t a mystery writer be allowed to break out of the mold a little bit? Or, wait, let’s put this another way: must a mystery writer’s production always have an eye to the market? Well, we live in … Continue reading

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Fred Vargas, “L’Armee furieuse”

Fred Vargas does it again. I’ve written pretty frequently about the challenges of keeping a mystery series fresh. There’s a lot to juggle: the setting, the sidekicks, the detective’s emotional development, amorous relationships if any. Some writers clearly tire of … Continue reading

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Ann Cleeves, “Morts sur la lande”/”Telling Tales”

I feel pretty silly about this. It makes sense to read French murder mysteries in French, in an attempt to maintain language skills. Thus Fred Vargas. But it’s pretty cumbersome to read an English murder mystery in French, just because you … Continue reading

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