cover image An Uncertain Place: A Commissaire Adamsberg Mystery

An Uncertain Place: A Commissaire Adamsberg Mystery

Fred Vargas, trans. from the French by Siân Reynolds. Penguin, $15 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-0-14-312004-9

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, Émile 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. (Nov.)