The Chalk Circle Man, by Fred Vargas

I have… absolutely no idea where I heard about this book, but I heard about it somewhere and was like, “zomg I must read this!” So I put it on hold at the library, and many moons later it finally came in, and I read it. I know, you’re like, “No way.” Way.

Right. Back on topic. No idea why I read this book, and no real expectations going in, which was probably a good thing, as it is French and therefore super-weird. Just a couple pages in, there is the greatest dialogue of the whole book, which I cannot transcribe for you because I had to return the book to the library pretty much ten seconds after I finished reading it, but which involves Shakespeare-level puns on blindness. The dialogue goes downhill from there, but it is still amusing.

It is a mystery, and the mystery is that there is some guy drawing chalk circles around Paris. Terrifying, yes? He’s been drawing them around random bits of garbage, but a detective called Adamsberg who is sort of like Sherlock Holmes but French and a little daft thinks that soon enough there will be a dead body in one of them, so he has his officers go out and photograph garbage for a while. Then, of course, there is a dead body, and the hunt is on!

There are a lot of potential killers, and I thought Vargas did a really good job of leading me around — I thought I knew whodunnit, then I was like, crap, no I don’t, and then I was like NO WAY that is ridiculous and also awesome. There is really no character development to speak of, but I still enjoyed all of the characters that she created in their one-dimensional wonder. I guess this is part of a series of Adamsberg mysteries, so I might have to check the rest of them out someday.

Rating: 7/10
(Orbis Terrarum Challenge: France, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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