The Chalk Circle Man

The Chalk Circle Man

Fred Vargas Siân Reynolds / Jun 18, 2019

The Chalk Circle Man The debut mystery in the internationally bestselling Commissaire Adamsberg series now available for the first time in the United States Fred Vargas s Commissaire Adamsberg mysteries are a sensation in

  • Title: The Chalk Circle Man
  • Author: Fred Vargas Siân Reynolds
  • ISBN: 9780143115953
  • Page: 472
  • Format: Paperback
  • The debut mystery in the internationally bestselling Commissaire Adamsberg series now available for the first time in the United States Fred Vargas s Commissaire Adamsberg mysteries are a sensation in France, consistently praised for their intelligence, wit, and macabre imagination This first novel in the series introduces the unorthodox detective Commissaire Adamsberg oThe debut mystery in the internationally bestselling Commissaire Adamsberg series now available for the first time in the United States Fred Vargas s Commissaire Adamsberg mysteries are a sensation in France, consistently praised for their intelligence, wit, and macabre imagination This first novel in the series introduces the unorthodox detective Commissaire Adamsberg one of the most engaging characters in contemporary crime fiction When blue chalk circles begin to appear on the pavement in neighborhoods around Paris, Adamsberg is alone in thinking that they are far from amusing As he studies each new circle and the increasingly bizarre objects they contain empty beer cans, four trombones, a pigeon s foot, a doll s head he senses the cruelty that lies within whoever is responsible And when a circle is discovered with decidedly less banal contents a woman with her throat slashed Adamsberg knows that this is just the beginning.

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    About "Fred Vargas Siân Reynolds"

      • Fred Vargas Siân Reynolds

        Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of the French historian, archaeologist and writer Fr d rique Audoin Rouzeau often mistakenly spelled Audouin Rouzeau She is the daughter of Philippe Audoin Rouzeau , a surrealist writer who was close to Andr Breton, and the sister of the historian St phane Audoin Rouzeau, a noted specialist of the First World War who inspired her the character of Lucien Devernois.Archeo zoologist and historian by trade, she undertook a project on the epidemiology of the Black Death and bubonic plague, the result of which was a scientific work published in 2003 and still considered definitive in this research area Les chemins de la peste Le rat la puce et l homme Pest Roads.As a novelist, Fred Vargas writes mostly crime stories She found writing was a way to combine her interests and relax from her job as a scientist Her novels are set in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg and his team Her interest in the Middle Ages is manifest in many of her novels, especially through the person of Marc Vandoosler, a young specialist in the period.She separated her public persona as a writer from her scientific persona by adopting the pseudonym Fred Vargas Fred is the diminutive of her given name, Fr d rique, while with Vargas , she has chosen the same pseudonym than her twin sister, Jo Vargas pseudonym of Jo lle Audoin Rouzeau , a painter For both sisters, the pseudonym Vargas derives from the Ava Gardner character in The Barefoot Contessa.Her crime fiction policiers have won three International Dagger Awards from the Crime Writers Association, for three successive novels in 2006, 2008 and 2009 She is the first author to achieve such an honor In each case her translator into English has been S an Leonard, who was also recognized by the international award.


    1. The Chalk Circle Manis a crime-mystery story so I’m not going to describe the plot. I’ve never heard about this novel earlier until I read Fionnuala’s write-up and it intrigued me enough to get acquaintanted with commisaire Jean- Baptiste Adamsberg by myself.I quite enjoyed the story, found some ideas and dialogues clever and though the plot probably will quickly evaporate from my mind yet the protagonists stay a bit longer, I guess. Firstly, a figure of Adamsberg, an antithesis of investi [...]

    2. There's a great piece in this book about the variable potential of the days of the week. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays are the promising ones, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, the more unpredictable ones, and Sundays are such fragile days that it takes very little to mess them up completely.*Mondays are always the days I begin new projects - I'd never dream of beginning one on a Sunday - so I really related to that scenario. And I could just as easily apply the theory to the hours of the day since [...]

    3. Se puede decir que esta lectura ha sido totalmente inesperada. Primero porque no es una novela que yo haya escogido y, segundo, porque reconozco que la portada me echa para atrás. Sin embargo, estoy contenta de haberle dado la oportunidad de desarmarme todas mis manías lectoras. Una buena novela con la que pasar un agradable rato.

    4. Mi domandavo perché faccio lo sbirro. Forse perché in questo mestiere devi cercare delle cose con buone possibilità di trovarle. E ti consola del resto. All'inizio, quando ho letto che Fred Vargas si è impegnata a scrivere un libro all'anno nel suo mese di vacanza, ho pensato che fosse un po' pressapochista. Suppongo che in un mese di ferie uno non passi la vita attaccato a una storia, avrà anche altro a cui pensare. E un mese sembra poco.Invece, wow. Fred, tu ci sai fare.Prima di tutto, l' [...]

    5. I get that Vargas wants a different kind of detective--indeed, Adamsberg is the anti-Sherlock Holmes. No logic or attempt thereat, but rather pure intution, feeling, etc. It's intriguing, but I'm not sure that the genre can be pushed as far in this direction as Vargas thinks. This isn't a bad book, just one that didn't resonate for me at all. Put it this way: usually I use "peculiar" as an adjective of highest praise. But this is just plain old peculiar.

    6. At first glance, Chalk Circle Man seemed like the kind of mystery novel I'd enjoy. Sadly, though, it turned out to be not for me. I don't think there's something particularly wrong with the book. It just wasn't my cup of tea. If I had to put my finger on why, I'd say it was too offbeat for me. I get that Commissaire Adamsberg is supposed to be a kind of anti-Sherlock (think gut feelings instead of deduction), but for me the overall effect was on the woo woo side. Plus, none of the characters fel [...]

    7. First Sentence: Mathilde took out her diary and wrote: “The man sitting next to me has got one hell of a nerve.”Someone is drawing chalk circles on the streets of Paris. Initially, each surrounds such mundane items such as an old handbag, a cotton bud, a one-franc coin, a torch battery, or a screwdriver. Things change the night the circle contains the body of a woman whose throat has been slashed.I am so glad to have found this series, although I started at the most recent book and am now st [...]

    8. For five days I was in Paris checking out the cafes, listening to cocktail-party gossip, and eagerly following the news about the mysterious “chalk circle man”. For several months, blue chalk circles have popped up like graffiti on the pavements in Paris. Who is the “chalk circle man”? Is he a crackpot? Does he suffer from OCD? The circles enclose random discarded objects (e.g bottle tops, a hairpin, a one-franc coin, a rotting cat, etc.) like a bad joke. They seem innocuous enough; howe [...]

    9. Mon premier Fred Vargas et je ne suis pas sûre d'avoir vraiment accroché à l'histoire. J'ai trouvé ça un peu longuet malgré le fait que le livre soit court et je n'ai pas du tout été convaincue par la résolution de l'enquête.Malgré cela, j'ai apprécié les personnages qui changent de ce qu'on trouve d'habitude dans les policiers, je pense donc continuer la série des Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg pour voir si la suite me plaît plus.

    10. Why do anything or write anything? To attract others? Is that it? To seduce people you've never met, as if the ones you have met aren't enough for you? Because you think you can capture the quintessence of the world in a few pages? What quintessence is there anyway? What emotions are there in the world? What can you say? Even the story of the old shrew-mouse isn't interesting enough to tell to anyone. Writing is an admission of failure. "What is the point of it all?" Mathilde immediately asked h [...]

    11. Too much writerly writing, but something promising and hopeful draws me on. A little like Inspector Montalbano, but the prose here is so heavy and repetitious. It is a first, though, and there is hope. What will the second one be like?

    12. GIOIELLINO DA RILEGGEREQuesto libricino è un piccolo gioiello. Purtroppo l'ho già letto tre volte (o forse quattro) e non voglio rileggerlo soltanto per scrivere questa recensione. Quindi probabilmente non riuscirò a trasmettere quell'entusiasmo che qualche anno fa mi faceva ripetere a parenti ed amici "Conosci Fred Vargas? Conosci il commissario Adamsberg? Hai letto i suoi libri? Devo prestarti il primo? Sicuro che non lo vuoi? Ha uno stile magnifico. Sei proprio sicuro sicuro?".Mi ricordo p [...]

    13. J'adore la plume de Fred Vargas, ce mélange de poésie et d'humour, et ses personnages à la fois un peu perchés et très humains auxquels on s'identifie d'une manière ou d'une autre. Et la fin est très surprenante, comme on aime !

    14. I hadn't heard of Fred Vargas or her Commissaire Adamsberg novels until I read that this one had won the International Dagger, and that indeed Vargas had won it several times before with other Adamsberg novels. Which was pretty perplexing, as this is the first in the series . . . The Daggers are awarded for the year of English-language appearance, it transpires. The mystery remains, unsolved by me, of why the books' UK and US publishers chose to translate later volumes before getting round to th [...]

    15. As the books I’d put on hold at the library hadn’t arrived yet, I scoured the new books shelf and saw this one. I thought, Well, Vargas. I’ve heard of her. A number of book bloggers like her. It was just translated into English in 2009, but it is the first of the Adamsberg dectective novels, and was published in French in 1991. If I’m reading the chronology right, that’s her second novel. I had avoided Vargas even though she sounded interesting because the plots sounded rather bloody. [...]

    16. While his crew of co-workers are trying to figure him out, the new commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg settles into his job in the Paris police force in the 5th arrondissement. Adamsberg started his police career in the "stony foothills of the Pyrenees," where another inspector told him that he wasn't "cut out" to be a policeman. But that was before he went on to solve several murders in the area, was promoted to inspector and then commissaire. When the job in Paris was offered to him, he grabbe [...]

    17. A Parigi sui marciapiedi improvvisamente compaiono dei grandi cerchi blu disegnati col gesso accompagnati dalla frase "Victor, malasorte, il domani è alle porte". Al centro di questi cerchi sono posti degli oggetti di scarso valore apparentemente senza senso: un trombone, tappi di bottiglia, lattine, una pinzetta, un vasetto di yogurt, una candela… I giornalisti indagano per soddisfare l’opinione pubblica e gli psicologi interpellati si dividono tra chi ipotizza la mano di un maniaco, e chi [...]

    18. The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas is the first book of the Comissaire Adamsberg mystery series set in modern-day Paris France. Newly appointed police Commissaire Adamsberg is an unusual policeman – he does not investigate methodically or make logical deductions. He relies on ideas to pop into his head, and sensations. He cannot improve his thinking of solutions by concentration; focusing drives all thought from his head; instead he is most effective when he sits and doodles leaves. Adamsberg [...]

    19. It is interesting and strange that I want so much to write about a book that only gets four-stars (4 stars being, in my inflated world, tantamount to saying it was only so-so though this book is better than just so-so.I don't know quite why I've suddenly fallen into with this genre. I can't imagine it has great interest for my GR friends. I'm not one for fiction, as everyone knows, so maybe it's simply because these books are not very taxing -- though I like to think there's something more to it [...]

    20. It seems that readers either love this book or it is just ok for them. Unfortunately it was just ok for me. Comissionaire Adamsberg wasn't a realistic detective to me. He seemed to pull solutions out of the air by intuition. He didn't want to think about or analyze information. He drew leaves instead. He did have an excellent gut feel when something didn't ring true. He listened to Dangard his next in command interview people and analyze data. The secondary characters were all odd. They sat arou [...]

    21. Me gustó la historia del hombre de los círculos azules aunque hubo momentos en los que sentía que le faltaba un poco de originalidad.Pero, me encantó esa sorpresa que nos dejaron casi al final.Me gustó mucho la personalidad de Adamsberg.Sin embargo, hubo detallitos que me hubieran gustado que esclarecieran un poco más (view spoiler)[Por ejemplo ¿Por qué dejaba ese mensaje sobre Victor, tenía algún significado? Además que nos dieran un poco más de detalle sobre su "romance" con Camill [...]

    22. Eine eigene und ungewöhnliche Art hat dieser Krimi, das mochte ich. In der ersten Hälfte mir persönlich etwas zu sinneslastig, interessant zwar, aber nicht 100% mein Ding, am Ende dann aber überraschend und einnehmend.

    23. Приятно и млако странно криминале с енигматична любовна история за фон. Могивът за престъплението е дребнав, еснафурски, но точно това засилва усещането за достоверност на историята. А тя се развива в едно лежерно темпо.

    24. Vargas’ Commissaire Adamsberg reminds me of Simenon’s Maigret. It is not just because Adamsberg and Maigret operated in the same territory and had similar jobs. Plenty of series novelists writing of France don’t give me the same feeling as reading a Maigret mystery (see the Aimee Leduc series by Cara Black for one). It is the way Vargas slowly builds the mystery, and adds pauses for thinking, eating and drinking, and chats with passers-by. The brilliant insights and knowledge of human natu [...]

    25. I wrote in my review of another Paris mystery novel, Georges Simenon’s ‘The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien’, that it was the kind of mystery which only ever existed in crime novels and had virtually nothing to do with the real world. That’s an observation though, rather than a criticism. Nearly all whodunits take place in their old world with their own rules, and the pleasure from reading them comes from the joy of the mystery, rather than lifting a veil on the nature of man. However, this [...]

    26. I confess that a good portion of my reading acquisitions are used-tested by library patrons who turn them back for other patrons to buy and read. This was my luck to discover Fred Vargas, a fine scientific mind who writes popular crime stories focused on Commissaire Adamsberg.A large percentage of a crime/mystery story’s success lies in characterization, and to a lesser extent plot and setting. The Commissaire will remind you of Lt. Columbo in acting tangentally to the crime; his inspector Dan [...]

    27. Una premessa: a me la narrativa contemporanea francese piace - e molto.Mi piace che gli autori abbiano ossessioni riconoscibili e una traccia stilistica che li caratterizza in modo immediato.Mi piace l'approccio esistenzialista che ha la pagina, l'attenzione al dettaglio umano, la suggestione dei luoghi.Mi piace meno chi, forte di questa tradizione, la rovescia a piene mani in una pagina che dovrebbe trasudare fatti, non divagazioni.Fred Vargas è bravissima. Purtroppo per il lettore, lo sa e lo [...]

    28. Fred Vargas è stata spesso definita l'anti Patricia Cornwell per il suo modo semplice di raccontare un delitto o una serie di delitti avvenuti in circostanze misteriose, come i cerchi azzurri che vengono trovati di volta in volta nei diversi quartieri e arrondissement parigini senza capire chi sia l'assassino e come mai compia quel gesto. "L'uomo dei cerchi azzurri" è un giallo, una storia in cui le vicissitudini interiori, le problematiche dei vari personaggi da Adamsberg, il commissario, un [...]

    29. I found this an unusual read for a crime fiction novel. It wasn't that it was a translated novel, but that it was really quirky and quaint. I loved the premise that someone in Paris was going around the city drawing blue circles around inanimate objects and the media had got itself into a frenzy over it. I thought it was a unique start. The characters were also very different to any I had read before. The protagonist Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg was not like a police detective at all, but rather allo [...]

    30. English title - The Chalk Circle ManThis book is very different. Vargas has done that really difficult thing in creating a new type of detective. This is the first in a series of macabre stories featuring the engaging but strange and unorthodox Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg. Blue chalk circles start appearing on the streets of Paris with various strange objects inside them. Somehow Adamsberg's sixth sense tells him that they will lead to murder and so they do.I now eagerly await the public [...]

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