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Dog Will Have His Day by Fred Vargas
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Dog Will Have His Day (1996)

by Fred Vargas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Three Evangelists (2)

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English (7)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
It's always a joy to read a Vargas book, that wonderful creator of the fabulous Commissaire Adamsberg series. This book though does not feature Adamsberg, predating all but one in fact of the Adamsberg titles. Originally published back in 1996, it is the second of three in The Three Evangelists series, we await the third in translation.

This book features Parisian Louis, or Ludwig, Kehlweiler, who, having discovered a human toe bone that was deposited by a dog (!) near his regular park bench, sets about investigating its source and, as he suspects, a possible murder. This investigation takes Louis and his pet toad (!) ,which he keeps in his pocket, to a town in Brittany as he follows the trail of the offending dog and his walker. Here an old woman has been found dead on a beach, minus of course a toe!

The book is full of interesting and colourful characters, some you might even think eccentric, but that is what you come to expect from Vargas and it is only one of her many great strengths as a writer. There is Louis of course, a former investigator with the Ministry of Justice; old Marthé, a former prostitute; Marc, a medievalist and one of the evangelists; and then too the dog walker and collector of old typewriters. Vargas also here paints a vivid and interesting picture of a provincial town and Breton life.

This book is a wonderful crime mystery and an entertaining journey that was a delight to read and one which will surely hook you forever to the Vargas wagon. Read and enjoy. ( )
  ebyrne41 | Jan 9, 2015 |
Translated from the French, this is a quirky mystery in which a recently retired official from the "ministry" discovers a small bone in some dog poop near a bench and sets out to discover how it got there. ( )
  CarterPJ | Oct 10, 2014 |
I really did find this Fred Vargas novel a most peculiar read. That was probably I have never read the first in The Three Evangelists series and kept expecting her usual sleuth, Inspector Adamsberg, to make an appearance.

The little piece of human bone that Louis Kehlweiler finds convinces him that a murder has taken place. But his contacts tell him that no murder of an elderly woman has been reported. After a week he decides the murder has not taken place in Paris but in the country. By watching the dogs that visit a particular tree in Paris, he identifies one that has come from the country and that leads him to a fishing village in Breton.

A review in The Independent called it a "bizarre tale" with "surreal touches" and it certainly is, but at the same time as stretching the bounds of credibility, there is something compelling about reading it.
Keihlweiler ends up not only identifying a multiple murderer, and tracking down a former lover, but also solving a puzzle related to his own family history. Throw in too an Incredible Machine that performs the role of a modern oracle, with the whole story delivered with patches of quirky humour. ( )
  smik | Aug 6, 2014 |
I've never been a big fan of detective stories. They are either too neat or too contrived. I got this one in a free draw and enjoyed a quick romp through it. But it wouldn't persuade me to take up the genre.

This one reads like a draft for a TV series. Characterful ex-cop on a mission with quirky sidekicks. Female interest and a bit of politics on the side. All coming together and all loose ends tied up in the last few pages.

The translation is generally good except for one or two stilted idioms that jar.

Oh - and its very French in that it all starts with a piece of human bone found in a pile of dog shit on a Paris street. One of the less pleasing aspects of French public life is the proliferation of dog shit on the pavements and the refusal of owners to clear it up. So in that sense the book is true to French culture. ( )
  Steve38 | Jul 4, 2014 |
Two of the three Apostles feature in this book, which is a strange tale even by Vargas's standards. Louis Kehlweiler is an ex-investigator who just can't stop investigating. He finds a human toe bone embedded in some dog excrement, realises that this is evidence of a murder so he, two of the Evangelists and Kehlweiler's own oddly assorted band of investigators start on a mission to discover where the dog which deposited the evidence came from, in the hope of tracing the victim. Possibly because of its strangeness, which feels very French to this English reader, I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  riverwillow | Jun 12, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fred Vargasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Botto, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Keeping watch under the windows of the Paris flat belonging to a politician's nephew, ex-cop Louis Kehlweiler catches sight of something odd on the pavement. A small white object, surrounded by the excrement of local dogs. A piece of bone. Human bone, in fact. Naturally, when Kehlweiler takes his find to the nearest police station, he faces ridicule. But the tiny fragment obsesses him so much that he stops shadowing suspicious characters in Paris and follows the trail to the tiny Breton fishing village of Port-Nicolas. Because someone there owns a pit bull terrier. A dog that would take a bite out of anything. Even the foot of a corpse. But where is the corpse? Or the murderer?… (more)

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