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The Accordionist by Fred Vargas
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The Accordionist (1997)

by Fred Vargas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Three Evangelists (3)

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5021131,666 (3.77)11
When two Parisian women are shockingly murdered in their homes, the police suspect young accordionist Clâement Vauquer, who was seen outside both of the apartments in question. It seems on the surface like an open-and-shut case.But now Clâement has disappeared from public view. His likeness has appeared in the papers and detectives from Paris to Nevers are on his tail. To have a chance of proving his innocence, he seeks refuge with old Marthe, a former prostitute and the only mother figure he has known. Marthe calls ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler to help Clâement. But what Louis uncovers is anything but straightforward, and he must call on some unconventional friends to help him solve his most complex case yet. Not only must Louis try to prove Clâement's innocence, he must solve a fiendish riddle to lead him to the killer.… (more)
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» See also 11 mentions

English (8)  French (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I am trying to understand why this book did not excite me as her earlier ones did. Was it because I know the quirky characters? I know the layout of the house? I have a sense of where Vargas will lead me? Or was it just because the newness of her wonderful storytelling has worn off, and I keep wanting more? In any case, I was happy, warmed, a bit on edge, but never guessing exactly where the road would lead. I 4-starred it because it's better than most, just not better that books one and two of Vargas. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
I love the Vargas books for their quirkiness. This is a Three Evangelists novel and was actually written several years ago but only translated to English now. It's very short. I enjoyed it but I prefer the Adamsberg books. This has the quirkiness but for me just lacked something. ( )
  infjsarah | Nov 4, 2017 |
Following a spate of brutal murders in Paris suspicion has fallen on a young accordionist seen loitering near the victim's homes. Clement is a simple young man and when he realises he is being set up he seeks out the only person he trusts, an old prostitute called Marthe. She takes Clement to her erstwhile lover and he recruits the 'three evangelists' to help solve the mystery.

Fred Vargas has a knack of writing about horrible crimes but with a real sense of humour and emotional intelligence, her characters are quirky and interesting. So whilst this is not her most engaging book, it is still streets ahead of most fiction in the genre. The investigator with the pet toad and an encyclopaedic knowledge of the police departments of France is a new and interesting character. However I did find the ending a little messy and too convenient. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Sep 22, 2017 |
This is the last of the three novels featuring the "Three Evangelists", published between the first and second Adamsberg books. The former civil servant Louis Kehlweiler and his friend the retired prostitute Marthe, both introduced in Un peu plus loin sur la droite, reappear as key characters in this book as well.

Clément, a young man with learning difficulties, turns up on Marthe's doorstep. We learn that she acted as an informal foster-mother to him twenty years earlier when he was a neglected street-child, and she's the only person he can think of to turn to when he gets into trouble. The police are after him for the murder of two young women, but he maintains that he's innocent. Someone seems to have set him up, arranging that he's seen hanging around the women's flats and delivering gifts to them with his fingerprints on them...

Louis doesn't really believe this story, but he owes it to Marthe to help her protégé as far as he can, so he takes on the investigation, whilst Clément is stashed away in the Evangelists' house out of harm's way.

A clever and well-constructed crime story, with the emphasis, once again, more on the disentangling of the psychological roots of the crime than on physical evidence. And a lot of the usual comic business between Louis, the Evangelists, and the police, and even a small but entertaining role for Louis's pet toad. Fans of Flanders and Swann will be way ahead of the game when it comes to spotting the abstruse link between the murders. ( )
1 vote thorold | Mar 17, 2016 |
Meno enfatico de "Chi è morto alzi la mano", ma piacevole. Il libro si concentra più sul Tedesco che sugli evangelisti, ma guai se non ci fossero loro...
Forse la conclusione è un po' affrettata, ma alla fine tutto torna.Se fosse reale, mi piacerebbe poter chiedere asilo nella "topaia", di tanto in tanto. "Io sono il tenebroso,
Il vedovo,
L’inconsolabile,
Il Principe d’Aquitania dalla torre abolita;
La mia unica stella è morta,
E sul mio liuto ornato di stelle
È impresso il Sole nero della Melancolia. [...]" ( )
  Kazegafukuhi | Aug 10, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fred Vargasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Balmelli, MauriziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luoma, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reynolds, SiânTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Ein zweites Mordopfer in Paris aufgefunden. Siehe S. 6"
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