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The Chalk Circle Man (1991)

by Fred Vargas

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Adamsberg (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,433769,954 (3.56)157
When blue chalk circles begin to appear on the pavement in neighborhoods around Paris, detective Commissaire Adamsberg is alone in thinking that they are far from amusing. As he studies each new circle and the increasingly bizarre objects they contain, he senses the cruelty that lies within whoever is responsible. And when a circle is discovered containing a woman with her throat cut, Adamsberg knows that this is just the beginning.--From publisher's description.… (more)
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» See also 157 mentions

English (57)  French (5)  Spanish (5)  Italian (3)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Looking around for a new series, and was intrigued by Fred Vargas. However, I did not care for the slow pace and writing style, which may be Vargas or her translator. Someone is drawing chalk circles on the streets of Paris. Objects appear in the circles, worrying Commmissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, and then a dead body is in one of the circles. Adamsberg has an odd air about him, seeming to follow unorthodox lines of inquiry. I liked his #2 Danglard. 2.5 stars, rounded up. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg has recently been transferred to Paris. His police methods aren’t exactly standard procedure and his inspectors have a lot to get used to. But they can have no doubt that he is a born policeman, and while even he is unable to explain how he arrives at his conclusions he is usually correct. In this case he thinks that there is something strange about the blue chalk circles that have been appearing in the Parisian streets. He is convinced that there is something sinister about them.

This is the fifth book by Vargas that I’ve read, and loved, but the English translations appear to be published out of order. This is the book that introduces us to Adamsberg and Danglard, but other books featuring them have already appeared in print. That sort of thing annoys me, why not translate them in order? Still, it was nice to go back and see how they got to know each other, if anyone can be said to “know” Adamsberg.

Full review: http://www.susanhatedliterature.net/2010/05/15/the-chalk-circle-man ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
I enjoyed this totally compelling mystery. Seems Vargas has taken mystery writing to a new level.

I found The Chalk Circle Man refreshingly different than most of the mysteries I've read. Not formulaic like most, and doesn't rely on using too many characters to confuse the reader. A good amount of red herrings. Slower paced than most mysteries I've read which requires more of the reader's attention.

Not sure how I feel about Adamsberg. I think Vargas believes using a strategy of making him inscrutable to his team, and to the reader will add to the mystery. Until I read a few more of Vargas' titles I can't be certain that I appreciate the method of overcomplicating the protagonist. I wonder if this is a French style ploy, or just Vargas'.

Good read.
  Bookish59 | Sep 9, 2020 |
Auf Pariser Bürgersteigen erscheinen über Nacht mysteriöse blaue Kreidekreise, und darin stets ein verlorener oder weggeworfener Gegenstand: ein Ohrring, eine Bierdose, ein Brillenglas, ein Joghurtbecher ... Keiner hat den Zeichner je gesehen, die Presse amüsiert sich, niemand nimmt die Sache ernst. Niemand, außer dem neuen Kommissar im 5. Arrondissement, Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg. Und eines Nachts geschieht, was er befürchtet hat: es liegt ein toter Mensch im Kreidekreis.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
I can't tell if the awkwardness of the text is due to the translation or the source material. Decent mystery that was worth finishing but will not read another of the series. ( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fred Vargasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amo, Helena delTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruchard, Dorothée deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chen, ZhenmeiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elligers, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoger, HanneloreNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luoma, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melaouah, YasminaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Öztürk, DenizTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pavlič, JanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollé, RosaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reynolds, SiânTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saʻīd, SaḥarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheffel, TobiasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szeżyńska-Maćk… KrystynaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tang, JesperTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tarusinoĭ, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torcal, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Yang, Yŏng-nanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Mathilde took out her diary and wrote: 'The man sitting next to me has got one hell of a nerve.'
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When blue chalk circles begin to appear on the pavement in neighborhoods around Paris, detective Commissaire Adamsberg is alone in thinking that they are far from amusing. As he studies each new circle and the increasingly bizarre objects they contain, he senses the cruelty that lies within whoever is responsible. And when a circle is discovered containing a woman with her throat cut, Adamsberg knows that this is just the beginning.--From publisher's description.

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Book description
The first novel in this critically acclaimed series, The Chalk Circle Man introduces the irresistibly 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 in 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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Average: (3.56)
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