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  • Published: 1 April 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099488972
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $24.99

The Chalk Circle Man

The Chalk Circle Man is the first book featuring Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, one of the most engaging characters in contemporary detective fiction.

Winner of the 2009 CWA International Dagger AwardJean-Baptiste Adamsberg is not like other policemen. His methods appear unorthodox in the extreme: he doesn’t search for clues; he ignores obvious suspects and arrests people with cast-iron alibis; he appears permanently distracted. In spite of all this his colleagues are forced to admit that he is highly successful – a born cop.

When strange blue chalk circles start appearing overnight on the pavements of Paris, the press take up the story with amusement and psychiatrists trot out their theories. Adamsberg is alone in thinking this is not a game and far from amusing. He insists on being kept informed of new circles and the increasingly bizarre objects which they contain: a pigeon’s foot, four cigarette lighters, a badge proclaiming ‘I Love Elvis’, a hat, a doll’s head. Adamsberg senses the cruelty that lies behind these seemingly random occurrences. Soon a circle with decidedly less banal contents is discovered: the body of a woman with her throat savagely cut. Adamsberg knows that other murders will follow

  • Published: 1 April 2010
  • ISBN: 9780099488972
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Fred Vargas

Fred Vargas was born in Paris in 1957. A historian and archaeologist by profession, she is now a bestselling novelist. Her books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 45 languages.

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Praise for The Chalk Circle Man

Rich and witty


She wants to surprise, unsettle, frustrate and amuse - and succeeds in writing a gripping novel that takes readers out of their comfort zones

The Scotsman

A good introduction to this quirky French writer... It is a testimony to both Vargas's skill as a writer and Reynolds's excellent translation that one is swept along by the sheer nouvelle vague-ish inventiveness of the whole thing


The novel shows Vargas in riveting form right from the start of her writing career

The Times

Witty, inventive and vaguely surreal, this novel should win over the most diehard crime fiction fans

Melissa McClemets, Financial Times


Arminta Wallace, The Irish Times

It is Vargas's eerie, sensuous portrait of Paris, at once a place of romance and dread, which resonates most hauntingly in this novel

Dan Sheehan, The Irish Times

A flavoursome translation, it shows her [Vargas'] dark charm from the off

Boyd Tonkin, Independent on Sunday

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