An Uncertain Place

Editorial reviews

An Uncertain Place

There is the matter of a man who ate his way through a wardrobe and another who chewed through a small airplane. And there is the alarming question of feet cut off at the ankle, wearing shoes and trying to hobble into an ancient cemetery.

Fred Vargas writes police procedurals that are always a bit off center.

In AN UNCERTAIN PLACE, Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg is in London attending an international police conference.

In the novel’s opening lines, Adamsberg is ironing his shirt — something no other cop has done in the hundreds of crime novels I’ve read — and preparing to leave for a conference in London. He is delayed by his neighbor, an elderly, one-armed Spaniard who insists that the policeman help his cat give birth to kittens. (Another first.)

In Fred Vargas's new mystery, that quintessentially French policeman, Commisssaire Adamsberg, is taken way out of his comfort zone to London, where he speaks not a word of the language. Fortunately, he is accompanied by his Anglophile tweed-clad colleague, Commandant Danglard. It should be a routine visit to a conference, but Adamsberg has a disturbing effect everywhere he goes.