In order to give my opinion and vote in the two Euro Crime polls here I am now reading The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas, the only non Nordic nomination for the International Dagger this year.
After that I will move on to read Shadow by Karin Alvtegen.
I have gone from Bill James to Fred Vargas which is a short journey from the quirkily unique to the uniquely quirky.
The Chalk Circle is the first Adamsberg novel and was published in French in 1996. It is good to know that Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg was a weird in the first book as he is in the more recent offerings.
Both with her plots and her characters Fred Vargas gives the reader the different, the bizarre, the strange, the grotesque, the unconventional and the quirky. Perhaps one reason they seem so different from Nordic or Anglo-Saxon characters is they have a very French view of civilization.
The difference between this situation and Adamsberg's early days in the Pyrenees was that nowadays his reputation made things a bit easier. However that didn't alter the fact that he was an outsider. The day before, he had overheard the oldest Parisian in the team saying in a low voice:
"Ah well, he's from the Pyrenees-pretty much the edge of the known world."