Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas

Translated from the French by Sian Reynolds
Publisher: Harvill Secker, 2006

Paris in July seemed the appropriate time to read an author who has been on my TBR for years but somehow always put aside in favour of something else. I have to confess I also thought (understandably) that Fred Vargas was a man but turns out FV is a pseudonym for Frederique Audoin-Rouzeau, a medieval historian and archaeologist as well as a most successful writer of crime fiction. I had several to choose from but selected this one because I liked the cover!

It's about...........a tree that suddenly appears overnight in the garden of the Paris home of Sophia Simeonides, a Greek opera singer. Intrigued and unnerved she turns to her neighbours: Vandoosler, an ex-cop fired from the police, and three down-on-their luck historians, Mathias, Marc and Lucien - the three evangelists. Out of sheer curiousity and a need for money, they agree to dig around the tree and see if something has been buried there - it hasn't!
A few weeks later, Sophia disappears and a train of events is set in motion that includes murder and several suspects who appear to have had the motivation to kill.

My thoughts..............I loved every word. The writing is wonderful and although I sometimes don't care for lots of dialogue it was the perfect means of bringing the characters to life. The three evangelists are each a little strange and eccentric and the banter between them is very funny. It's a book about people and their relationships to which the well-crafted plot plays a secondary role, quiet in the first half but building the suspense in the second , keeping the reader guessing right to the end.

I tend to avoid books under 300 pages which is probably one of the reasons why I haven't read Fred Vargas before but I'll be looking for more now.
Great reading!

 hosted by Karen from Book Bath and Tamara from Thyme for Tea


  1. Oh, your review makes this sound wonderful! I'll have to check it out. Thank you. :)

  2. I'm reading her first Commoissaire Adamsberg mystery right now -- it's great! This isn't part of that series, it sounds like - but I'll look for it too. (And, by the way, I just finished Daughters-in-Law (liked that one too.)

  3. HRO - hope you will - and enjoy it.

    Audrey - I chose this one because it wasn't part of the Adamsberg series but I look forward to reading those also now.