AN UNCERTAIN PLACE
Fred Vargas is the pen name for a French historian, archaeologist and bestselling author, whose novels featuring Commis- saire Jean-Baptists Adamsberg have been published in 40 countries. The characters are eccentric — sometimes entirely off the wall — but Vargas is such a good writer that the reader is drawn in and further treated to twists and humor. If you like the unusual, you will love this.
Commissaire Adamsberg and his team arrive at a conference in London where they are confronted with the bizarre sight of 17 shoes, each with a severed foot inside, lined up outside of London’s Highgate Cemetery. Adamsberg returns to Paris, delighted to leave the macabre puzzle to the English. But he is called to a murder of an older journalist, ground up and scattered around a room in his house. Then he finds out the Highgate shoes are all French. Before long he is on his way to Serbia following rumors of vampires and vampire hunters and family feuds going back centuries. But the danger to Adamsberg is very real and current. (PENGUIN, Nov., 408 pp., $15.00)