Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.
The book I’m featuring this week is The Accordionist by Fred Vargas, a book I reserved at the library and collected yesterday. It’s the third book in her Three Evangelists series.
Paris, July, 1997
‘PARIS KILLER STRIKES AGAIN! SEE PAGE 6.’
Louis Kehlweiler threw the newspaper down on the table. He’d seen enough and felt no urge to turn to page 6. Later maybe, when the whole business had calmed down, he’d cut out the article and file it.
Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.
These are the rules:
- Grab a book, any book.
- Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
- Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
- Post it.
- Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.
‘I want to know what the cops think about these two murders, what lines they’re following, and how far they’ve got.’
When two Parisian women are murdered in their homes, the police suspect young accordionist Clément Vauquer. As he was seen outside both of the apartments in question, it seems like an open-and-shut case.
Desperate for a chance to prove his innocence, Clément disappears. He seeks refuge with old Marthe, the only mother figure he has ever known, who calls in ex-special investigator Louis Kehlweiler.
Louis is soon faced with his most complex case yet and he calls on some unconventional friends to help him. He must show that Clément is not responsible and solve a fiendish riddle to find the killer…
I’ve been looking forward to reading The Accordionist since I finished Dog Will Have His Day, the second book in Fred Vargas’ Three Evangelists series. I love her books. She writes such quirky crime fiction, with eccentric characters and intricate plots that I love and find so difficult to solve.
What about you? Does it tempt you or would you stop reading?
I love Fred Vargas’s books. She writes such quirky crime fiction, with eccentric characters and intricate plots that I find so difficult to solve.
The Three Evangelists, set mainly in Paris, is an excellent example and the three title characters are thirty-something historians, Mathias, Marc and Lucien, all specialists in three different periods of history and all down on their luck. Together with Marc’s uncle and godfather, Armand Vandoosler, an ex-policeman, they have just moved into a ‘tumbledown disgrace’ of a house next door to retired opera singer Sophia Siméonidis and her husband Pierre. When a tree unexpectedly appears in Sophia’s garden she asks for their help in digging around the tree to see if something has been buried there. They find nothing but soil.
Then Sophia disappears and her body is found burned to ashes in a car. The evangelists and Armand use their expertise to find out what happened. Did her husband kill her, or her best friend; had she run off with an ex-lover and how does her niece figure in the mystery?
Sophia’s past life comes under scrutiny by the three historians, helped by Vandoosler and his friend, a current policeman. The trail leads back into Sophia’s past as an opera singer, a past full of intrigue, jealousy and desire. I loved all the characters in particular the three historians, each one unique, entertaining and completely eccentric. The clever plot had me completely bamboozled and the ending was so unexpected as the twists and turns had led me up the wrong garden path, so to speak.
Now, I’m keen to read the other two books in the series – Dog Will Have His Day and The Accordionist.
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (4 Jan. 2007) (First published in 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099469553
- ISBN-13: 978-0099469551
- Source: Library book
- My rating 4.5*
Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.
This week I’m featuring The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas, one of my favourite authors. I’ve read some of her Commissaire Adamsberg books and loved them. This one is the first in the Three Evangelists series.
‘Pierre, something’s wrong with the garden,’ said Sophia.
She opened the window and examined the patch of ground. She knew it by heart, every blade of grass. What she saw sent a shiver down her spine.
Blurb from the back cover:
The opera singer Sophia Siméonidis wakes up one morning to discover that a tree has appeared overnight in the garden of her Paris house. Intrigued and unnerved, she turns to her neighbours: Vandoosler, an ex-cop, and three impecunious historians, Mathias, Marc and Lucien – the three evangelists. They agree to dig around the tree and see if something has been buried there. They find nothing but soil.
A few weeks later, Sophia disappears and her body is found burned to ashes in a car. Who killed the opera singer? Her husband, her ex-lover, her best friend, her niece? They all seem to have a motive.
Vandoosler and the three evangelists set out to find the truth.
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This looks so different from her Adamsberg books – and yet at the same time so similar – quirky, with eccentric characters and with a mystery to solve.
What do you think – would you read on?