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About the Author: Fred Vargas

Fred Vargas is the pseudonym of the French historian, archaeologist and writer Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau (often mistakenly spelled "Audouin-Rouzeau"). She is the daughter of Philippe Audoin(-Rouzeau), a surrealist writer who was close to André Breton, and the sister of the historian Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, a noted specialist of the First World War who inspired her the character of Lucien Devernois.

Archeo-zoologist and historian by trade, she undertook a project on the epidemiology of the Black Death and bubonic plague, the result of which was a scientific work published in 2003 and still considered definitive in this research area: Les chemins de la peste : Le rat la puce et l'homme (Pest Roads).

As a novelist, Fred Vargas writes mostly crime stories. She found writing was a way to combine her interests and relax from her job as a scientist. Her novels are set in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg and his team. Her interest in the Middle Ages is manifest in many of her novels, especially through the person of Marc Vandoosler, a young specialist in the period.

She separated her public persona as a writer from her scientific persona by adopting the pseudonym Fred Vargas. "Fred" is the diminutive of her given name, Frédérique, while with "Vargas", she has chosen the same pseudonym than her twin sister, Jo Vargas (pseudonym of Joëlle Audoin-Rouzeau), a painter. For both sisters, the pseudonym "Vargas" derives from the Ava Gardner character in "The Barefoot Contessa".

Her crime fiction policiers have won three International Dagger Awards from the Crime Writers Association, for three successive novels: in 2006, 2008 and 2009. She is the first author to achieve such an honor. In each case her translator into English has been Sîan Leonard, who was also recognized by the international award.


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Goodreads rating: 3.75

Paperback, Published in Jan 2008 by Vintage

ISBN10: 0099515970 | ISBN13: 9780099515975

Page count: 368

In this frightening and surprising novel, the eccentric, wayward genius of Commissaire Adamsberg is pitted against the deep-rooted mysteries of one Alpine village's history and a very present problem: wolves.

Disturbing things have been happening up in the French mountains; more and more sheep are being found with their throats torn out. The evidence points to a wolf of unnatural size and strength. However Suzanne Rosselin thinks it is the work of a werewolf.

Then Suzanne is found slaughtered in the same manner. Her friend Camille attempts, with Suzanne's son Soliman and her shepherd, Watchee, to find out who, or what, is responsible and they call on Commissaire Adamsberg for help.

Winner of the CWA International Dagger for Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand.

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