Fred Vargas (the pseudonym of Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau) is one of France's most acclaimed crime writers, although she didn't start out that way. In fact, her day job was an archaeologist specializing in epidemiology, which is why she was so surprised when she became famous for her hobby, writing romans policiers – "rompols," she calls them. Her series, which is set in Paris and features the adventures of Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg and his team, has won four International Dagger Awards from the Crime Writers Association for best translated crime novel of the year, along with her translator, Sîan Reynolds.
In his latest outing, Climate of Fear, Commissaire Adamsberg is back with a murder investigation that takes him through French Revolution history and Icelandic folklore. When a woman is found dead in her bathtub, her murder made to look like a suicide with a strange symbol drawn near her body, the Commissaire and his team investigate. Soon, a second victim is discovered and a pattern begins to emerge: both victims had been part of a tragic expedition to Iceland ten years earlier. But how are these deaths, and rumors of an Icelandic demon, linked to the secret society based on the writings of Maximilien Robespierre? And what does the mysterious symbol signify?
Kirkus said of the book, "It delights with its interesting characters, engaging dialogue, and infectious sense of curiosity about the lives of others," while Publishers Weekly added "Captivating … Vargas keeps introducing unexpected, fascinating new plot elements, even as the action totters on the brink of absurdity."
The publisher has offered up one print copy of Climate of Fear for one lucky winner from readers of In Reference to Murder (U.S. addresses only this time). To enter, hop on over to this Rafflecopter page and enter your email address through March 1 midnight ET.
For more information about Vargas and the book, check out her author page from Penguin Random House. Climate of Fear is available from all major online and brick-and-mortar bookstores.