Hoping for very specific quirky reading reccs
December 1, 2017 9:19 AM   Subscribe

I love Fred Vargas. What other books might I love?

I really like Fred Vargas. I like her characters and especially the way they are written. I'd like recommendations of other books that might be like hers. I'm not looking for random mystery series, but it would be nice if it were some kind of mystery.
Not looking for quirky characters that are written with a heavy hand or a very outlandish way of behaving.
It's not magical realism I'm looking for, mostly I'm looking for the characterizations, for instance Vargas has books that involve "the three evangelists" who are actually grad students in various periods of history that live together but also embody their chosen historical periods in their behavior. Then there's the large woman in the Precinct who can hide entire other people under her clothing when the need arises. There's the Chief Inspector who is described as a "shoveler of clouds". If you've read Vargas, what other books/authors/characters strike you as being similar?

Please no Agatha Christi, she's fabulous and Poirot is fabulous but they're not quite what I'm trying to get at.

posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I confess that I have not read Fred Vargas, but your description of her writing reminded of me of Pierre Lemaitre's Camille Verhœven series. The main characters is a diminutive police chief and they are much more literary than other crime novels I've read.
posted by jabes at 10:05 AM on December 1, 2017

Reginald Hill's later Dalziel and Pascoe books have a similar vibe. I'm thinking particularly of ones like Death's Jest-Book, Pictures of Perfection, and Dialogues of the Dead.
posted by haruspicina at 10:17 AM on December 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:39 PM on December 1, 2017

Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:44 PM on December 1, 2017

Louise Penny sounds like she might work for you. I recommend working through her books chronologically (starting with Still Life).
posted by Amy NM at 10:43 AM on December 4, 2017

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