Saturday, January 25, 2014
a delightfully new quirky crime series, starting with The Dark Angel, by Dominique Sylvain
MacLehose Press, 2014
originally published as Passage du Désir, 2004
translated by Nick Caistor
If like myself, you are tending to tire of Scandinavian crime and want something new and quirky in your translated crime fiction, then you may want to check out The Dark Angel, by Dominique Sylvain. It's not yet available in the US, but there's always Amazon UK or The Book Depository.
There's something to be said for a crime novel where one of the lead characters is a kind of crusty, overweight middle-aged woman who smokes and wears a hideous bathrobe when she's hanging out at home doing jigsaw puzzles. The Dark Angel is the introduction to a series (I think/hope) featuring retired Commissaire of the Paris police department Lola Jost and her very worldly, beautiful and American masseuse crime-solving partner Ingrid Diesel. While the mystery is pretty good, these two characters, most especially Lola, steal the show in this book. If for no other reason, you should read this book on the basis of Lola's character alone. Whenever she wasn't in the picture, I was eagerly awaiting her return. It's a murder mystery but it's the characters that make this book work well -- so darn quirky you can't get enough.
You can read what I think about this one at the crime page of this blog -- trust me. This Scandinavian crime stuff is getting old. Take a detour to France. You'll really like it.