commissaire inspector dottore
a bibliography of detective-inspector novels
the anne capestan seriesPoulets grillés. Paris: Albin Michel, 2015.
∴ La brigada de Anne Capestan. Translated by María Teresa Gallego Urrutia & Amaya García Gallego. Barcelona: Negra Alfaguara, 2016.
∴ The Awkward Squad. Translated by Sam Gordon. London: MacLehose, 2017.
∴ Kommando Abstellgleis. Translated by Katrin Segerer. München: Carl's, 2017.
Rester groupés. Paris: Albin Michel, 2016.
∴ Das Revier der schrägen Vögel. Translated by Katrin Segerer. München: Carl's, 2017.
∴ Stick Together. Translated by Sam Gordon. London: MacLehose, 2018.
Like Jussi Adler Olsen's Department Q series, Sophie Hénaff's Anne Capestan series gives us a team of misfits that the central police authorities have decided should be sent into internal exile to work on cases that nobody else wants: too hot or cold for the main CID's comfort. But Adler-Olsen at least starts his team off with just two people, Carl Mørck and his sidekick Assad, who starts as a kind of glorified janitor. By contrast, Hénaff's "36" consists of Commissaire Capestan and at least eight other detectives – I admit to losing count.
There are so many of these misbehaving and square-peggy flics that they seem to have nothing to do but decorate Christmas trees, shoot pool, and care for various pets. The Police Judiciaire seems to have the budget not only to keep them all employed but to send five of them to Provence to attend the funeral of a murder victim, on the off chance that they will be able to draw connections between that case and one in Paris. It's a short novel, and there just aren't enough pages to do justice to any of its wacky characters.
I don't mean to be hard on Rester groupés. Perhaps its predecessor Poulets grillés is less complicated and more charming; and almost certainly, if you've read Poulets grillés, you're in a better position to be fans of the characters in Rester groupés. But I bought this second series novel in an airport shop out in the farthest reach of Roissy just seconds before getting on a plane, and the selection was somewhat limited.