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Publisher's Summary

In the second installment in the best-selling Detective Varg Novels, Ulf and his team investigate a notorious lothario - a wolf of a man whose bad reputation may, much to his chagrin, be all bark and no bite. 

The Department of Sensitive Crimes, renowned for taking on the most obscure and irrelevant cases, led by Ulf Varg, their best detective, is always prepared to take on an investigation, no matter how complex. So when Ulf is approached by the girlfriend of Trig Oloffson, who claims her beau (the infamous bad boy of Swedish letters) is being blackmailed, Ulf is determined to help. It turns out that this wild bear of a man may be more of a teddy. And while Swedes are notoriously tolerant, finding out that their beloved rough-and-tumble ink slinger is more likely to use a pen than a sword...well, there are limits. Even for the Swedish. 

The case requires all of Ulf's concentration, but he finds himself distracted by his brother's questionable politics and meteoric rise within the Moderate Extremist Party and by his own constant attraction to his married co-worker Anna. When Ulf is then tasked with looking into a group of dealers exporting wolves that seem decidedly domestic, it will require all of his team's investigative instincts and dogged persistence to put these matters to bed.

©2020 Alexander McCall Smith (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Talented Mr. Varg

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another supiorley charming series from AMcS

I almost always give Alexander McCall Smith 5 star ratings. He's so charming and feel-good, but with intelligence. No, it's true he doesn't ascribe to any high literary dictates in his series books, but those are his books that I absolutely love.

Although I liked the first Detective Varg book, it got off to a slow start. (I don't remember, but it's possible I only gave it four stars!) This second full novel in the series was easier to warm up to and I enjoyed it immensely.

In this book, the honorable Detective Varg is shown to be lightly flawed, human--and we still want the very best for him in his mostly methodical and gentle life. But we hope he doesn't get all he wants at once because we wouldn't want his human successes to jump the boundaries of verisimilitude--or the novels to end.

McCall Smith paces the story with daubs of curry, perfectly spaced amongst the satisfyingly filling basmati, such that we are willing to read at the pace of Detective Varg's life (which at this time of self-isolation, is likely to be progressing at a rate far more exciting than our own lives). We read lightly and savor the delightfully pungent, often humorous situations that periodically arise from the characters' very human choices and misperceptions.

Good job A. McCall Smith! Please sir, may we have some more?

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Another Entertaining Adventure

“The Talented Mr. Varg” from Alexander McCall Smith’s “The Department of Sensitive Crimes” is another well written and entertaining adventure in people with a “good feel” under current. As I continue to read books from Alexander McCall Smith I continue to grow in a liking and comfort with the stories and characters. Very enjoyable entertainment and now I am on to reading “The Man in the Silver Saab” another “Department of Sensitive Crimes” adventure. The narrator, David Rintoul did a great job! Experienced as an Audio book.

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  • GW
  • 08-10-21

Brilliant story and beautiful narration

Absolutely engaging and hilarious book by Alexander McCall Smith., with a brilliant cast of characters! David Rintoul is our favorite reader. Such a beautiful voice and we are always a captive audience to his narrations!