Book Review: On Guard (The first Michael Vargas Mystery) by Karl Vadaszffy

Michael Vargas is the son of a very successful fencer, a maître d’armes, he is also a detective. When a woman is murdered who fences at his fathers club followed by someone he is close to, Michael needs answers from his father that he has never asked before. These answers arise back in Hungary where Michael must go to stop this relentless killer before he kills anyone else. Exploring old family rifts and enemies made by his father the champion fencer, Michael delves into this case and his heritage with great urgency and passion.

I truly enjoyed the mystery in this novel and was kept hooked by chapters ending in cliffhangers, the historical aspect of this book kept it interesting for me and the characters were flawed and well developed, particularly Michael, despite his Machiavellian attitude towards women, which I admit got a little tiresome by the time I was 90% into the book. I’m not sure Michael Vargas’ quest to bed every attractive woman he encounters will win over many female readers to the series, but all good characters have flaws I suppose. This is quite a high testosterone read and if you’re looking for old-fashion romance in your crime thriller you won’t find it here. However, you will find a very engaging crime read that keeps drawing you in and is very difficult to put down.

This is the second book I have reviewed from this author, the first being The Missing, which I did enjoy but was peeved by the typos. However, this crime novel is much more polished and had no errors that I detected and is a highly recommended read from a good crime thriller author.



    1. It’s a great combination of crime, mystery and historical thriller this one plus it’s about fencing, which I know very little about but didn’t find the technical stuff off-putting.


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