MADRID (AP) — French crime writer Fred Vargas, the pen name of Frederique Audoin-Rouzeau, has won Spain's prestigious Asturias prize for literature for her success in breathing new life into the genre.

The award foundation says Thursday that Vargas, who is also a distinguished archaeologist, perceives society as "a mysterious and complex ecosystem."

It says her detective stories possess original plots and irony in their description of characters, as well as abundant imagination.

Vargas, 60, is a best-seller in France and is widely read in translation. She has won several awards from the Crime Writers' Association.

Advertisement

The 50,000-euro ($58,650) award is one of eight Asturias prizes handed out yearly by a foundation named for Crown Princess Leonor.