Another Word for Murder:
Foreign Crime Fiction in Translation
- Khadra, Yasmina Double Blank , translated from the French by Aubrey Botsford (2005)
- Superintendent Brahim Llob of the Algerian police force sets out to solve the murder of Ben Ouda, a retired diplomat who had earlier asked Llob, himself an author, for help in writing a book about the Islamic fundamentalist violence plaguing the nation. As the bodies pile up, Llob's investigation leads him not only into the more squalid zones of Algiers but also into the homes and retreats of the wealthy. Yasmina Khadra is the pseudonym of Mohamed Moulessehoul, a former high-ranking Algerian military officer. His Superintendent Llob detective story trilogy includes Morituri and Autumn of the Phantoms . The author now lives in exile in France.
- Martínez, Guillermo The Oxford Murders , translated by Sonia Soto (2005)
- A sequence of mathematical symbols holds the key to a series of murders that Oxford mathematician Arthur Seldom and his assistant, a young Argentine mathematics student, must put together to find the killer before he can strike again.
- Glauser, Friedrich In Matto's Realm , translated by Mike Mitchell (1936)
- It is the 1930s, near Bern, Switzerland, and Detective Sergeant Studer is called to a psychiatric asylum to investigate the disappearance of the director and one of the patients, a murderer. This second Sergeant Studer mystery was published in 1936 and this is its first appearance in English. The German crime-fiction award was named for its author. Other recently reprinted titles include Fever , Thumbprint and The Spoke .
- Jelinek, Elfriede, Greed , translated by Martin Chalmers (2007)
- A corrupt country policeman, Kurt Janisch seduces lonely women in order to rob them of their lucrative real estate, but when a teenage girl is found dead, his schemes begin to unravel.
- Perutz, Leo The Master of the Day of Judgement , translated by Eric Mosbacher (1994)
- Attending a recital at the home of his former mistress and her famous actor husband, Baron von Yosch is declared the suspect when the actor is murdered later that evening, and sets out to learn the truth in order to clear his name.
- Roth, Joseph Confession of a Murder: Told in One Night , translated by Desmond I. Vesey (1985)
- The illegitimate son of a Russian prince and raised by a forester, the narrator joins the Ochrana, the Czar's secret police, and plans revenge on his legitimate half brother.
- Recacoechea S., Juan, American Visa , translated by Adrian Althoff (2007)
- Armed with fake papers, a handful of gold nuggets, and a snazzy custom-made suit, an unemployed schoolteacher with a singular passion for detective fiction sets out from small-town Bolivia on a desperate quest for an American visa, his best hope for escaping his painful past and reuniting with his grown son in Miami.
- García-Roza, Luiz Alfredo December Heat , translated by Benjamin Moser (2003)
- Called in to help an old friend and retired police officer, who awoke one morning to find his prostitute girlfriend murdered, his wallet and keys missing, and no memory of the previous night's occurrences, Inspector Espinosa takes the case only to find himself falling in love. This highly regarded Brazilian crime series features the witty and book-loving chief of Rio de Janeiro's 12th Precinct. Other titles include Silence of the Rain , Pursuit , and A Window in Copacabana .
- Soares, Jô Twelve Fingers: Biography of an Anarchist , translated by Clifford E. Landers (2001)
- Dmitri Korozec, a hapless assassin and bumbling anarchist, wreaks havoc from Sarajevo to Paris to Hollywood as he unintentionally triggers a number of significant events of the twentieth century, from helping ignite World War I to unwittingly spreading the Spanish influenza to America, as he encounters Mata Hari, Al Capone, Marie Curie, Picasso, and other historical characters. In Soares' first novel, A Samba for Sherlock , Sherlock Holmes is summoned to Brazil to investigate the theft of a priceless violin, a gift from the Emperor of Brazil to his mistress, and finds himself caught up in a series of grisly homicides amid the seductive charms of the tropics.
- Veríssimo, Luis Fernando Borges and the Eternal Orangutans , translated by Margaret Jull Costa (2005)
- Brazilian author Verissimo's delightful novel simultaneously caricatures the complicated codes that comprise detective stories and spins a whodunit of paternity, academic intrigue, 16th-century occultism and orangutans. The action occurs at the annual meeting of the Israfel Society, an eccentric organization devoted to the study of Edgar Allan Poe, which Vogelstein, a sheltered teacher and translator, decides to attend in the hopes of meeting his hero, Jorge Luis Borges. When Vogelstein discovers the unlikable Rotkopf, another conference attendee, stabbed to death in front of a mirror, it falls to Borges and Vogelstein to solve the crime. Verissimo's first novel, The Club of Angels , details the murderous goings-on at an exclusive dinner group called the Beef Stew Club.
- Wang Shuo Playing for Thrills , translated by Howard Goldblatt (1998)
- Wang Shuo is a best-selling author in his native China, where his books have been banned as 'pizi wenxue' -- punk/hoodlum/hooligan literature. Playing for Thrills follows the investigation of a mysterious murder of a possibly imaginary character that took place more than 10 years before. The chief suspect is the narrator of the novel who may or may not have committed the crime -- even he isn't sure.
- Montero, Mayra The Captain of the Sleepers , translated by Edith Grossman (2005)
- Andres Yasin has held a grudge against J. T. Bunker for half a century, but as Bunker nears the end of his life, he tells his side of this story, delving deeply into the Puerto Rican past and revisiting the Puerto Rican Nationalist Insurrection. Montero was born in Cuba but has lived in Puerto Rico since the 1960s.
- Padura, Leonardo Adiós Hemingway , translated by John King (2005)
- Padura is one of Cuba's most acclaimed writers. He has published collections of short stories and literary essays but achieved international fame with the Havana Quartet , a crime series featuring Lieutenant Mario Conde. In Adios Hemingway, the discovery of the skeletal remains of the victim of a forty-year-old murder on the Havana estate of Ernest Hemingway draws ex-cop Mario Conde back into the game to investigate a crime with roots in Hemingway's Cuba four decades earlier. Other novels in the series include Havana Red , Havana Black and Havana Gold .
- Capek, Karel Tales from Two Pockets , translated by Norma Comrada (1994)
- Capek wrote 48 stories that deconstruct the mystery story by breaking one rule here, three rules there, and yet also make for wonderful reading. His unique approaches to the mysteries of justice and truth are full of the ordinary and the extraordinary, humor and humanism.
- Kohout, Pavel The Widow-Killer , translated by Neil Bermel (1998)
- The gruesome murder of the widow of a German Wehrmacht general by a sadistic serial killer forces an inexperienced Czech detective and a turncoat Gestapo agent into an uneasy alliance to find the murderer before he can strike again, in a thriller set in German-occupied Prague. In I am Snowing: The Confessions of a Woman of Prague , Petra Marova is asked to help Professor Victor Kral, a returned exile and economic reformer, clear himself of charges of collaborating with the secret police. What she finds out causes her to doubt the professor's innocence and to begin her own investigation.
- Skvorecký, Josef, The End of Lieutenant Boruvka , translated by Paul Wilson (1990)
- In this collection of stories, Lieutenant Boruvka, a Prague cop, confronts Soviet troops and opposition from every corner as he continues to track down murder suspects in most influential positions and jeopardizes his career in doing so.
- Bodelsen, Anders One Down , translated by Carolyn Bly (1970)
- Bodelsen's thrillers are reminiscent of the Martin Beck series in that his work is in the same realistic vein that examines the discontents of modern life and the effect of materialism on human relationships.
- Davidsen, Leif Lime's Photograph , translated by Gaye Kynoch (2002)
- Lime is a Danish paparazzo living in Madrid. For more than 20 years, he's stalked and captured the rich and famous on film, making vast sums of money from exposing their secrets -- the more salacious the image, the bigger the fee. But lately he's been thinking of giving it up. Then he goes on a routine assignment, snapping a Spanish minister out sailing with his mistress, and suddenly his world is turned upside down. When a fire destroys his home, Lime sets out to discover a motive and finds himself drawn into a terrifying web of international terrorism.
- Høeg, Peter Smilla's Sense of Snow , translated by Tiina Nunnally (1993)
- When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death, and no one is willing to suspect foul play, Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson finds her own investigation taking her into the files of a Danish company. Høeg's first novel translated into English was a sensation and later translated to screen.
- Jungersen, Christian, The Exception translated by Anna Paterson (2008)
- When two of the four women who work at the Danish Centre for Genocide Studies begin receiving death threats, they suspect that they are being stalked by Mirko Zigic, a Bosnian torturer and war criminal, but as they try to track down the source of the threats, they discover that it could be someone in their very midst.
- Larsen Michael Uncertainty , translated by Lone Thygesen Blecher and George Blecher (1996)
- A mentally unbalanced tabloid journalist suspected of murdering his girlfriend tries to clear his name and discovers that his former lover led a double life.
- Joensuu, Matti The Stone Murders , translated by Raili Taylor (1987)
- While investigating a series of murders and muggings in Helsinki, Detective Timo Harjunpaa of the Finnish Police Service discovers that a vicious gang of teenagers may be responsible.
- Bello, Antoine Missing Piece , translated by Helen Stevenson (2003)
- Part murder mystery, part intellectual game, this witty, fresh novel follows the hunt for a serial killer mounted by an American billionaire bent on reviving the jigsaw puzzle.
- Benacquista, Tonino Holy Smoke , translated by Adriana Hunter (2004)
- Some favors simply cannot be refused. Tonio agrees to write a love letter for Dario, a low-rent Paris gigolo. When Dario is murdered, a single bullet to the head, Tonio finds he has been left a small vineyard near Naples. The wine is undrinkable, but an elaborate scam has been set up. The smell of easy money attracts the unwanted attentions of the Mafia and the Vatican and the unbridled hatred of the locals. Mafiosi aren't choir boys, and monsignors can be very much like Mafiosi. Followed by Framed .
- Claudel, Philippe By a Slow River , translated by Hoyt Rogers (2006)
- As the First World War ravages Europe, the daily life of a small French town near the front is little disturbed by the war, until the deaths of three innocents -- a charming schoolmistress who takes her own life, the wife of a local police officer who dies in childbirth, and a young girl, found murdered -- turns the town upside down.
- Grangé, Jean-Christophe, Blood-Red Rivers , translated by Ian Monk (1999)
- When the nude and mutilated body of a murder victim turns up outside a university town in the French Alps, brilliant but hot-tempered detective Pierre Niemans is sent from Paris to investigate and teams up with maverick cop Karim Abdouf to find out the truth. Also filmed as The Crimson Rivers in 2000.
- Izzo, Jean-Claude Total Chaos , translated by Howard Curtis (1995)
- Izzo's Marseilles Trilogy, of which this uncompromising mix of noir thriller and unconventional procedural is the first volume, was a smash in France and, with enough buzz, may be here, too. The story concerns three friends -- Ugo, Manu, and Fabio -- who grew up in Marseilles' roughest neighborhood, dabbling in street crime and vying for the same girls. But Fabio opted out, alienating his friends by becoming a cop. Now, 20 years later, Manu and Ugo are dead, and it is left to Fabio to avenge them. Other titles in the series include Chourmo and Solea . Filmed as a made-for-TV movie in France, called Fabio Montale , in 2001, starring Alain Delon.
- Japrisot, Sébastien, The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun , translated by Helen Weaver (1967)
- A French author with a penchant for psychological thrillers, Japrisot does not have a series detective. Instead, his intense novels, such as The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun, dealing with a woman joyriding into mystery, and A Very Long Engagement , about a young French woman investigating the execution of her fiancé during WWI, have won him acclaim. The latter was also made as the well-regarded French film, Un Long dimanche de fiançailles , in 2004, starring Audrey Tatou.
- Kristeva, Julia Murder in Byzantium , translated by C. Jon Delogu (2006)
- In this absorbing, suspenseful novel Julia Kristeva combines social satire, medieval history, philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, and autobiography within a gruesome murder mystery. Murder in Byzantium deftly moves from eleventh-century Europe, wracked by the turbulence of the First Crusade, to the sun-dappled, cultural wasteland of present-day Santa Varvara, threatened by religious cults, gangs, and a serial killer on the loose.
- Manchette, Jean-Patrick Three to Kill , translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith (1976)
- Backed by a tremendous European reputation, one of the stars of Gallimard's Série Noire comes to America with a lean thriller, in a brilliant new translation. Manchette (1942-1995) did translations himself, as well as leftist political writing, potboilers and TV scripts, but his 10 crime novels composed between 1971 and 1982 are considered his masterworks. This 1976 title features the ordinary businessman Georges Gerfaut, drawn by chance into the net cast by two hit men, Carlo and Bastien, working on assignment for the mysterious "Mr. Taylor." For no reason Gerfaut can comprehend, the pair are suddenly trying to kill him, and he must flee for his life.
- Magnan, Pierre Death in the Truffle Wood , translated by Patricia Clancy (2005)
- When five bodies are discovered hanging by their feet in Banon, a small and peaceful village in Provence in which the local community's principal source of income comes from the cultivation and sale of truffles, it takes all of Commissaire Laviolette's resources to unravel crimes that were committed in a climate of superstition and secret animosity.
- Monbrun, Estelle Murder chez Proust , translated by David Martyn (1995)
- A murder mystery involving the lust for words as a motive for crime finds detective Jean-Pierre Foucheroux investigating the murder of the President of the Proust Society and discovering that a missing Proust manuscript had been found and lost again.
- Pennac, Daniel Fairy Gunmother , translated by Ian Monk (1997)
- Benjamin Malaussene's already complicated life is further disturbed when he is suspected of murdering half a dozen elderly women in Paris, while two disguised police officers put their all into solving the case. Part of Pennac's Belleville Quartet; followed by Write to Kill .
- Sanders, Louis Death in the Dordogne , translated by Adriana Hunter (1999)
- Accidents, murder, strange noises, and odd neighbors envelop a newly-arrived Englishman in intrigue and mystery in a rural southern French village.
- Simenon, Georges Maigret and the Burglar's Wife , translated by J. Maclaren-Ross (1955)
- When Sad Freddie, an ace safecracker, stumbles upon a murdered woman during a burglary, his wife, Lofty, turns to the inimitable Inspector Maigret for help. Simenon's iconic detective, the pipe-smoking, cognac-loving, Inspector Jules Maigret, became one of the first European mystery characters translated into English and popular in the States. Titles include Maigret and the Madwoman , Maigret Sets a Trap , Maigret's War of Nerves , and many more. Some titles are also available in French. A British television series, Maigret , starring Michael Gambon is also available.
- Vargas, Fred Have Mercy on Us All , translated by David Bellos (2005)
- When a Parisian town crier receives anonymous, ominous messages warning of an imminent outbreak of the Black Death, genius detective Commissaire Adamsberg and his straight-edged sidekick, Danglard, begin to suspect that the predictions are linked to strange marks that have appeared on doorways, a mystery that is complicated by a suspicious death. Fred Vargas, an archaeologist and best-selling novelist in her native France, has received great acclaim for her Commissaire Adamsberg series.
- Arjouni, Jakob One Death to Die , translated by Anselm Hollo (1997)
- While investigating the disappearance of Sri Dao, a Thai girl smuggled into Frankfurt for the flourishing sex trade, Kemal Kayankaya, the gritty Turkish P.I. with an attitude, uncovers an underworld of illegal aliens, corrupt cops, hustlers, and pimps.
- Ditfurth, Christian von A Paragon of Virtue , translated by Helen Atkins (2008)
- History professor Josef Stachelmann investigates the murders of family members of a wealthy realtor, whose squeaky-clean image covers up a past connected to Nazi Germany and the persecution of Jews.
- Hammesfahr, Petra, The Sinner , translated by John Brownjohn (2009)
- Cora Bender killed a man on a sunny summer afternoon by the lake and in full view of her family and friends. Why? What could have caused this quiet, lovable young mother to stab a stranger in the throat, again and again, until she was pulled off his body? For the local police it was an open-and-shut case. Cora confessed; there was no shortage of witnesses. But Police Commissioner Rudolf Grovian refused to close the file and started his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unravelling of Cora's past, a harrowing descent into a woman's private hell.
- Ohnemus, Günter The Russian Passenger , translated by John Brownjohn(2002)
- Munich taxi driver Harry Willemer and one of his passengers, a former KGB agent and wife of a Russian mafioso, flee hit men keen to recover $4 million in ill-gotten loot in the pair's possession.
- Schlink, Bernhard, The Homecoming , translated by Michael Heim (2008)
- As a child Peter Debauer finds an incomplete novel about a German prisoner of war who escapes from an Russian camp to return to his wife who believes he is dead. Years later he embarks on a search for the missing pages which turns into a search for his missing father, a German soldier he believed to have been killed in the war.
- Aristides, Paris, The Viper's Kiss , translated by Rebecca Koutsoudis (2001)
- A self-acknowledged smuggler hires Chrisostomos Zarras, a middle-aged Athens private detective, to find the man who stole the payoff for a shipment of contraband whiskey. So Zarras travels to Cyprus, where he interrogates the smuggler's beautiful and not unsympathetic secretary, tails the errant ship's devious captain, and discovers a murder victim all the while encountering a wide variety of idiosyncratic bit players and temporary assistants. The plot moves forward with alacrity despite a few abrupt transitions, and readers will savor the Cyprian surroundings.
- Markar¯es, Petros, Deadline in Athens , translated by David Connolly (2004)
- Athens homicide detective Inspector Costas Haritos is called in to investigate the slaying of a renowned TV journalist, killed in her broadcast studio just as she is to announce some sensational news, and becomes swept up in the cutthroat and nasty world of the Greek media.
- Arnaldur Indriðason, Jar City , translated by Bernard Scudder (2005)
- A man is found murdered in his Reykjavik flat, and the police have no obvious leads. The man lived alone and had no family. Erlendur and his colleague Sigurdur Oli find a computer filled with pornography, and, in a desk, the photograph of a young girl's grave and a cryptic note left behind by the killer.
- Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Last Rituals , translated by Bernard Scudder (2007)
- The spellbinding debut and international sensation being published in thirty countries features Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, a smart, sexy lawyer and investigator whose hunt for a modern murderer points to a very odd -- and evil -- chapter in Iceland's past.
- Gur, Batya Bethlehem Road Murder , translated by Vivian Eden (2004)
- Investigating the murder of a woman found in the Baka neighborhood of Jerusalem, Chief Superintendent Michael Ohayon finds the case complicated by tensions between local Jewish and Arab residents. By the author of Murder Duet .
- Andrea Camilleri The Terra-Cotta Dog , translated by Stephen Sartarelli (2002)
- Inspector Montalbano stumbles on a fifty-year-old mystery involving a pair of lovers whose bodies are found in a mountain cave beside a dog statue. Camilleri's series detective Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano (named in honor of Camilleri's favorite detective story writer, the Spanish Manuel Vázquez Montalbán) investigates murder and corruption in his native town, while juggling a long-distance love affair, a corrupt bureaucracy, a roster of Keystone-Kop assistants –- and frequent stops for lunch. Titles include The Shape of Water , Voice of the Violin , and The Smell of the Night.
- Carlotto, Massimo The Goodbye Kiss , translated by Lawrence Venuti (2006)
- Giorgio Pellegrino, a former left-wing terrorist, wants to return to Italy and is willing to do anything -- including selling out his former friends -- to do so. And, worse, he wants a shot at respectability even if it takes an armored-car holdup and numerous murders to make his dream possible.
- Carofiglio, Gianrico Involuntary Witness , translated by Patrick Creagh (2005)
- A bestseller and winner of multiple awards in Italy, Carofiglio's debut should please fans of American-style courtroom thrillers. A murder case presents Guido Guerrieri, the archetypal burned-out defense lawyer, with a chance at redemption.
- Eco, Umberto The Name of the Rose , translated by William Weaver (1983)
- Eco, a scholar and semiotician in Italy, achieved an international hit with his first mystery, The Name of the Rose , in which a suspiciously Holmes-like figure investigates the murders of several monks in a medieval monastery. Also made as a feature film, The Name of the Rose, starring Sean Connery and F Murray Abraham.
- Fruttero, Carlo and Franco Lucentini The D. Case: The Truth about the Mystery of Edwin Drood , translated by Gregory Dowling (1992)
- World-famous sleuths Lew Archer, Father Brown, Sherlock Holmes, Jules Maigret, Philip Marlowe, Hercule Poirot, Nero Wolfe, and Porfiry Petrovich gather in Rome to ponder Charles Dickens's final and unfinished novel.
- Lucarelli, Carlo Almost Blue , translated by Oonagh Stransky (2001)
- Lucarelli, who sings in a postpunk band and has written 11 novels (this is his first to appear in the U.S.), gives us Grazia Negro, a hip, young female detective working with a newly formed unit designed to track serial killers. There's one on the loose in Bologna, preying on university students and cruising the city's underground music clubs.
- Morozzi, Gianluca, Blackout , translated by Howard Curtis (2008)
- Bologna in August. Unbearable heat, an empty city. Claudia is a young student in a hurry to return home from her work as a waitress and get out of the skimpy uniform she hates. Tomas is a young man on his way to elope to Amsterdam with his girlfriend Francesca. Aldo is a husband and father with an uncanny resemblance to Elvis Presley, anxious to get to an apartment filled with guilty secrets. All three have an urgent need to be somewhere else. Instead, they are trapped in an elevator in a deserted building on a holiday weekend. Like three wasps in an upturned glass ... and one of them is a serial killer.
- Sciascia, Leonardo Open Doors and Three Novellas , translated by Marie Evans, Joseph Farrell, and Sacha Rabinovitch (1992)
- A Sicilian who built his literary reputation with tales of crime that are rich in political significance, Sciascia (1921-1989) is known for his lean but brooding prose and supple philosophical investigations: in his terrain, mystery centers not around crime but around justice. This final collection introduces a stunning range of characters, from the world-weary to the wealthy and beautiful, in four short tales of murder and the investigations that follow in their wake. See also Sicilian Uncles , another collection of short stories from early in his career.
- Abe, K¯ob¯o, The Ruined Maps , translated by E. Dale Saunders (1969)
- Mr. Nemuro, a respected salesman, disappeared over half a year ago, but only now does his alluring yet alcoholic wife hire a private eye. The nameless detective has but two clues: a photo and a matchbook. With these he embarks upon an ever more puzzling pursuit that leads him into the depths of Tokyo's dangerous underworld, where he begins to lose the boundaries of his own identity. Surreal, fast-paced, and hauntingly dreamlike, Abe's masterly novel delves into the unknowable mysteries of the human mind.
- Kirino, Natsuo Out , translated by Stephen Snyder (2003)
- After strangling her husband, Masako Katori, a middle-aged wife and mother working the night shift at a Tokyo factory, enlists the aid of four co-workers to conceal the crime.
- Matsumoto, Seich¯o The Voice and Other Stories , translated by Adam Kabat (1989)
- Six stories depict what appear to be perfect crimes, until unanticipated events bring down the criminal.
- Miyabe, Miyuki All She Was Worth , translated by Alfred Birnbaum (1997)
- On leave after the death of his wife and a job-related injury, a police inspector returns to the force when his banker nephew's fiancee suddenly vanishes, and his investigation into her disappearance reveals troubling puzzles about the woman and her background. Other novels by Miyabe include Shadow Family and Crossfire .
- Natsuki, Shizuko Murder at Mt. Fuji , translated by Robert B. Rohmer (1984)
- A visiting American and a clever police detective attempt to unravel an intricate web of intrigue, deceit, and subterfuge to uncover the truth concerning a family murder.
- ¯Osawa, Arimasa, Shinjuku Shark, translated by Andrew Clare (2007)
- In the seedy Shinjuku district of Tokyo, Detective Samejima silently stalks his prey. To the yakuza gangsters he is the "shark" for his relentless pursuit of justice regardless of the cost. To his superiors, he is a thorn not to be pulled; his dismissal could unleash secrets capable of tearing down the force. None will be his partner, a risky proposition made more dangerous by their rough turf. But now there's a serial killer on the streets, and he's hunting police officers. While the force will lose not only more men but it's face if the spree continues, the use of a mysterious firearm stymies the investigation. Samejima is forced to choose between keeping to his maverick ways and working with HQ. Arimasa Osawa is one of Japan's leading hardboiled novelists, influenced by American authors such as Elmore Leonard. His famous work, Shinjuku Shark (the first installment in a series) won the Eiji Yoshikawa Award for fiction and the Naoki Prize.
- Takagi, Akimitsu, The Tattoo Murder Case , translated by Deborah Boehm (1998)
- Kenzo Matsuchita, a young repatriated doctor specializing in the study of forensic medicine, joins his brother, the police detective in charge of the case, to investigate the brutal murder of a young woman--Kenzo's secret lover--whose killing may be tied to her beautiful full-body tattoos.
- Togawa, Masako, The Lady Killer , translated by Simon Grove (1985)
- Masako Togawa was born in Tokyo in 1933. After leaving high school, she worked as a typist, then made her professional debut as a nightclub singer at the age of twenty-three. Between acts, she started to write backstage, and at the age of twenty-four published The Master Key , which was awarded the prestigious Edogawa Ranpo Prize. Her next novel The Lady Killer , was a bestseller, and established her as one of the most popular novelists in Japan. Critics have compared her to both Muriel Spark and P.D. James.
- Taibo, Paco Ignacio No Happy Ending , translated by William I. Neuman (1993)
- Mexico City becomes the setting for a bizarre mystery, as private eye Hector Belascoaran Shayne investigates the death of a man entangled with a terrifying, repressive paramilitary organization. In Return to the Same City , Shayne trails a murderous rumba dancer with ties to the CIA.
- Baantjer, DeKok and Murder in Ecstasy , translated from the Dutch by H.G. Smittenaar (1998)
- A bestselling mystery writer in his native Netherlands, Baantjer remains relatively and undeservedly unknown in the U.S., although this is the 17th (out of more than 40) DeKok mystery published here. Detective Inspector Jurriaan DeKok of the Amsterdam police is an unorthodox veteran. Here, he and his colleagues attempt to unsnarl a clever and violent $3-million robbery. Fans of Simenon's Maigret stories should enjoy this Dutch sleuth. Other titles include DeKok and the Naked Lady and DeKok and the Corpse at the Church Wall .
- Krabbé, Tim The Cave , translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett (2000)
- The complex friendship between Egon Wagter and the seductive and amoral Axel van de Graaf continues throughout their diverging lives as the conventional Egon finds himself tempted, fascinated, and, ultimately, betrayed by the near-satanic and nihilistic power of Axel.
- Möring, Marcel In Babylon , translated by Stacey Knecht (2000)
- Trapped in a deserted house during one of the worst blizzards in memory, Nathan Hollander and his niece, Nina, piece together a family mystery with the help of two seventeenth century ghosts.
- Noort, Saskia, Back to the Coast , translated by Laura Vroomen (2009)
- Maria is a young singer with money problems, two children from failed relationships and a depressive ex-boyfriend. Faced with another pregnancy, she decides not to keep the baby, but after the abortion, threatening letters start to arrive. She flees from Amsterdam to her sister's house by the coast, a place redolent with memories of a childhood she does not want to revisit. But when the death threats follow her to her hiding-place, Maria begins to fear not only for her life, but also for her sanity.
- Dahl, K.O., The Last Fix , translated by Don Bartlett (2010)
- After recovering drug addict Katrine Bratterud is found dead on the shore of a serene lake, detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda delve into the case, which holds a web of secrets and lies that stretches back generations.
- Fossum, Karin Don't Look Back , translated by Felicity David (2002)
- The tranquility of a small, idyllic town is shattered when the body of a teenage girl is found, prompting an investigation by Inspector Sejer that reveals the sinister truth behind the town's quiet façade. Called "Norway's Queen of Crime," Fossum is a major European mystery writer, and this is her first U.S. publication.
- Holt, Anne, What Is Mine , translated by Kari Dickson (2006)
- The American debut by a popular Scandinavian crime writer finds Norway police commissioner Stubo teaming up with troubled FBI profiler Johanna Vik for an investigation into the disappearances and murders of several young children.
- Nesbø, Jo, The Devil's Star, translated by Don Bartlett (2010)
- Alcoholic detective Harry Hole has two missions: catch a serial killer obsessed with the number five, who cuts a finger off each victim and adorns her with a red pentagram; and expose his crooked partner, Tom Waaler, who may be responsible for the death of his partner. By the author of Nemesis .
- Rygg, Pernille The Butterfly Effect , translated by Joan Tate (1995)
- Igi Heitmann battles the city's underbelly of corruption, sadism, and child abuse as she tries to piece together the last days of her dead father's life. A fine example of the new European mystery.
- Akunin, Boris The Winter Queen , translated by Andrew Bromfield (2003)
- When a young student from a wealthy family commits suicide in the Alexander Gardens, Erast Fandorin of the Moscow Police investigates the supposedly open-and-shut case and discovers that the student's suicide is not an isolated case. One of the signs that Russia is emerging from its Soviet past is the increasing popularity of detective fiction. Boris Akunin's historical mystery novels featuring Erast Fandorin have been smash hits in his native country; translations of The Winter Queen , Murder on the Leviathan and The Turkish Gambit are cementing his popularity here as well. The Springfield City Library also carries many Akunin titles in the original Russian.
- Meyer, Deon Dead at Daybreak , translated by Madeleine van Biljon (2005)
- Investigating the unusual murder of an antiques dealer, former police officer Zet van Heerden struggles to overcome past demons and the uncertain loyalties of people affiliated with the case in order to identify the killer. In Heart of the Hunter , former government agent Thobela Mpayipheli, asked to deliver a ransom demand to a friend's kidnappers, becomes increasingly suspicious when the ransom, a computer disk, is targeted by the government, the police, and more sinister factions in his South African home.
- Giménez Bartlett, Alicia, Dog Day , translated by Nicholas Caistor (2006)
- Giménez-Bartlett introduces the detective duo of Insp. Petra Delicado and Sgt. Fermín Garzón in this sharply honed tale of dog trafficking in Barcelona. The author, who won the Feminino Lumen prize for the best female writer in Spain in 1997, is very popular in her native country for her Petra Delicado series.
- Loriga, Ray My Brother's Gun , translated by Kristina Cordero (1997)
- When the oldest son of an attractive family kills a security guard and takes flight, the mother and brother he leaves behind are turned into media darlings, but after he kills again, members of his family becomes full-fledged stars.
- Pérez-Reverte, Arturo The Flanders Panel , translated by Margaret Jull Costa (1994)
- When a young art expert discovers a murder hidden in a valuable fifteenth-century Flemish painting, she must overcome some unscrupulous twentieth-century characters to uncover the identity of the killer. A journalist in his native Spain, Pérez-Reverte's intelligent thrillers have won him a world-wide following, with such historical mysteries as The Club Dumas , The Seville Communion , and The Fencing Master .
- Posadas, Carmen Little Indiscretions , translated by Christopher Andrews (2003)
- When celebrity pastry chef Nestor Chaffino turns up dead at a party at the summer mansion of wealthy art dealer Ernesto Teldi, the party guests all become suspects in the crime, especially when it turns out that Nestor had a talent for unearthing dark secrets and was threatening to reveal some of them. Winner of the 1998 Planeta Prize.
- Reig Rafael, Blood on the Saddle , translated by Paul Hammond (2005)
- Dickens & Clot Investigations Ltd, a detective agency in a waterlogged, semi-buried Madrid of the near future, has a couple of unusual specialities: helping distraught authors in search of characters who've quit the page and assumed a life of their own, and taking on Manex Chopeitia, legendary Big Brother of the genetic-engineering company that rules over both the capital and the destiny of the US-Iberian Federation from its pharaonic HQ. Carlos Clot - a paunchy, sartorially inept and alcoholic private eye - bicycles, boats and gumshoes his way around a drug and drink-sodden metropolis in a personal quest to put some dodgy people (both 'real' and 'fictional') in their place. A heady mix of detective fiction, SF and romance.
- Ruiz Zafón, Carlos The Shadow of the Wind , translated by Lucia Graves (2004)
- A boy named Daniel selects a novel from a library of rare books, enjoying it so much that he searches for the rest of the author's works, only to discover that someone is destroying every book the author has ever written.
- Somoza, José Carlos, The Athenian Murders , translated by Sonia Soto (2002)
- In a dual story set in ancient Greece and modern times, the idealistic Diagoras teams up with Heracles Pontor to solve the murders of young Plato's Academy students, and the present-day translator of the ancient text pursues what he believes to be a hidden meaning in the words of the writer.
- Vázquez Montalbán, Manuel The Angst-Ridden Executive , translated by Ed Emery (2002)
- Antonio Jauma, an old acquaintance, desperately wants to get in touch with Pepe Carvalho, but dies before he manages to do so. Jauma's widow has good reason to believe that her husband's death is not what it seems. And who better to investigate than Pepe Carvalho, a private eye with a CIA past and contacts with the Communist Party? Manuel Vázquez Montalbán lives in Barcelona, Spain where he was born in 1939. He is a journalist, novelist and creator of Pepe Carvalho, a fast-living, gourmet private dectective. who also stars in Murder in the Central Committee , An Olympic Death , Offside , and Southern Seas .
- Alvtegen, Karin, Betrayal , translated by Steven T. Murray (2009)
- Told from the points of view of Eva, a successful working mom who discovers her husband is seeing another woman, and Jonas, an anxious and somewhat unstable young man whose girlfriend lies in a coma, the novel is woven through with the themes of betrayal and revenge. As the increasingly dark and terrible storylines converge, the pace becomes breakneck, even as feelings of misery and revulsion build in the reader.
- Edwardson, Åke, Frozen Tracks , translated by Laurie Thompson (2007)
- Investigating a series of assaults and child abductions in the bleak autumn days outside Sweden's rural Gothenburg, Detective Inspector Erik Winter races against time to discover a link between the cases when his own family's safety is threatened. By the author of Sun and Shadow .
- Ekman, Kerstin Blackwater , translated by Joan Tate (1996)
- In 1974, after moving to the remote town of Blackwater in northern Sweden to live with her lover, Annie Raft stumbles upon a brutal double murder that remains unsolved for twenty years, until her daughter falls in love with the man Annie had seen leaving the scene of the crime. This novel, first published in Sweden in 1993, won the Swedish Crime Academy's Award for Best Crime Novel, the August Prize and the Nordic Council's Literary Prize. In Under the Snow , an earlier novel, Police Constable Torsson reopens a seeming open-and-shut case of a man named Matti, killed over a mah-jongg dispute.
- Eriksson, Kjell The Princess of Burundi , translated by Ebba Segerberg (2006)
- Homicide detective Ola Haver and his colleague, Ann Lindell, investigate the murder of a well-liked working class man and tropical fish expert. This is a solid police procedural, winner of the Swedish Crime Academy Award for Best Crime Novel, and reminiscent of the Ed McBain's "87th Precinct" series, with its emphasis on the work and lives of the cops.
- Frimansson, Inger, Island of the Naked Women , translated by Laura A. Wideburg (2009)
- Tobias, an author of mystery novels, must return to the family farm after his father became incapacitated due to a fall from the hayloft. Tobias resents his father's judgmental attitude, but he finds the allure of his father's young wife Sabina hard to resist. Meanwhile, Hardy, the hired hand, scoffs at Tobias' city ways, while encouraging Sabina's mentally challenged son Adam to turn into an Elvis impersonator, and Ingelize, who runs a nearby riding school, finds Tobias irresistible. The rural life becomes increasingly claustrophobic for Tobias, but before he can return to the city, death strikes a hard blow and chaos ensues.
- Jungstedt, Mari, The Inner Circle ,translated by Tiina Nunnally (2008)
- Working on an archaeological dig to uncover an ancient Viking fortification on the Swedish island of Gotland, a group of students becomes caught up in a web of horror when a young woman turns up dead, naked, and hanging from a tree, the victim of a ritual killing, as Inspector Knutas races against time to find the link between the victim and other local violence.
- Läckberg, Camilla The Ice Princess translated by Steven T Murray (2010)
- After she returns to her hometown to learn that her friend, Alex, was found in an ice-cold bath with her wrists slashed, biographer Erica Falck researches her friend's past in hopes of writing a book and joins forces with Detective Patrik Hedstrom, who has his own suspicions about the case. This debut has hit international bestseller lists and garnered prizes.
- Larsson, Åsa Sun Storm , translated by Marlaine Delargy (2006)
- When a body is discovered in her hometown, a young Swedish lawyer is called back home, only to become trapped in a perilous web of betrayal, suspicion, religious fanaticism, and death, in a suspense novel set against the backdrop of northern Sweden. More like Ruth Rendell's psychological thrillers than the procedurals of Larsson's fellow Swedes (Mankell and Thursten, for example), this impressive debut nevertheless heralds yet another striking voice from Scandinavia. Winner of the Swedish Academy of Detection's best first crime novel award.
- Larsson, Stieg Girl with the Dragon Tattoo , translated by Reg Keeland (2008)
- A sensation across Europe and a spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden ... and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. Followed by The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Larsson died in 2004.
- Mankell, Henning Sidetracked , translated by Steven T. Murray (1999)
- His long-awaited vacation interrupted by two deaths, Inspector Kurt Wallander begins trying to piece together how the brutal murder of a former minister of justice is related to the self-immolation of an unidentified young woman. The Wallander novels have been incredibly successful in Europe and now in the States, and Mankell has been justifiably hailed as the vanguard of the 'Nordic invasion' of Scandinavian crime writers translated into English. Other titles include The Fifth Woman , The Dogs of Riga , and, featuring the Inspector's daughter, Linda Wallender, newly attached to the police, Before the Frost . A BBC television series, Wallander , starring Kenneth Branagh is also available.
- Marklund, Liza The Bomber , translated by Kajsa von Hofsen (2001)
- When a bomb destroys Stockholm's new Olympic stadium just months before the summer games in Sweden, worries erupt about a terrorist on the loose, but when journalist Annika Bengtzon begins to investigate, she uncovers a secret source that could reveal the truth behind the bombing and put her on the Bomber's hit list. Other titles in the Annika Bengtzon series include Paradise and Studio Sex .
- Nesser, Håkan Borkman's Point , translated by Laurie Thompson (2006)
- Nesser's Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is certainly world weary, the horrors of twenty-first-century crime weighing heavily on his twentieth-century shoulders, but there is also more than a little Maigret in the Stockholm sleuth. Both sides of his personality are on view here, as Van Veeteren is called away from vacation to help out in distant Kaalbringen, where an ax-wielding serial killer appears to be on the loose. Winner of the Swedish Crime Writers' Best Novel Award for 1994.
- Theorin, Johan, The Darkest Room , translated by Marlaine Delargy (2009)
- Sweden's Best Crime Novel-winning author of Echoes from the Dead presents the story of grieving widower Joakim Westin, whose young daughter begins hearing ghostly voices, a situation that is tied to a walled-in room and their community's mysterious glowing lighthouse.
- Tursten, Helene The Torso , translated by Katarina Emilie Tucker (2006)
- When the upper part of a torso, its pectoral muscles carved out, washes up in a trash bag on a Swedish beach, the Violent Crimes Unit of the Göteborg police is faced with a serial mutilation murderer. For Detective Inspector Irene Huss , the search becomes personal when the killer not only targets a family friend but signals the detective about it. Smart and intuitive, Huss is a fully realized character, whose demanding job often collides with obligations to her chef husband, twin teenage daughters and wandering terrier. A solid police procedural, which ratchets up the gore factor.
- Wahlöö, Per and Maj Sjöwall Cop Killer: The Story of a Crime , translated by Thomas Teal (1975)
- The husband-and-wife team of Per Wahlöö and Maj Sjöwall wrote the widely-translated crime novels of Martin Beck and his colleagues at the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Stockholm of the 1960s and '70s. With careful research and attention to authentic detail, the series functions as a mirror of Swedish society by following ten years in the career of the chief of the National Homicide Squad. Beck, the hero, serves as the barometer of a changing atmosphere, reflecting shifts in the political, economic, and social climate. Their style has been described as "reportal... spare, disciplined and full of sharply observed detail..." Other titles in the Springfield City Library are The Locked Room and The Man Who Went Up in Smoke .
- Westö, Kjell Lang , translated by Ebba Segerberg (2006)
- Unable to resist his passion for a beautiful and secretive woman, Lang, a famous novelist and television show host, finds himself caught in a sinister love triangle that includes the woman's psychotic former husband, a situation that becomes increasingly violent.
- Altun, Selçuk, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me , translated by Ruth Christie and Selçuk Berilgen (2008)
- After the death of his overbearing mother, the privileged Arda reflects on his young life, and on the life of his father, the famous mathematician Mursel Ergenekon, who was murdered on Arda's fourteenth birthday. Meanwhile, on the other side of the city Bedirhan has decided to pack in his ten-year career as an assassin.
- Pamuk, Orhan My Name is Red , translated by Erdag Göknar (2001)
- A furor erupts when the Sultan hires a group of artists, under the direction of Master Uncle, to illuminate a great book in the European style to celebrate his reign at a time in which all figurative art is considered Islamic heresy, but the situation becomes worse when one of the miniaturists vanishes, in a mystery set against the backdrop of religious repression in sixteenth-century Istanbul. Pamuk is one of the foremost Turkish writers of his generation; other titles include The Black Book , The New Life , and a memoir, Istanbul: Memories and the City.
- Somer, Mehmet Murat, The Prophet Murders , translated by Kenneth Dakan (2008)
- Something's gone seriously wrong in Istanbul - a killer is on the loose, and transvestites are being murdered, the modus operandi becoming increasingly bizarre with each death. Our protagonist - fellow transvestite, nightclub owner and glamour puss extraordinaire - downs her lipstick and ups the ante in the search for the religious nut.
Check out Euro Crime, a site for fans of British and European crime fiction. It includes both British and other European crime fiction writers (that have been published in English) as well as non-European born authors who are strongly associated with European crime fiction.
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