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Posts Tagged ‘Der Krimi’

hour of the jackalWinner of the 2011 German Prize for Crime Fiction
Translated from German by John Brownjohn

Lack of evidence ensured that no-one was ever successfully prosecuted for the 1989 political assassination of pro-independence, anti-apartheid activist, Anton Lubowski. Even if the identities of the killers were known.

In The Hour of the Jackal, Jaumann imagines what would happen, if decades after the event, someone decides that justice must finally be served. A merciless, brutal assassin begins to take out Lubowski’s killers. It is a race against time for he is, himself, terminally ill.

The detective, Clemencia Garises, makes the connection between the victims after the second killing and seeks to contact the other men the hit list. Yet she is obstructed by both by the lack of urgency in her own force and by influential others: the retired judge of the failed trial and her own superiors. She would make no headway if she didn’t have the help of a German journalist, whose interest in her is a little more than professional.

Clemencia is a dedicated officer with trials of her own. In an inversion of the usual trope, it’s not that she has no family, rather that she has too much. She shares the two-roomed home, paid-for entirely by her, with her two children and her extended family, including two meddlesome, match-making aunts. (They love the journalist, by the way.) Clemencia’s only demand that she has a room of her own. The sometimes comic tribulations of Clemencia at home contrast sharply with the serious and life-threatening problems of the case, which is dark, violent and steeped in the murky politics of the late-80’s.

The novel includes a portrait of Namibia itself, a vast country with dust-track roads and a climate of extremes. Changeable with sudden storms – just like the plot. Clemencia’s family life  allows the author to inject local colour, and is reminiscent of Alexander McCall-Smith’s Ladies Detective Series, although Clemencia is no Madama Ramotswe. Jaumann’s assassin has much in common with Frederick Forsyth’s jackal, and I’m sure the title is no accidental homage. Like Forsyth’s jackal, Jaumann’s is hunting real people, with uncamoflagued identities.  Given that they weren’t convicted of the crime in reality, and some were still living when Jaumann named them here, the author isn’t compromising in any way. Unlike his detective, who finds herself fighting to save the lives of men whose values she loathes. It makes for a most interesting dilemma.

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This post is part of a series in which I investigate the German Krimi, guided by Katharina Hall’s Crime Fiction in German. Jaumann’s novel is discussed in more detail in chapter 5: Der Afrika-Krimi (Crime Novels set in Africa).

 

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Martin Rosenstock’s essay on Swiss Crime fiction in Crime Fiction in German discusses the works of Hansjörg Schneider and Urs Schaub as contemporary examples of the form.  As neither have been translated into English, I turned to Martin Suter, who won the Friedrich Glauser prize in 2007. Curiously his winning novel, Der Teufel von Mailand (2008) has yet to be translated.  So I started with The Last Weynfeldt, published in 2008, translated by Steph Morris, and finally published earlier this year  by New Vessel Press.

imageThe Last Weynfeldt is not, as I expected, the painting on the book jacket, but the protagonist, Adrian Weynfeldt, an art expert and a very rich bachelor in his mid-fifties.  Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he has been collecting and inheriting even greater wealth ever since.  Impeccably mannered, polite and good-natured, his money has protected him from the unsavoury ways of the world resulting in a naïvety that endears him to many and yet opens him to exploitation by more unscrupulous characters. He has many acquaintances from the younger generation of artistes and such like,  but as the novel progresses it becomes clear that they tolerate him only because he is happy to be finance their dinners, art projects, films, etc.  He knows this too, but remains happy to accommodate them.  Money really is no object to him and their communal dinners  at least provide him with some company.

A singleton following a tragic love affair in his youth, he is usually very circumspect when it comes to the opposite sex.  Yet all that is tossed to the wind when he meets Laura, an off-balance and unpredictable woman, who reminds him of his lost love.  You’d think the warning bells would sound when she threatens to throw herself off his balcony following their first night together. (You can read an excerpt about that here.)

Laura is a grifter and she keeps him at the end of a string, dancing to her tune.  When she enters into a partnership to blackmail Weynfeldt out of millions, it is hard not to worry on his behalf.  Whatever could she have on him to give her such ambitions?

This is where the painting comes in.  In a parallel development, Weynfeldt is approached by a family acquaintance to auction a painting for him.  The rub is the painting at the auction is most likely a forgery with Weynfeldt fully cognisant of the fact.  Why would a man of  Adrian’s integrity do such a thing risking his reputation and career, the only things that give his life meaning?  Has he fallen into the trap that has been set for him?

Suter pulls some lovely sleights of hand here with an obvious nod in the plot to Stefan Zweig’s The Invisible Collection. I also learned much about how to detect an art forgery, and I was really fearful for Adrian (as a result of Suter’s Zweig-like psychological analysis.) Thankfully the author had a denouement up his sleeve that still makes me chuckle.  It’s a brilliant ending to a gentle yet fascinating crime novel.

And I will definitely seek out more, if not all, of Suter’s oeuvre.

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And so to chapter 4 of Crime Fiction in German and Martin Rosenstock’s essay on the genesis of Swiss Crime fiction through Temme, Loosli, Glauser, Dürrenmatt to contemporary proponents of the form Hansjörg Schneider and Urs Schaub. (Authors in bold have been translated into English.)

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Translated by Joel Agee

When it came to my own reading for this chapter, I had to make a beeline, despite the horrendous book cover, for Dürrenmatt’s Inspector Balach’s Mysteries given the fulsome praise received from fellow #germanlitmonth bloggers Grant and Jacqui. However, going back through the #germanlitmonth annals, I note that Anthony was less keen.

Dürrenmatt’s Inspector Barlach is an old man approaching not only the end of his career, but also the end of his life.  Suffering from stomach cancer, he is in need of an urgent operation to give him an extra twelve months. This infuses the two novellas with an existentiality and a philosophical leaning that are more important than the plots.  What drives Barlach to continue despite his personal difficulties?  A good, old-fashioned belief in the necessity to execute justice.  What methods does he use? Good, old-fashioned gut instincts, which serve him well when his judgment is on top form.  Conversely they put him in great peril when he makes questionable decisions.

A young promising police officer is murdered in the Judge and His Hangman.  Barlach is assigned the case together with Tschanz. Barlach has a firm suspicion from the off, and Tschanz is offended that he will not share it.

If the person I suspect is, in fact the killer, you will find him in your own way – which, unlike mine, is impeccably scientific.  And if I’m wrong, you will find the right man, and there will have been no need to know the name of the person I falsely suspected.

And so the game begins, will Tschanz vindicate Barlach’s hunch or will new-fangled scientific methods disprove it? It is, of course, not quite that simple because in the course of the investigation, paths cross with an old adversary of Barlach’s – Gastmann, who once murdered a man in front of Barlach’s eyes, but Barlach could never prove it.  Knowledge is not enough to proesecute – nor is a hunch.  Empirical evidence is needed and Tschanz goes about seeking it and finally providing it, though not quite in the manner he envisaged.  And yes, Barlach’s hunch is vindicated.

My problem with this is that we don’t understand how that hunch was formed until the final denouement by which time it all feels a bit Holmesy or Poiroty i.e Barlach is a know-all  and it all feels a bit too convenient.

And I have even more problems with Suspicion, the stronger of the two novellas. While recovering from his surgery, Barlach comes across a picture of a Nazi doctor operating, without anaesthia, on a prisoner at Stutthof concentration camp.  Dr Nehle may still be practising at a private clinic as Dr Emmenberger.  Barlach sets about gathering evidence to prove that the two men are one and the same, amd once he is reasonably certain, he arranges for himself to be transferred to Dr Emmenberger’s clinic.

Quite what he hopes to accomplish there is beyond me – particularly in his weakened bedridden state, and without the backing of the police force (he has been retired due to ill health.)  But go he does and immediately falls into mortal peril.  Emmenberger knows he’s coming and what for (though it’s not explained how), and has no intention of letting his captive leave the clinic alive.  The second half of the novella is horrendously tense, due not only to Barlach’s impending death but to the intended method of dispatch.  Barlach will suffer the same torture as Nehle’s concentration camp internees ….

At this point I feel Dürrenmat becomes a victim of his own success, having written Barlach into such a tight corner, the only way out is by divine intervention – or something pretty similar.  I’m afraid my eyes rolled at the convenience and unreality of it.

It seems my mistake is to expect Dürrenmatt to stick to the narrow confines of his chosen genre.  Sven Birkerts in the Chicago Press introduction states that Suspicion is  a fairy tale that not even the dark-minded Brothers Grimm could have conjured on the page.  I can follow that because even the best heroes need some kind of fairy godmother to help them overcome the odds. Martin Rosenstock also points out that these mysteries, written in the 1950s, are morality tales set against Swiss feelings of vulnerability to Nazi infiltration. The inspector’s world-weary decency casts out the corrupted members of society and re-establishes a precarious moral order.  Seen in that light, I hope Dürrenmatt wasn’t saying that decency is living on borrowed time.  Convenient intervention notwithstanding, by the end page Barlach has only twelve months to live.

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My previous post inspired by Mrs Peabody’s overview of Crime Fiction in German discussed the controversy re the identification of the first crime story in world literature. (Clue: it wasn’t written by Edgar Allen Poe.)  Today I’m on firm ground as Augusta Gröner’s Detective Müller is the acknowledged first police detective in German crime fiction.

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Translated by Grace Isobel Colbron

While reading The Case of the Golden Bullet (1895) I was struck by how Joseph Müller’s  personality differed from his contemporary, Sherlock Holmes. (Refreshingly so – I simply cannot stand SH.)  The Secret Service Dectective of the Imperial Austrian Police is a humble-looking little man, with a modesty of disposition and expectation. He knows his place, but when he gets the scent, he is unstoppable and extremely skillful.  Yet as his chief acknowledges his peculiarity is that his genius -for the man has undeniable genius – will always make concessions to his heart just at the moment when he is about to do something great – and his triumph is lost.

All of that is evidenced in this case in which Müller links a death, previously categorised as suicide, to the death of a professor shot by the golden bullet. His name would be made and cleared of the cloud that has been hanging over him from the start of his career, but then his heart – in the shape of sympathy for his prey – gets in the way.

This is not the first time I have enjoyed meeting Joseph Müller.  The first time was 5 years ago – 5 years- how time flies when you’re buried in a blogger’s TBR.  Back then I said I enjoyed the traditional feel of the narrative and wanted to read a full length Müller novel.  After this second outing, I still do and I will.

I returned to Ursula Poznanski’s work much more promptly, after her YA thriller Erebos was narrowly pipped at the post for my read of 2015.  Five, published under the name Ursula P Archer in the UK (I would love to know why), is the only other work of her quite considerable oeuvre to have been translated into English.  (Again I would love to know why.)

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Translated by Jamie Lee Searle

Five is brilliant but gruesome and as far from Groner as is possible to imagine.  When I recommended the novel in this year’s #germanlitmonth announcement, I had forgotten quite how gruesome it was in places and have since worried that those who picked the novel up might have found it offputting.  My mind is now at ease as both Viv and Caroline both found the novel as compelling as I did.

What kept me reading past the grisly, though non-gratuitous, bits was the structuring of the novel around geocaching – a modern day form of treasure hunt. (More here.) The game begins, when a body is found with geographical coordinates tatooed onto the soles of her feet.  These coordinates are the location of the first geocache containing a body part and the coordinates to the next geocache.  Thereafter it gets more difficult with clues in the form of riddles leading to people, with no obvious connections, who are murdered once they have been identified. How are the detectives ever going to get one step ahead, particularly with the pace accelerating to the point of breathlessness in the second half.

Am I allowed to say that this is a seriously puzzling first case for Salzburg detectives Bea Kaspary and Florin Weininger, and one they and I are unlikely to forget. The use of technology and games, employed to such brilliant effect in Erebos, serves Poznanski well once more and she has certainly left this reader wanting more.  The good news is that there are two further volumes in this series, though neither has been translated.  Oh dear, I’m going to have to read them in German (not necessarily a bad thing.)

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It is a truth universally quoted that Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) is the father of the modern detective story. Well, Germanist and translator Mary Tannert has something to say about that The Emergence of Crime Fiction in German (Chapter 2 of Crime Fiction in German).

imageHaving first explained the social factors that enabled the development of crime fiction in Germany, namely the late-C18th move away from a judicial system based on the extraction of confession through torture to one based on judges and examining magistrates, she points to the Adolph Müllner’s novella The Calibre (1828), one she has herself translated in the volume Early German and Austrian Detective Fiction. Unfortunately the anthology is out-of-print and a small fortune to buy second-hand. Fortunately though Detective Siddal tracked down a reference copy in the Glasgow Goethe Institute.

As a crime story written very much in the Romantic tradition, The Calibre made for an interesting and amusing read. ( I can’t help it – all those highly strung emotions make me smile.) Here we have two brothers, a stash of cash, a love interest, a bandit, and – remember the Romantic bit – a forest! And a pistol shot which rings out as the two brothers are fighting over the money. The younger one wants his inheritance to marry. The elder one isn’t for allowing it. After the pistol shot rings out, the elder, stingy one lies dead.

Ferdinand reports that a bandit has shot his brother and immediate evidence vindicates him. Second thoughts, however, rack him with guilt and by now a giddy, tempest-tossed soul confesses to his brother’s murder. It falls to his defence to establish the facts. Dr Rebhahn introduces reasoning or ratiocination to the case, and sets about seeking the physical evidence to resolve the mystery.

And there we have it, a ratiocinative resolution.  We’ll come back to that, particularly with regard to Poe.

For now, though let’s travel back in time with more German crime fiction; Mademoiselle de Scudéri – E T A Hoffmann (1819) and The Duel – Heinrich von Kleist (1811) being oft-quoted examples. While it’s tempting to argue that Mlle de Scudéri is the first example of a female detective, that would be a flimsy argument. Her role is pivotal in ensuring that an innocent man does not die for a crime he did not commit, but she doesn’t actively seek the evidence. It lands in her lap so to speak. There’s no detective at all in Kleist’s story, which depicts the medieval judicial system of trial by duel. That said, it is an exploration of whether truth can be uncovered by divine intervention, feeling or material evidence, and uncovering the truth is what crime fiction is all about.

It does appear that the precursors to German crime fiction as we now know it lie within the German Romantic movement. I hesitate to add to that corpus Schiller’s The Criminal of Lost Honour (1786), but only because I can never remember when Schiller fell out with the Romantics. What I can say, is that the familiar Romantic elements are there: the forests, the bandits.  This a must read for lovers of The Robbers, even if it’s not exactly the Robbers in prose. It’s also a surprising read in that it examines sociological reasons for criminality  and the downward spiral into hardened crime in an enlightened way.

The cards are stacked against Schiller’s protagonist Christian Wolf from the start.

Nature …. bestowed on him an appearance so repulsive that it made all women recoil on him ….

To seek favour with his beloved, he gifts her the proceeds of his poaching. Inevitably he is caught and sent to prison. Ostracised when he returns, he has no other options than to become an outlaw. From bad to worse is the only route open to him, and when he takes vengeance on the cause of his initial incarceration, there is no way back.

imageI read Schiller’s story in the anthology German Stories of Crime and Evil from the 18th Century to the Present, translated by M Charlotte Wolf, which contains three other early German crime stories. The first, A Noblewoman Amongst Murderers by August Gottlieb Meißner (1785) features Baroness R, a resourceful resilient lady, who single-handedly foils the robbery of her castle (and is a refreshing change from the usual Romantic female leads.). Christian Heinrich Speiß’s Mariane L – A True Incident from the Year 1788 (1801) tells of a judicial tribunal’s investigation into the murder of the 13-year old Mariane. Like Müllner’s The Calibre the emphasis is on witness testimony and hard evidence and it has more in common with Poe than Willibald Alexis’s The Pledge of the Three Thieves, published in 1845, four years after The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841).

imageWhich brings us neatly  to Poe and the claim that he is the father of all modern detective crime fiction? Do I agree? Let’s break it down using the evidence presented in this post.

Poe – father of crime fiction? No, based on the evidence of the 6 German crime stories discussed here, all of which predate The Murders In the Rue Morgue,  I have to agree with Tannert’s assertion that accepted notions regarding the parentage of the genre must be revisited.

Poe – Father of detective crime fiction? Tricky or in German Jein! I’m splitting hairs pointing out that Müllner’s Dr Rebhahn isn’t a detective – he’s an investigating magistrate, a combination of police detective and district attorney rolled into one. But he does solve the case using evidence and reason (backed up with a coincidental confession). No divine interventions or emotions at play here. So in that respect, it could be argued there’s a pattern for Dupin to follow, although I couldn’t tell you if Poe read The Calibre.

Poe as the father of all modern detective crime fiction? If we’re talking about a protagonist solely as detective, relying entirely on his superior powers of logic and reasoning, then yes. In re-reading The Murders in the Rue Morgue I was struck by how frequently Dupin refers to his favourite word – ratiocination. What I was less convinced by was the ease of his resolution. How acquainted could Dupin have been with the anatomy of an orangutang? That felt suspiciously like a suprarational deduction to me.


This post is the second in a series inspired by Crime Fiction in German: Der Krimi edited by Katharina Hall.  Coming soon Chapter  3: Austrian Crime Fiction.

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Fresh from the book launch in Swansea, crime fiction blogger Mrs Peabody (aka editor Katharina Hall) has paid us a visit (along with her sidekick, Erich, the Bavarian duck). Seeing as this book is going to be a foundation stone in my reading for the rest of 2016, I couldn’t resist asking a few questions – particularly fiendish number 5.

What were your objectives?

When I started researching German crime fiction in 2006, I realised there was no comprehensive overview of the Krimi in English. This seemed surprising given that there was so much great German-language crime fiction already in translation – from Friedrich Dürrenmatt to Jakob Arjouni to Ingrid Noll – and sowed the idea of the book. The volume showcases the most interesting Krimis from the nineteenth century to the present day, and places them in their larger social, historical and cultural contexts, hopefully helping readers to appreciate the richness of crime fiction from the German-speaking world.

Who is your target audience?

We hope that the volume will be useful to academics in the field, but have also written very much with the general reader in mind. The first chapter is a standalone overview of German-language crime (which can be downloaded for free here! https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa25191) and the idea is that readers can dip into other chapters that interest them. There are chapters on early crime fiction, Austrian crime fiction, Swiss crime fiction, women’s crime fiction, historical crime fiction, the Afrika-Krimi (crime set in or about Africa) and the Fernsehkrimi (TV crime drama). We’ve tried to focus on crime novels that are already translated, and hope that readers will seek out lots of lovely Krimis as a result!

Did you have any difficulties finding contributors / or a publisher? Crime fiction is hardly an academic subject…

There’s actually been lots of academic work being carried out on crime fiction – it’s a really vibrant area with articles and books being published all the time. But these need to be less expensive if they are to reach wider audiences. Bridging the world of academia and the world of crime blogging/discussion is one of the main aims of the ‘Mrs. Peabody Investigates’ blog, and it’s why we’ve made the first chapter of the volume available to everyone for free. We’re having giveaways of the volume and German crime fiction as well – spreading the Krimi love all around the world.

Finding contributors was an organic process over time, and they’ve been brilliant in terms of their commitment to the project. We’re a truly international bunch, based in Germany, the UK, Ireland, the USA, Kuwait and Namibia. As for finding a publisher – this proved to be remarkably easy. The University of Wales Press (just down the road from Swansea University) already had an established series called ‘European Crime Fictions’, with volumes on French, Italian, Scandinavian and Iberian crime, so we slotted in quite nicely there.

How much fun was this project? How many Krimis did you read for it?

Researching the volume was enormously fun. As editor, I must have read over a hundred Krimis that were new to me, and discovered all sorts of gems thanks to the expertise of the contributors. I particularly enjoyed reading social crime fiction from the 1970s by Richard Hey (whose novels feature the first female German police inspector, Katharina Ledermacher) and watching vast quantities of TV crime drama. A favourite was the black and white East German crime series Blaulicht (Blue Light) – I can still remember the tune of the police siren in the opening credits!

My own wishlist has grown exponentially (and I’m only two chapters in.) Could you create an essential reading list by recommending just one Krimi from each chapter of your book?

This is such a hard task! I could have created at least five different lists! But here we go:

Chapter 1 (Crime Fiction in German) – Jakob Arjouni, Happy Birthday, Turk! (No Exit Press, trans Anselm Hollo). This novel was published in 1985 and features the first Turkish-German private eye – Kemal Kayankaya – in German-language crime fiction. An innovative social crime novel with biting humour and an unforgettable investigator.

Chapter 2 (Early Crime Fiction) – Auguste Groner, The Case of the Golden Bullet (Amazon, trans unknown). This popular female author was a pioneer of Austrian crime fiction and created the first German-language police detective series. Joseph Müller investigates in this opening novella, originally published in 1892.

Chapter 3 (Austrian Crime Fiction) – Paulus Hochgatterer, The Sweetness of Life (MacLehose, trans Jamie Bulloch). This crime novel won the 2009 European Literature Prize and shows Detective Ludwig Kovacs and psychiatrist Raffael Horn working on a murder case in which the only witness is a girl too traumatised to speak. Like many Austrian crime novels, it explores the darker sides of small-town society.

Chapter 4 (Swiss crime fiction) – Friedrich Glauser, In Matto’s Realm (Bitter Lemon Press, trans Mike Mitchell). Originally published in 1936, In Matto’s Realm is the second in the landmark ‘Sergeant Studer’ series. Studer is shown investigating the escape of a murderer from a psychiatric institution, a setting that holds a mirror up to pre-war Switzerland.

Chapter 5 (Afrika-Krimi) – Bernhard Jaumann, Steinland (Stoneland/not yet translated). Steinland is set in Namibia, which was once a German colony, and explores the tensions created by the government’s land reform policy, which aims to return land appropriated during colonialism to its rightful owners. It features the wonderful Namibian police inspector Clemencia Garises.

Chapter 6 (women’s crime fiction) – Doris Gercke, How Many Miles to Babylon (Women in Translation, trans Anna Hamilton). This crime novel features iconic, world-weary Hamburg investigator Bella Block, who is called to a seemingly idyllic village to investigate two suicides that may have been murder. A classic example of the Frauenkrimi, which inspired a long-running TV series.

Chapter 7 (historical crime fiction) – Simon Urban, Plan D (Vintage, trans Katy Derbyshire). This ambitious novel blends police procedural, detective novel and alternative history genres. Set in a 2011 in which the Berlin Wall still stands, it explores East-West tensions as the GDR teeters on brink of bankruptcy. A biting social satire.

Chapter 8 (TV crime drama) – ‘Cenk Batu’ Tatort episodes. This groundbreaking set of episodes from the famous TV drama Tatort (Crime Scene) plays in Hamburg and features Turkish-German undercover policeman Cenk Batu. The episodes are currently available in the UK with subtitles via All 4/‘Walter Presents’ – Walter has described them as ‘Montalbano on speed’ (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/cenk-batu/on-demand/63253-001).

The Giant Krimi Giveway is currently underway at ‘Mrs Peabody Investigates’ and is open until Sunday 17 April.

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I said earlier this year that I needed a reading project. Associate Professor of German at Swansea University, Katharina Hall, better known in the blogging world as Mrs Peabody, has delivered one, that will help me reach my target (40% of 2016 reading to be translated from German) without it being hard work.

imageAs editor of Crime Fiction in German, she has put together a selection of essays by academics and translators, including herself, covering the extraordinary range of crime fiction written in the German language. Topics include The Emergence of Crime Fiction in German, Austrian Crime Fiction, Swiss Crime Fiction, Africa in German Crime Fiction, Women’s Crime Writing in German, Historical Crime Fiction in German, as well as an overview of German Television Crime Drama.

I have browsed quickly and what really strikes me is that these essays are readable in a way that other academic writings often are not. (You know how it usually is, why use a word of one syllable when a word with five or six will do.) It is also highly dangerous. For instance, having read chapter 1, written by Mrs Peabody herself (I do hope Professor Hall doesn’t mind me referring to her in this way), I wrote down a list of titles in my TBR for immediate reading. I found 13. 13!!!! That said, chapter 1 Concepts, Developments and Trends, is an overview of Crime Fiction in German from the early 19th century to the new millenium. It covers a lot of ground, some of it not mentioned elsewhere.  (Edit: And it’s available to read for free online!)

On that basis, it’s not surprising that I pulled 13 unread novels from the TBR. But neither is it practical for me to read them before moving onto chapter 2. So this is how I’ve decided to proceed with my project. I’m moving onto chapter 2 right away and with each chapter I shall read 1 or 2 (or maybe 3) titles, summarising it all together in one post. At a rate of one chapter per month, I will finish the project in November. Fittingly because that will be German Literature Month.

I’m launching my reading project today to coincide with the official launch of the book in Swansea. I hear rumours that there will be lashings of German beer too! The chances are that, if you’re reading this, like me, you’re not in Swansea, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t join in the celebrations. Mrs Peabody is holding a giant Krimi giveaway. Hie thee over here before April 17 to be in with a chance of grabbing yourself a fantastic read.

I recommend all that I have read: (Links to my reviews) Alone in Berlin, The Sweetness of Life, The Murder Farm, Plan D and The Collini Case.

Stand by for thoughts on chapter 2 …..

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