Passport to Nefarious Deeds
Murder and mayhem cross borders as well. This June four indie publishers—Akashic Books, Europa Editions, Melville House, and Grove Atlantic/Mysterious Press—are teaming up for a second time to celebrate International Crime Month, an initiative that celebrates the rich diversity of literary crime fiction in translation, with a series of readings, panels, and discussions. Among the titles that will be highlighted are Singapore Noir, edited by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (Akashic, Jun.); Marco Malvaldi’s Three-Card Monte (Europa, Aug.); Giorgio Scerbanenco’s Traitors to All: A Duca Lamberti Noir (Melville House, Jun.); and Mark Billingham’s The Bones Beneath (Grove Atlantic, Jun.).
Meanwhile, the Nordic crime wave continues to roll along; July’s Spring Tide (Hesperus Nova, dist. by Trafalgar Square) by Cilla and Rolf Börjlind, the scriptwriters behind the Swedish Wallender television series, introduces police officer–in–training Olivia Ronning, who is challenged by her professor to solve a cold case. However, not everyone is looking to Scandinavia for the next breakout mystery from beyond the United States. Daniela Rapp, an editor for St. Martin’s Press and its Minotaur Books imprint, looked at other hot spots for mysteries because she felt that much of Nordic crime began to feel repetitive and schematic, and there are plenty of other European countries with a solid tradition of crime fiction. Her two “new discoveries” are Germany and France.
“[Germany’s] Nele Neuhaus, with Snow White Must Die, has been a solid success for us, convincing me that readers will not shy away from first or last names they may not be able to pronounce.” Rapp is excited to be publishing this August Bernard Minier’s Frozen Dead (Minotaur: St. Martin’s). Set in the French Pyrénées in deep winter, this moody psychological thriller has been translated into a dozen languages and won several French literary prizes. Ursula Archer’s Five (Minotaur: St. Martin’s, Dec.) takes readers through the Austrian countryside and into the popular world of geocaching. “I think the reason these books are working is that, while they are set in very specific, somewhat exotic locales, they deal with universal subjects that American readers can identify with.”