Kriminally good: NBG Krimi issue, Goethe Institut Krimi panel and David Young’s The Stasi Child

The autumn issue of New Books in German is out – a very special edition that celebrates the best of contemporary German-language crime fiction. In it you can read mouth-watering features, interviews and summaries of the hottest Krimis lining up to be translated into English.


The contents are available online and include: 

A pair of features on British and German-language crime – Barry Forshaw’s ‘A New Golden Age? Contemporary British Crime Fiction’ and my own piece on ‘Quality, Diversity and Untapped Potential: the Contemporary Krimi’. Entertaining mugshots included…

A feature on ‘Killer Thrillers from Austria – an evening with Ursula Poznanski

Interviews with Daniela Rapp (editor at St. Martin’s Press in New York), Alison Hennessey (Senior Editor at Harvill Secker) and Imogen Rose Taylor (translator of Sascha Arango’s The Truth and Other Lies) on bringing international crime fiction to English-language audiences.

You can also browse individual Krimis (spoiler alert!) and take a comprehensive look at UK publishers of crime fiction and thrillers in translation, including Arcadia Books, Bitter Lemon Press, Harvill Secker, Hesperus Press, MacLehose Press, No Exit Press, Sinon & Schuster, Orion, World Noir/Europa Editions, Orenda and Vertigo Pushkin.

And as if all that goodness wasn’t enough, the Goethe-Institut London and New Books in German are hosting a Krimi evening on Tuesday 10th November. Snappily titled ‘In the Library with the Lead Piping’, the event will feature readings and a panel on German and British crime fiction with authors Mechtild Borrmann, Mario Giordano, Michael Ridpath and Louise Welsh.


Mechtild Borrmann is the German author of a number of novels, including the best-selling historical crime novel Wer das Schweigen bricht (Silence), which was the winner of the 2012 Deutscher Krimi Preis (German Crime Fiction Prize).


Mario Giordano is a German author and screenwriter, who has written for crime series such as Tatort (Crime Scene) and Schimanski. His crime novel Tante Poldi und die sizilianischen Löwen (Aunt Poldi and the Sicilian Lions) was published this year.

s_shadows_of_war_bookMichael Ridpath is the British author of financial thrillers, the Icelandic ‘Fire and Ice’ crime series, and two spy novels, Traitor’s Gate and Shadows of War, which are set in Europe at the beginning of the Second World War.

Girl Welsh

Louise Welsh is a Scottish writer who draws on crime fiction, psychological thrillers, apocalypse fiction and the Gothic. Two of her works, The Bullet Trick and The Girl on the Stairsare set in Berlin.

I have the good fortune to be the moderator for the event and am looking forward to it greatly. If you’re in London, do come along! Further details are available here. Entry is free, but booking is essential (simply email


And finally… Over the past few days I’ve been reading a preview copy of David Young’s novel Stasi Child, which has the highly original setting of 1975 East Germany, and is proving to be a gripping and hugely absorbing read. It’s published on 1st October by twenty7 and has just been optioned for TV by Euston Films.

Here’s the cover blurb to whet your appetites:

>> When Oberleutnant Karin Müller is called to investigate a teenage girl’s body at the foot of the Wall, she imagines she’s seen it all before. But when she arrives she realises this is a death like no other: it seems the girl was trying to escape – but from the West.

Müller is a member of the People’s Police, but in East Germany her power only stretches so far. The Stasi want her to discover the identity of the girl, but assure her the case is otherwise closed – and strongly discourage her asking questions.

The evidence doesn’t add up, and Müller soon realises the crime scene has been staged. But this is not a regime that tolerates a curious mind, and Müller doesn’t realise that the trail she’s following will lead her dangerously close to home… <<

The novel is the first in a trilogy, and I’m already keen to meet Karin Müller and her team again. If you’re interested in how David came up with his ideas and wrote the novel, then check out his feature over on the twenty7 blog.

Marina Sofia has also just posted a great review of The Stasi Child over at findingtimetowrite.

10 thoughts on “Kriminally good: NBG Krimi issue, Goethe Institut Krimi panel and David Young’s The Stasi Child

  1. Oh, this is all terrific news, Mrs. P.! I’m sure the panel will go brilliantly, and I wish I could be there to see it. It sounds absolutely fascinating!

    • So many riches!

      While you’re there Marianne, did I read correctly that you’ve written some crime fiction set in Fiji? I happened to meet the Fijian World Cup rugby team at the weekend (long story), which got me thinking about Fiji and crime…

  2. Interesting! How do you get hold of NBG? The discussion sounds very interesting indeed, umm day before my birthday! Will have to give that one some thought, check out late trains back to Nottm ! Just downloaded a crime novel set in Berlin in ’47, takes place in the British sector ‘The Murderer in Ruins’ Cay Rademacher, the 1st in a trilogy, sounded interesting.
    While we are on German books just reading a brilliant book on the history of Prussia, ‘ The Iron Kingdom ‘ by Christopher Clark, who also wrote ‘The Sleepwalkers’ about the lead up to the First World War, it seems both books have been massive best sellers in Germany, Iron Kingdom is 685
    pages,not counting notes! It is a very easy read, he’s certainly no dry historian! Did break off to read Elener Farrantis ‘ My Brilliant Freind’ 1st of quartet of ‘Naples’ novels can see why she got rave reviews

    • Morning, Brian! NBG has a mailing list that I’m sure you could join. There’s an email address at the bottom of this webpage:,128,129002,liste9.html. But the whole thing is also online, so you can browse extensively there as well.

      It would be LOVELY if you could make it to the Krimi event, not least as we would be able to meet in person at last! But I appreciate that it’s a bit of a way.

      I’ve just read Murderer in Ruins, as it happens – 1947 is a very interesting period to set a crime novel, but will let you read it first before saying more…

      Hats off to you for your historical reading. Thanks for the recommendations – will check both out (am teaching lots of German history this semester). And good to hear more positive reaction to the Ferrante – a must read.

  3. Hi Mrs P, thank you for that link really enjoyed reading the newsletter, have asked them to put my name down for the newsletter & any upcoming events. Am at a pre birthday lunch on the 10th so will miss the talk, which is a shame, I’d liked to been there, as I say have my name down now.
    Enjoyed your article, found the Pittle book on Amazon, but not the Kutscher one yet, German edition, but no English one yet. Finished the ‘Murderer in Ruins”. Deffinatly a page turner, & kept you guessing, altthough Anna gives a clue when she admits seeing someone, so not surprised at the end. It’s the end I was dissapointed with. Thought it was not convincing, almost as if he had problems ending it. The romance between MacDonald & the secretary was not beleavable, & the mysterious committee that he belonged too was not plausable, yes there were War reparations, but that was down to stripping factories etc. Over all he gave a very good feeling for how life must have been likke in Hamburg. Just one fault, if he new anything about the British, there’s no way that MacDonald would not have brought Stave some coffee & razor blades! If it had been
    by a British Writter that would have soon happened! As I say a very good read, looking forward to
    the other 2. Read the review on NBG after I had finished the book, glad I did they give everything
    away! Didn’t read the others.
    Really enjoyed last nights Beck, especially the last shot with the two of them on the bench, very touching!

    • Hi Brian – I’m glad you enjoyed New Books in German piece and that you found the Pittler novel. Kutscher will be out with Sandstone in the near future, I understand. A word to the wise with the NBG reviews – they do give a lot of the plot away, because they’re aimed at British publishers who will hopefully be persuaded to translate them. So it’s best to do what you did this time round, and read the review after the fact. Only some of the books featured do get translated of course, so what NBG does give you in those cases is a wider insight into the German literature/crime that’s out there, but doesn’t make it to us in the UK.

      I had a broadly similar reaction to the Rademacher: not completely convinced by all the plot details, but thought the evocation of place and time was very good overall. And yes, I did want to keep reading, which is always a good sign.

      Beck was very enjoyable, and I agree, it was a lovely to close out the episodes 🙂

      Happy birthday wishes to you in advance, and have a great celebration!

  4. Pingback: ‘In the library with the lead piping’: German crime fiction event at the Goethe Institut London | Mrs. Peabody Investigates

Please leave your comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.