Today sees the publication of Crime Fiction in German by the University of Wales Press. For all us involved in writing and producing the book, this is a hugely exciting moment, not least because Crime Fiction in German is a genuine first: the first volume in English to give a comprehensive overview of German-language crime fiction from its origins in the early nineteenth century to the present day. And it’s World Book Day here in the UK as well – what could be finer?
To celebrate there’s a FREE introductory chapter available to all readers!
About the book
- Crime Fiction in German explores crime fiction from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the former East and West German states.
- It investigates National Socialist crime fiction, Jewish-German crime fiction, Turkish-German crime fiction and the Afrika-Krimi (crime set predominantly in post-colonial Africa), expanding the notion of a German crime-writing tradition along the way.
- It examines key areas such as the West German Soziokrimi (social crime novel), the Frauenkrimi (women’s crime writing), the Regionalkrimi (regional crime fiction), historical crime fiction and the Fernsehkrimi (TV crime drama). In the process, it highlights the genre’s distinctive features in German-language contexts. And yes, humour is one of them 🙂
- It includes a map of German-speaking Europe, a chronology of crime publishing milestones, extracts from primary texts, and an annotated bibliography of print and online resources in English and German.
- All quotes are given in English and German. No knowledge of German is required!
- The contributors – Julia Augart (University of Namibia), Marieke Krajenbrink (University of Limerick), Katharina Hall (Swansea University), Martin Rosenstock (Gulf University, Kuwait), Faye Stewart (Georgia State University), Mary Tannert (editor and translator of Early German and Austrian Detective Fiction) – are all experts in the field of crime fiction studies.
Further details, including a table of contents, are available at the University of Wales Press website. The paperback is available from Amazon here.
Now read on for details of the FREE chapter!
While Crime Fiction in German is an academic volume that hopes to be useful to scholars in the field, a key aim has been to make the book accessible to ALL readers with an interest in crime fiction. We’re aware that not everyone may be able to buy the volume (academic texts have smaller print runs and are mainly bought by university libraries, and therefore have a different pricing structure to mass-produced books). If not, one option is to ask the local library to order a copy. Another is to read on for a very special treat…
Anyone, anywhere in the world, can download Chapter One of Crime Fiction in German for FREE.
The chapter gives an overview of the volume and of the history of German-language crime fiction. It’s PACKED with criminal goodness, and thanks to the generous financial support of Swansea University, you can download from the university’s Cronfa research repository. And did I mention that it’s FREE?
❤ In return, we ask two tiny favours ❤
- If you like the chapter and want to tell other people, please send them the link below rather than the actual PDF. Why? Because then we can track how many times the chapter has been downloaded. If there’s lots of activity, more ‘open access’ projects like this one may be funded in the future.
- Secondly, if you download the chapter and have a moment, could you leave a comment below saying where you’re from? This will help us see how far the chapter has travelled. It could be rather fun – I’m looking forward to seeing if we can get ‘Leipzig, Germany’, ‘Moose Jaw, Canada’, and ‘Beijing, China’ all in a row.
Right, here we go! The link to the Crime Fiction in German Chapter One is
Enjoy and please spread the word!
The section on German crime fiction in my Euro Noir is a mere snapshot compared to Kat Hall’s sprawling canvas. Her book is indispensable…
Thank you, Barry! I really appreciate all of the support that you’ve given the book. We may have to make you an honorary German! (Involves Bier)
I love the fact that it’s so comprehensive – tackling all crime fiction in German, not just in Germany (and not just because I like the Swiss and Austrians better). And also TV series. It really is a treasure trove of good stuff and great research!
Thank you, MarinaSofia! Being inclusive was one of our top aims, so that we could show off the enormous range of wonderful crime fiction produced in different German-speaking countries. The Afrika-Krimi was a real find too. Yes, we definitely had to have the TV Krimis in – they’re such an institution, especially Tatort.
P.S. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘me and the contributors’ (lest you think I’m adopting the Royal We!!!)
Ooooh, I’ve been longing for this moment – Congratulations! I am in Hobart, Tasmania and am writing early 20th C. espionage set in Switzerland
Thank you, murmursofmole! Delighted to have Hobart as our first download destination and hope you enjoy. Look forward to hearing more about your espionage work!
Reading from sunny (ish) Aldermaston, UK: not that exciting!
Exciting to me!!! Thanks very much, Jon!
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Hello from Herne Bay, Kent, UK. The free chapter looks fascinating, thank you!
Thank you for posting, Ruth, and hello from Swansea to Herne Bay! Hope you enjoy the chapter 🙂
Congratulations on the publication of your book and thanks for the free chapter – a great idea! Seiriol from Bristol
Hello Seiriol! I had no idea you were just down the road – would be lovely to have a coffee at some point. Hope you enjoy the chapter – we were very keen to make a bit of the volume available straight away.
Cambridge calling – thank you for the free chapter! Roy
Hello Roy – thanks for downloading. Hope you enjoy and here’s a cheery wave from Swansea to Cambridge!
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Congratulations, Mrs. P.!! This is fabulous!
Thanks so much, Margot! It feels good to have crossed the finishing line. I find myself absent-mindedly stroking the book at times (not sure this is entirely normal, but it’s so nice to have it in my hands at last!)
Just downloaded in Eltham, SE London.. Will let you know what I think Mrs Pea. Circulated it to sister who studied German at Durham to see if she can forward to friends who might be interested. And many congrats! Love Rachel xx
Thanks for downloading, Rachel, and please do let me know what you think! Thanks for passing it on to your sister as well 🙂 xxx
Downloading in Berlin.
Hello Katy! The book wouldn’t have been possible without you lovely translators, so a big thank you 🙂 You’re our first download from Germany and it feels very fitting that it’s Berlin, given how many Krimis are set there. Enjoy, and if you can pass the news on to anyone in the Krimi community, that would be great.
Huge congratulations! Chapter downloaded from Derbyshire, UK 😉
Excellent, Sarah – thank you!
Victoria, B.C. Canada! I’m so excited to read this…not yet 7 am, got my cup of tea, and feel like all my other plans for the morning just went out the window!
So happy to read this, Quimper Hitty 🙂 Hope the tea and Krimi combination is a good one (though not sure I could manage to read anything properly at that hour!). Alles Gute x
Well done, Mrs P. A thoroughly enjoyable comprehensive introduction to German crime fiction. I just ordered it for the library.
Thanks so much, Stewart – both for the kind words and for ordering the book!
I owe you an email, don’t I? Please forgive the delay, as it’s all been a bit hectic recently. I’ll get back to you soon.
Wonderful, Kat. Downloaded here in London. I’m very much looking forward to reading it! 🙂
Great! Thanks very much, Daniel and hope you enjoy… 🙂
Here’s some crime fiction in German for you, if you fancy! http://www.pulpcore.de/stories/paul-d-brazill-das-beste-zum-schluss.html
Nice one, Paul!
I’m in Scotland. My husband and I enjoy reading foreign crime fiction to get an insight into other cultures. It may sound perverse, but most have to create a world for the crime to exist in. I enjoy your blog a lot, and follow up some of your recommendations. Thank you.
Hello, Jane – lovely to hear that you read the blog regularly, and I totally agree that reading international crime fiction is a great way to get an insight into other cultures. Hope you enjoy the chapter!
Congratulations on the publication – and all the very best with it 🙂
Thanks very much, Cathy! Lots of interest yesterday, which was lovely to see.
Can’t wait to read the free chapter here in East Texas.
Excellent – thanks very much, ksales1023! Hope you enjoy the chapter.
Just a quick one. Will be downloading here in sunny Southampton just after brekkie. Must have coffee first 😁
Totally understand, Kathy. First things first! (Am in Southampton now and then…fancy a cuppa some time?)
I’m always up for a cuppa Mrs P. As long as there’s cake to go with it 😉. Just let me know when and where.
Will look forward to it 😀.
I have downloaded it here in snowy Derbyshire. I hardly dare read it – but I will – there will so much to add to my TNR pile. Congratulations!
The perfect thing to curl up with on a cold, snowy evening! Thanks for downloading, Christine, and hope you enjoy. My TBR pile went through the roof when I read the contributors’ chapters (but some of those were ones only available in German…).
Via Twitter: Ankush Saikia has downloaded the ‘Crime Fiction in German’ chapter in Shillong, North East India 🙂
Reviewed on Crime Time today. http://www.crimetime.co.uk/mag/index.php/showarticle/4504
Thank you for the kind words, Barry! Lovely to see.
From Arlington, Virginia – truly enjoyed the first chapter! German crime fiction has much to offer; there is often a larger theme to these novels in resolving or coming to terms with past or present moral complications. A few comments on the first chapter:
Jakob Arjouni’s Kayankaya series – no praise could be too high for these wonderful books in my view. A fascinating blend of Chandler and Brecht, with great use of the seedier quarters of Frankfurt as the setting and the immigrant experience as the focus. Soziokrimi, Regionalkrimi, Hard-boiler, with an occasional classic mystery plot device thrown in. These books deserve a more thoughtful English translation, at least in the ones I have seen.
Wolf Haas’ Brenner series – a creative and idiosyncratic Austrian version of the Krimi, with humor added into the mix. Brenner is a hapless detective whose inefficiency gives him a certain charm and plays against the usual expectations.
Friedrich Duerrenmatt – his excellent crime novels have a mysterious quality and fundamental psychological themes – I hope to read the chapter in your book in which they are discussed.
And a few things that could be added:
Oliver Poetzsch’s Die Henkerstochter series – very entertaining novels that deal with Jakob Kuisl, a 17th century executioner. Jakob is forced by family heritage to carry out his profession, and he is a relatively learned man who chafes at his profession and social situation. He and his daughter Magdalena resolve many crimes and other dilemmas, often under the threat of retribution against them if they do not succeed. It is impossible not to see these novels as a form of Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung .
Volker Kutscher’s Gereon Rath series – excellent novels set in Berlin of the 20s and 30s, with Kriminalkommissar Rath as the main character. An interesting counterpoint to Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels set in the 30s.
Thanks very much for your comment, Robie. I’m really glad you enjoyed the introductory chapter and completely agree with you about Arjouni. He seems to be quite well known as a cult author in the English-speaking world, but I’m hoping to get hold of some in the series for future giveaways to help spread the word. Haas is indeed covered more extensively in the chapter on Austrian crime fiction.
I don’t know the Henkerstochter series, but will definitely check it out given what you’ve said. We had to accept quite early on that we wouldn’t be able to cover everything – there is so much to be said about the Krimi – but I’ll bear this author in mind for the next edition… 🙂
Kutscher’s series is covered in chapter 7 on historical crime fiction (part of the overview that kicks off the chapter). The first in the series will be out in English with Sandstone Press in May, titled Babylon Berlin. It’ll be very interesting to see how they do in the UK (hopefully well).
Really enjoying your blog Mrs. P — amazing coverage of interesting books and topics.
Thanks very much, Robie – that’s lovely to hear 🙂