I’m struggling to pare my reading list for next fall’s first term seminar course on international crime fiction from 1,000,000,000,000 books to just a half dozen or so. Meanwhile, this welcome news in Library Journal’s annual roundup of the genre.
Crime in translation and foreign mysteries continue to wash up on our shores. In June, the Milan-based publisher Baldini Castoldi Editore enters the U.S. market for the first time with Giorgio Faletti’s I Kill, a psychological thriller set in Monte Carlo—a huge best seller in Italy. Also passing through customs is the first Arabic detective novel published in English. Set in Casablanca, The Final Bet (American Univ. in Cairo Pr., May) by Abdelilah Hamdouchi is the dark tale of a handsome young Moroccan accused of killing his much older wife.
The Scandinavian crime wave features Johan Theorin’s Echoes of the Dead, winner of Sweden’s Best First Crime Novel (Delacorte, Dec. 2008). Other exotic settings to be highlighted include Taiwan (Francie Lin’s The Foreigner, Picador, Jun.), Slovakia (Michael Genelin’s Siren of the Waters, Soho Crime, Jul.), and Mongolia (Michael Walters’s The Shadow Walker, Berkley Prime Crime, Aug.).
The British invasion this summer and fall has a strong Scottish flavor, with two novels set in the Shetland Islands, Anne [sic] Ann Cleeves’s White Nights (Minotaur, Sept.) and S.J. Bolton’s debut, Sacrifice (Minotaur, May). St. Martin’s Minotaur executive editor Kelley Ragland describes Sacrifice as “a totally gripping read with an atmospheric setting and a modern-day story inspired by an ancient legend.”
Set in Aberdeen is award-winning Stuart MacBride’s fourth DS Logan McRae procedural, Flesh House (Minotaur, Oct.). “This might possibly be his most violent book, but he’s just so good and slightly ignored in the States,” raves Macmillan library marketing director Talia Ross. And September marks the arrival of Ian Rankin’s highly anticipated final John Rebus mystery, Exit Music (Little, Brown).
I’m so pleased US publishers have discovered that Americans are willing and eager to read about the rest of the world.