06 March 2009


When I'm not blogging, photographing or walking Bella I'm often lying around reading crime novels. So I was interested to discover the Munich Krimifestival which begins next week.

Over two weeks German and international authors will be visiting the city to read from and discuss their work.

I'm a fan of Euro crime fiction in translation - particularly the police procedural format - but unfortunately few German writers have made it into English.

Instead we get an endless stream of Nordic writers. After the initial success of Henning Mankell's Wallander series English language publishers couldn't get enough of Scandinavian crime. Many of the translated works are exceptionally good, but as the A-list writers got signed up, the publishers moved on to the B-list, translating works that weren't worth the effort.

One of the few German authors I know of who has been translated in Jan Costin Wagner. However his stories are set in Helsinki. The only police procedural series I know of based in Germany is written by a Scot, Craig Russell, and set in Hamburg.

Munich's dark side has its own chronicler in Friedrich Ani who was born in Kochel, just south of the city. He wrote a series of books set in Munich featuring Kommissar Tabor Süden and is currently producing two other series: one featuring a monk turned detective, Hauptkommissar Polonius Fischer, the other featuring Kommissar Jonas Vogel and his son Max, a blind detective with the Munich murder squad.

These seem to me ideal for translation into English - interesting central characters and a well established series by a well regarded author. Ani has already been widely translated with some of his writings appearing in four other European languages as well as Korean and Chinese.

Two interviews available online give more insight into Ani's work. One is on the website of Tobias Gohlis, a journalist specialising in crime literature. The other is on the website of Jens Nommel whose particular interest is the connection between literature and geogrpahy and whose interview focuses on the role that Munich plays in Ani's work.

More generally, you can find everything you ever wanted to know and more about German crime writing at Krimi-Couch, Krimiblog and Die Alligatorpapiere.

Mind how you go.

1 comment:

Harvey Morrell said...

I've also wondered why Ani's Süden books haven't been translated into English. He's my current favorite German author.