For crime fans

There’s a small publisher, Bitter Lemon Press, publishing crime fiction and thrillers in translation.  As with Harvill (which has cornered the nordic crime market) and Serpent’s Tail (with the early David Peace, Walter Mosley, Vicki Hendricks et al), my experience to date is that this is another publisher whose involvement acts as a guarantee of, generally high quality, and at the very least thought-provoking and entertaining crime fiction.  I’ve read a few of the books in the catalogue so far, some decent Italian and Cuban fiction, and  have just finished two courtroom thrillers by Gianrico Carofiglio (an anti-mafia prosecutor) whose work deals with the usual courtroom cliches (the decent lawyer against the system) but whose central character Guido Guerreri, a defence lawyer, has enough flaws and prejudices to be well-rounded, and is placed in a convincingly-realised political environment.  He has a Timson like regular clientele but the central case (in the first an immigrant wrongly accused, the second involving physical and emotional abuse) engages with bigger political questions.  I’d recommend both INvoluntary WItness (the first) and A Walk in the Dark (the second).  The latter includes a jeans wearing, martial arts obsessed nun.  What more could you ask for?

Bitter Lemon are also pubishing the works of an interesting Swiss writer, Friedrich Glauser (who died young addicted to morphine after spells in psychiatric wards.  He’s referred to in the publicity as a Swiss Simenon, and his central character Sergeant Studer certainly shares something of Maigret’s empathy.  However, I think stylistically Glauser’s writing is more like Nicolas Freeling’s van der Valk series – with Glauser scraping beneath the veneer of Swiss society in a 1930s series that bear little relation to some of the mechanical golden age novels in the UK.  Thumbprint is the first in the series and would give you an idea if the series is for you.

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
This entry was posted in bitter lemon press, books, crime fiction, freidrich glauser, gianrico carofiglio, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to For crime fans

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bitter Lemon Press
    Hi! I’ve been dipping into your LJ for a while (found the Tommy Sheridan stuff highly entertaining!) I edit a crime fiction review website (www.reviewingtheevidence.com) and am a big fan of Bitter Lemon Press. So far they haven’t put a foot wrong. I’m currently reading one of their new releases by a Dutch author. If you haven’t come across Tonino Benacquista yet, I recommend him — a French author of Italian extraction.
    Best wishes.
    Shaz

    • Re: Bitter Lemon Press
      Thanks for the comment. I’ve not yet read Benacquista but have happily acquired them.
      S

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Bitter Lemon Press
        Dunno how into translated crime fiction you are, but Arcadia Books are also worth a look. They haven’t got a big catalogue, but there are one or two good ‘uns on there. I liked the two Dominique Manottis a lot. Otherwise, Harvill Secker are the big hitters in Euro crime fiction.
        Hope your computer is on the mend!
        Shaz

        • Re: Bitter Lemon Press
          I’ve picked up a few from Arcadia and Eurocrime; and have a decent Harvill collection (not just crime, prior to the Murdoch takeover of Harvill, Harvill plus Dedalus and Serpents Tail pretty much accounted for all my book expenditure (aside from law textbooks).
          Thanks for the good wishes regarding my PC – no joy yet, but I retain hope…
          Scott
          PS I visited the review site yesterday. It’s extremely good. Many thanks for the link.

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: Bitter Lemon Press
            Sounds like your bookshelves resemble mine, and presumably your bank manager hates you as much as mine hates me! I haven’t read much from Serpents Tail recently — I felt a while ago they’d gone off the boil a bit. And thanks for the kind words about the website. There are some reviews of Euro crime fiction coming up over the next month or so.
            Shaz

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bitter Lemon
    Hi. I just found your post about Bitter Lemon Press. I’m a big fan of Bitter Lemon and a HUGE fan of Friedrich Glauser. I’ve just ordered The Chinaman, the fourth of six Glauser novels that Bitter Lemon plans to publish. I’ve just started reading my first Van der Valk novel. That’s probably not a bad parallel with Glauser. The writing is restrained and laconic in both, I’d say. But really, Glauser is not like anyone else that I can think of.
    If you enjoy “international” crime fiction — from outside the U.S.. that is, I invite you to visit my blog, Detectives Beyond Borders.
    See you, and thanks!
    Peter
    ========================
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
    http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

    • Re: Bitter Lemon
      Many thanks. I’ll look into the site.
      Glauser is certainly unusual (no doubt due to his personal experiences and difficulties). Freeling is the only writer I can compare him with as there seems more to Glauser than Simenon (with whom he seems to be coupled in the UK reviews). (Although I should say I love Simenon’s novels).

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Bitter Lemon
        If you like Simenon, you might get a kick out of Andrea Camilleri’s The Smell of the Night. (The Scent of the Night, if you’re in the UK.) The protagonist, Inspector Salvo Montalbano, keeps trying to read a Simenon novel for relaxation, but he never manages to get far.
        Peter
        ========================
        Detectives Beyond Borders
        “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
        http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

        • Re: Bitter Lemon
          NOt seen that one yet. I’ve read the first in the series and enjoyed it, and nice to see the hat tip to the great Manuel Vazquez Montalban, whose books I am making my way through at the moment.

  3. Anonymous says:

    thanks
    Thanks for the support. Happy to get reading copies to you.
    Best wishes,
    Francois
    fvh@bitterlemonpress.com

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