Friday, December 16, 2011

The Year In Melville Crime

Melville House


We're not rookies anymore.

A year ago this time we had two books in our shiny new crime imprint: Cut Throat Dog by Joshua Sobol and Kismet by Jakob Arjouni.
One year later and we've done time in seven countries over the course of 14 novels: Kenya, England, Germany, Israel, the United States, Russia and the Ukraine. Next year we have novelists that hail from France, Germany, Spain and Poland (Breslau to be specific). That last one is an amazingly creepy series set during World War II and debuts  in the fall. We hope you like arachnids, is all we're going to say for now.
So you see: not so shiny anymore.
Look. We're not trying to brag for the sake of our own self-esteem. We just need you to know that we mean business. We are, afte rall, the imprint that brought Derek Raymond back to print in the states and brought Mukoma Wa Ngugi's stunning Nairobi Heat out of Africa and into the world at large. If nothing else, titles like that should prove that we've got the stomach for this work.
Now, about those "wares" you were asking about...

The Goods

The Craiglist Murders

Brenda Cullerton

Download Netgalley

Pages: 219
ISBN: 9781612190198
Published: May 2011

Check Out
Brenda's Blog

“A brilliantly prophetic and modern tale of the macabre . . . A novel that roars across the intersection of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho and Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities.”
James Wolcott, Vanity Fair

American Psycho meets Sex In The City in this brutally hillarious debut novel about a psychopathic interior designer indulging her hatred for the Upper East Side trophy wives she works for. The disturbing thing, dear reader, is that you'll find yourself cheering Cullerton's murderous anti-heroine, Charlotte Wolfe, as she bludgeons and cleaves her way through countless numbers of these "plastic" women.

BRENDA CULLERTON is a writer for the fashion, beauty, and interior design industries, and the author of the memoir, The Nearly Departed Or, My Family and Other Foreigners, which O Magazine called "wise, courageous, brutally honest and darkly hilarious." She has also written several books on interiors and the home. She lives and works in New York City.



Happy Birthday, Turk!

Jakob Arjouni
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781935554202
Published: February 2011

“Kemal Kayankaya is the ultimate outsider among hard-boiled private eyes.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

Meet German-Turkish gumshoe Kemal Kayankaya, a wisecracking, hard-drinking and thoroughly street-weary private detective who despite his best intentions not to, takes on the hardest, least profitiable cases. Think of him as a Turkish Sam Spade with Columbo's fashion sense. Kismet was the second book we published on our crime imprint. In 2011 we put out three more of Kayankaya's delightful misadventures.

More Beer

Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781935554431
Published: June 2011

Kayankaya cares more about sausage and beer than politics, but when he’s hired to defend four eco-terrorists charged with murdering a chemical plant owner he finds himself stuck in the middle of Germany’s culture wars. It doesn’t take long for Kayankaya to realize that the whole situation stinks and that both the Left and the Right have blood on their hands. And is the fiery journalist Carla Reedermann dogging his steps because she smells a story, or is she after something more?

One Man,
On Murder

Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781935554547
Published: June 2011

Love is never easy, especially when your girlfriend is an illegal Thai prostitute who has been kidnapped (again) by a gang of sex traffickers. Fortunately for the hapless fiancé, Kayankaya is on the case. The son of a Turkish garbage collector, he knows a thing or two about living in the ethnic fringes of the ugliest German city of them all: Frankfurt. One Man, One Murder populates its pages with unforgettable characters, whip-smart dialogue, and a connoisseur’s collection of grim details.

JAKOB ARJOUNI was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1964, the son of acclaimed German playwright Hans Gunter Michelson. He has written numerous books, including the novel Magic Hoffmann, which was shortlisted for the IMPAC Award. But it is his series of four mysteries featuring Turkish immigrant detective Kemal Kayankaya—all of which are being published by Melville House— for which he has become best known. Bestsellers throughout Europe and the winner of the German Thriller Prize, they have also been turned into wildly popular movies in his home country. Arjouni now divides his time between Berlin and Languedoc, France.

Nairobi Heat

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Download Netgalley
Pages: 204
ISBN: 9781935554646
Published: September 2011
"An engaging insider's view of the cultural divide between Americans and Africans."
Publishers Weekly

In Madison, Wisconsin, it’s a big deal when African peace activist Joshua Hakizimana—famous for saving hundreds of people from the Rwandan genocide—accepts a position at the university. When a young white girl is found murdered on his doorstep, his life as well as many others are about to change. This is, afterall, a place the Ku Klux Klan still hold ralles. After being assigned to the case, Detective Ishmael gets a mysterious phone call: “If you want the truth, you must go to its source. The truth is in the past. Come to Nairobi.” It’s the beginning of a journey that will take Ishmael to a place still vibrating from the surrounding genocide, where NGO money rules and where the local cops shoot first and ask questions later.

MUKOMA WA NGUGI was born in Illinois but raised in Kenya. The son of world renowned African writer and Nobel contender, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, his own poetry and fiction has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African writing in 2009), and for the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing. He is currently based in Cleveland, Ohio, where he teaches at Case Western University.

Crime Quiz

We're debuting two major international authors next year, whose major series were previously unavailable. Guess the correct title (of these forthcoming books) from these woodcuts and we'll give you a free ebook when they publish. Each woodcut relates to a single title by an individual author. In other words, there are two books by two different authors represented below.







Death and the Penguin

Andrey Kurkov

Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781935554554
Published: June 2011
“A striking portrait of post-Soviet isolation.... In this bleak moral landscape Kurkov manages to find ample refuge for his dark humor.”
The New York Times

It's a one to one ratio. On part Mikhail Bulgakov and one part Alfred Hitchcock. The literal explanation of this novel, as post-Soviet crime fiction set in the depressed and thoroughly corrupt city of Kiev starring a writer of obituaries and his adopted penguin Misha, often inspires more questions than answers. Does the penguin talk? Does Misha help solve crimes? Is it a proper mystery? Does the penguin have a scarf and adorable little hat? No, is the answer, and that’s what makes it own of our favorite books of the year. Innovative noir storytelling at it's finest.

Penguin Lost
Download Netgalley
Pages: 160
ISBN: 9781935554561
Published: September 2011

Now available for the first time in the US, Penguin Lost sees Viktor return to Kiev incognito and launch an intensive, guilt-wracked search for his adopted penguin, Misha.

It’s a search that will take Viktor across the Ukraine to Moscow and back, vividly depicting a troubled landscape. It once again lands Viktor in league with a series of criminals and corrupt officials, each of whom know something of what happened to Misha, and each of whom are willing to pass that information along if Viktor will just help them with one more job..

Coming 2012

The Case of the General's Thumb
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781612190600
Published: March 2012

The corpse of a distinguished general is found attached to an advertising balloon—and minus his thumb. Police Lieutenant Viktor Slutsky is sent in to investigate. So, too, is KGB officer Nik Tsensky. They begin their investigations unbeknownst to each other, but quickly find themselves mystified about developments caused by the other.

Thus begins a comedy of very dangerous errors as the two criss-cross Europe, Russia, and the Ukraine, catalysts in a bizarre battle between the Russian and Ukrainian secret services.

ANDREY KURKOV borrowed money from friends to self-publish his first books, which he sold himself on the sidewalks of Kiev. He has gone on to become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers in Ukrainian history, and his books have been translated into 25 languages.





Crime Bundles!


Buy all nineteen Melville International Crime titles published over our first year and a half of crime fiction. Including Andrey Kurkov's The Case of the General's Thumb and the first three titles of Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's Pepe Carvahlo series.

The Return of Derek Raymond

"Carve Derek Raymond’s name into the literary pantheon. He is one of the rare authors who seek to understand evil, ferret out the darkness in human nature, and blast Noir fiction out of the genre ghetto and into Literature. His nameless detective's quest through the bleak streets gets under your skin. Amazing, painful and brilliant."
Cara Black, author of Murder in Marais

No one cares in Margaret Thatcher’s England, a place and time where austerity laws thinly veil racism and the terrible inequalities of enforced classism. Justice is something reserved for the well-to-do, and purposely withheld from those that require it most. No one wants to touch the messy stuff, no matter how much of it happens every day.
Except for one man. In the five noir novels that comprise Derek Raymond’s masterly Factory Series (He Died with His Eyes Open, The Devil’s Home On Leave, How the Dead Live, I Was Dora Suarez and Dead Man Upright), he created the ultimate avenging spirit. A nameless Detective Sergeant, so given over to a ruthless compassion for the downtrodden that he takes only the most desperate of unexplained deaths as his case. Emotionally investing himself in both the murderer and victim, the stubborn Detective Sergeant fearlessly peers into the dark heart of humanity, eternally hunting injustice in hopes of redeeming society itself.

The Devil's Home On Leave
Pages: 218
ISBN: 9781935554585
Published: October 2011

The second book in Derek Raymond’s acclaimed Factory Series opens with the chilling discovery of a horribly butchered body abandoned in a warehouse by the Thames. The body has been chopped up and boiled so that the deceased is impossible to identify. It’s obviously the work of a contract killer, but why would a professional leave the body for discovery?

How the Dead Live
Introduction by Will Self
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781935554592
Published: October 2011

In the third novel of Derek Raymond’s acclaimed Factory Series, the nameless detective visits a decrepit country house to look into the case of a disappeared woman.
It is, as always for the Detective Sergeant, a deeply unsettling investigation of love and damnation. The woman’s husband seems to love her entirely, and yet he seems reluctant to find her. Meanwhile other cops are getting in the way of the Sergeant and he’s making new enemies on the force back in London.
With growing desperation and his trademark sense of enraged compassion, the sergeant fights to uncover a murderer not by following analytical procedure, but by doing the most difficult thing of all: understanding why crimes are committed.

I Was Dora Suarez
ISBN: 9781935554608
Published: October 2011

"Everything about I Was Dora Suarez shrieks of the joy and pain of going too far."
—Marilin Stasio, The New York Times

An axe-wielding psychopath carves young Dora Suarez into pieces. On the same night, in London's West End, a firearm blows the top off the head of Felix Roatta, part-owner of the seedy parallel Club. The unnamed narrator, a police sergeant, becomes obsessed with Dora as he investigates her murder. Autopsy results compund the puzzle: Suarez was dying of AIDS. Then a photo links Suarez to Roatta, and inquiries at the club reveal how vile and inhuman exploitation can become.
Despite a plot so grotesque that even Jim Thompson’s Lou Ford would have grown squeamish, I Was Dora Suarez remains Raymond’s masterpiece, with language that is often compared to that of John Donne as much as to Chandler.

Coming 2012

Dead Man Upright
ISBN: 9781612190624
Published: February 2012

The fifth and final book in the author’s acclaimed Factory Series was published just after Derek Raymond’s death, and so didn’t get the kind of adulatory attention the previous four titles in the series got. The book has been unavailable for so long that many of Derek Raymond’s rabid fans aren’t even aware there is a fifth book.

But Dead Man Upright may be the most psychologically probing book in the series. Unlike the others, it’s not so much an investigation into the identity of a killer, but a chase to catch him before he kills again. Meanwhile, the series’ hero—the nameless Sargent from the “Unexplained Deaths” department—is facing more obstacles in the department, due to severe budget cutbacks, than he’s ever faced before.

However, this time, the Sargent knows the identity of the next victim of the serial killer in question.

DEREK RAYMOND was the pseudonym adopted by Robin Cook, a well-born Englishman who spent a great portion of his life in France. Turning his back on Eton and all his birth class implied, he worked for years at whatever menial jobs or scams came to him, writing all the while, learning the secret life of London the way a cab driver must learn its streets. Soon enough he took the crime novel to heart, taking as his subject the dispossessed and faceless, society's rejects: alcoholics, abused women, prostitutes, petty criminals swarming like pilot fish in the wake of sharks. His life's work culminated in the four Factory novels now seen as clear landmarks in British fiction: He Died with His Eyes Open, The Devil's Home on Leave, How the Dead Live, and I Was Dora Suarez.
Check out the blog series on Derek Raymond that we ran on MobyLives, which contains audio recordings, interviews, slideshows and a selection from the black bard's final reading.

Coming Spring 2012

“Montalbán writes with authority and compassion and a le Carré-like sorrow.”
—Publishers Weekly

The Angst-Ridden Executive

Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781612190389
Published: January 2012

When Antonio Jauma, a director of the multinational conglomerate Petnay, is murdered, his widow seeks out private investigator Pepe Carvalho, who had met and forgotten the playboy executive after their single chance encounter—back when Carvalho still worked for the CIA.

Jauma was a “womanizer,” according to a friend, “of the least pleasant sense,” and the police have decided that the murder is the work of an unhappy pimp. But Carvalho doggedly pursues his own phlegmatic investigation, with time out for his signature book burning (Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reasoning; Sholokov’s And Quiet Flows the Don), cooking (leek soup and a freshly-caught steamed turbot), and running with his girlfriend Charo, whose last name he can’t remember.

The Buenos Aires Quintet
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781612190341
Published: March 2012
“The most metaphysical gumshoe on the streets. . . the plot is as concerned with exploring capitalism’s malignancy as it is with corpses and femmes fatales.”
The Times

The Argentine army’s “Dirty War” disappeared 30,000 people in six years and the last thing Pepe Carvalho wants is to investigate another vanished person, even if that missing person is his cousin. But blood proves thicker than a fine Mendoza Cabernet Savignon even for a nihilistic gourmand like Pepe.

Once there, he quickly learns that “Buenos Aires is a beautiful city hell-bent on self destruction” and he’ll have to confront the traumas of Argentina’s past head on if he wants to stay alive, and find his cousin.

The Quintet is a moving psychological travelogue inhabited by boxers, scholars, seductive semioticians and Borges and infused with the tango, music, literature and, as always, divine cuisine.

Murder in the Central Committee

Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781612190365
Published: February 2012

At a meeting of the central committee of Spain’s Communist Party, in a room both locked and guarded, general secretary Fernando Garrido is stabbed to death. But the Party refuses to believe it was an inside job.

They turn to former member Pepe Carvalho. But he’s soon out of his depth in unfamiliar Madrid, where he spends nearly as much time investigating the chorizo, lamb-kidneys, and tripe, and the uninspiring selection of wine on offer, as he does murder.

With time out for his signature book burning (Engels’s The Housing Question), cooking (shellfish risotto), and an ill-advised bajativo (cognac, crème de menthe) inspired romp with Gladys, Pepe Carvalho leads a wry and cynical tour through the labyrinth of post-Fascist Spanish politics amid violent jostling for power.

Summer 2012

In search of the spirit of Paul Gauguin, Stuart Pedrell—eccentric Barcelona businessman, construction magnate, dreamer, and patron of poets and painters—disappeared not long after announcing plans to travel to the South Pacific.
A year later he is found stabbed to death at a construction site in Barcelona. Gourmand gumshoe Pepe Carvalho is hired by Pedrell’s wife to find out what happened. Carvalho, a jaded former communist, must travel through circles of the old anti-Franco left wing on the trail of the killer. But with little appetite for politics, Carvalho also leads us on a tour through literature, cuisine, and the criminal underbelly of Barcelona in a typically brilliant twist on the genre by a Spanish master.


Pepe Carvalho is set to retire. Content to live out the rest of his days enjoying the best food and wine Catalonia has to offer, his plans are put on hold when an executive from Barcelona's world-famous soccer team pays him a visit. “The center forward will be killed at dusk,” reads the note the executive gives to Carvalho.
With that, the detective, former communist, and one-time employee of the CIA, must find out where this note is from. Is the threat real? Is it the work of one person? Or is it one of the real estate moguls tearing Barcelona apart in their battle over the most important properties of Catalonia?
Here Montalbán does for the game of soccer what he has done for food. In an exquisite portrait of Spain’s most beloved sport, soccer and politics mix in a gripping mystery about the reckless excesses—and limits—of power.

Born in Barcelona in 1939, poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist MANUEL VÁZQUEZ MONTALBÁN was one of Spain’s greatest writers. A well-known gourmand, he also wrote often about food. He is best known for his crime series featuring Pepe Carvalho, which won him international acclaim and numerous awards, including the Planeta Prize and the International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He died in 2003 in Hong Kong, on his way home to Barcelona.

1 comment: