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.
Published: May 2011
“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.
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.
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?
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.
Mukoma Wa Ngugi
Published: September 2011
"An engaging insider's view of the cultural divide between Americans and Africans."
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.
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.
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.
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..
The Case of the General's Thumb
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.
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."
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.
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?
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.
"Everything about I Was Dora Suarez shrieks of the joy and pain of going too far."
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.
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.
Coming Spring 2012