Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

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linguaphile
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Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby linguaphile » Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:49 pm

So, like many of us I enjoy mystery/crime/detective novels – but unfortunately I'm woefully uninformed about what's worth reading in this genre my TLs. Most of the books that I've read in my TLs have been "classics", but often I just want some lighter fare and sometimes have resorted to things like reading Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle translations in French or Spanish – which is definitely enjoyable, but at this point I'd really like to start discovering more publications from this genre by local writers in different languages. If anyone has any recommendations about specific books or authors that they enjoyed from this genre in different languages, I'd love to hear about them!

(PS: While I'm naturally most interested in discovering reading materials in my own TLs, feel free to share recommendations in other languages too in case they might help others... ;) )
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:05 pm

Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's feeling for snow. Originally Danish. (French, German)
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby Mista » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:19 pm

I read a whole bunch of crime novels when I started reading in French, by Pierre Lemaitre, Fred Vargas and Michel Bussi. I would recommend the two latter in particular, since you tend to get a dose of French geography and history as a bonus. The book I enjoyed the most of the ones I read was Nymphéas noirs by Bussi, which takes place in Giverny, in and around the house where Monet lived when he painted his waterlily paintings (but not at that time).
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:29 pm

So I read this one in English but it's originally Japanese: Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama. Lots of detailing of Japanese police bureaucracy/hierarchies but even though I read it back in 2017 (had to hunt through Goodreads to find the title :lol:) I still remember the reveal because of the way it all came together!

(I know your profile says you're a Japanese beginner - might be one to look at later? ;))
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby Adrianslont » Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:30 pm

In French I’ve read a few Georges Simenon, Fred Vargas and Frederic Dard aka San Antonio - and enjoyed them all.

Simenon is pretty classic realism and often set in Paris which I enjoy.

Vargas throws in history and very colourful characters - not my usual kind of crime read in English but I like her a lot.

Frederic Dard, like Simenon, wrote a LOT. Offbeat and the level of difficulty is increased by the arcane vocabulary he uses and all the new words and phrases he coins but that’s part of the fun. I’ve only read two of his but look forward to reading more.
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:04 pm

I have only read an easy reader or two by Simenon. At a crime fiction festival here in town, there was a talk where one of the authors mentioned that Simenon managed to write about A LOT of characters and have all the plot threads under control - "without the use of Excel!". :)

Joël Dicker springs to mind as a French language writer (he's Swiss). Like Twin Peaks, but without the supernatural stuff. :)

Now, for my own mystery - I once flew with Air Berlin (June 2014), who during their in-flight advertising showed the book cover of this kind of novel. Something tells me it had been translated into German (perhaps from French, maybe Spanish). I don't remember the title or anything, but I'd recognize the cover if I ever see it again. I wonder if there is a list of crime/mystery novels published in Germany during, say, the first months of 2014 (and possibly including 2013). :?
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby Nogon » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:21 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:Now, for my own mystery - I once flew with Air Berlin (June 2014), who during their in-flight advertising showed the book cover of this kind of novel. Something tells me it had been translated into German (perhaps from French, maybe Spanish). I don't remember the title or anything, but I'd recognize the cover if I ever see it again. I wonder if there is a list of crime/mystery novels published in Germany during, say, the first months of 2014 (and possibly including 2013). :?

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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby SallImSayin » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:35 am

I love these Esperanto books:

Amo kaj Malamo
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/02447 ... UTF8&psc=1

and Murdo en el parko

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/02449 ... UTF8&psc=1

Well written, fun reads in Esperanto. Both are by Julian Modest. I've learned so much vocabulary. I have no trouble reading these, they're very accessible.
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby devilyoudont » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:45 am

The genre is called 推理 (deductive reasoning) in Japanese. You're in luck because this is an incredibly popular genre in Japan, and so you can find material for all levels. In terms of manga: Detective Conan, Kindaichi Case Files. I'm reading "Three sisters investigate"/三姉妹探偵団 which is the start of a multi novel detective series.

The Honkaku Mystery Best 10 list is published annually. The list highlights the ten best Japanese mystery novels, and the ten best foreign mystery novels.
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Re: Recommended non-English mystery/crime/detective novels?

Postby Doitsujin » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:19 am

@linguaphile

Since German is one of your target languages, you might find the following German epub books interesting:

Edgar Wallace: 50 Novels

Edgar Wallace was an English Pulp Fiction writer who was hugely popular in Germany in his heyday. Since the translations are less than 100 years old, you won't find many outdated expressions in them. Also, you shouldn't have any problems following the plots, since most of them are pretty straightforward with only a handful of twists.

Various: Mord (Selected classic crime stories)

This collection contains some classic German detective stories, among them E.T.A. Hoffmann's novella "Das Fräulein von Scuderi," which predates Poe's detective stories. Their age makes them more difficult to read than the Wallace novels, though. (You should have at least C1 skills.)

Note that the spelling of the books has not been updated to reflect the German orthography reform of 1996.

If you don't own a tablet, you can convert these books to .pdf files or Kindle books with Calibre.
If you don't want to install an epub app, you can download the portable version of Sumatra PDF, which also supports epub books.
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