Leipzig publisher Wilhelm Goldmann started in 1935 the series “Goldmanns Roman-Bibliothek”. Agatha Christie was published there from 1935 : Nikotin (1935), Ein Schritt ins Leere (1935). More than its more ancient competitor the Gelbe Reihe (Ullstein), this series shows the increasing importance of translations, alongside German original editions. Going hand in hand with this process of internationalisation, the series shows a progressive focalisation on Crime Fiction, and a tendency towards a replacement of adventure novels with Crime novels.
The authors most frequently published in the Goldmanns Roman-Bibliothek are British Mysteries writer Herbert Adams (9 books published here); Ferry Rocker (7), a German author of detection novels under pseudonym; Charles Alden Seltzer (7), the American author of Western novels and frequent contributor to the pulp magazine Argosy; Agatha Christie (5); and many more with three books or less.
In the case of Ferry Rocker, the use of a pseudonym owes rather less to the fad for British Crime novels, and rather more to politics. It served to conceal the left-wing journalist and satirist “Hardy” (Eberhard Friedrich) Worm (1896 -1973), who had been banned by the Nazis and left Germany. He wrote crime novels in his Exile, first in France, then in London (from 1940 to 1945), and some of them are set in France and in England. The following were published before the War under the name Ferry Rocker in the Goldmann’s Roman-Bibliothek”.
John Kennedys Gäste, Bern, Goldmann, 1936
Schatten über Haus Fleury, Bern, Goldmann, 1936
Das Geheimnis des Turmes, Bern, Goldmann, 1936
Schüsse im Quartier Latin, Bern, Goldmann, 1937
Mord in Kensington, Leipzig, Goldmann, 1937
In einer Nebelnacht, Bern, Goldmann, 1937
Die Entscheidung am Kreuzweg, Leipzig, Goldmann, 1939
Un delitto a Kensington was published in Milano (Ed. Minerva, in 1938). His crime novel Schatten über Haus Fleury (Goldmann, 1936) was translated as Le Secret du tronc d’arbre and published in Paris in 1943 in Tallandier’s second (and ephemeral) “Le Lynx series. It is the Series number 1, but apparently only two books were ever published there.
(With thanks to Philippe Aurousseau)
The literary series “Goldmanns Roman-Bibliothek” is the foundation for one of the most successful Crime Fiction series in paperback, Goldmann’s Taschenbuch (from 1952), which would keep the red colour for its covers.