The success of Regional Crime Fiction is so global and has been prevalent for seemingly so long already, it is easy to forget nowadays that the trend to set crime novels away from the big crime capitals – the traditional sites of “Urban Mysteries” since the mid 19th Century (typically, Paris, London, New York, later Los Angeles and Chicago)- is still relatively recent in European Crime Fiction. Authors such as Izzo in France, Camilleri in Italy, Staalesen in Norway, Mankell in Sweden and many others, especially since the 1990s have all heralded such a turn, anchoring their detectives in marginal, referential, less mythical (but not necessarily less mythologised), realistically defined geographical spaces. In many respects the remarkable surge of Crime Fiction set in Scotland since William McIlvanney’s 1977 Laidlaw, and the first Rebus novel (Ian Rankin,1987) announces this remarkable trans-European phenomenon. Scottish authors Val McDermid, Quintin Jardine and Stuart MacBride are all long since household names in international crime fiction and “Tartan Noir” is recognised as a thriving subgenre. Almost 40 years after the publication of Laidlaw, it is worth looking at the most recent and upcoming publications, showcasing Tartan Noir’s durability. Here is a selection, any other suggestions are welcome. Continue reading
The Disappearance of Signora Giulia, by Piero Chiara (2015: Pushkin Vertigo), cover design by Jamie Keenan.
The first and to date only novel by Italian author Piero Chiara’s (1913 – 1986) to be translated into English The Disappearance of Signora Giulia (Italian: I giovedì della signora Giulia), tells the story of the investigation into the disappearance of a country lawyer’s wife. While suspects seem easy to come by in this short novel, solutions are another matter entirely. This procedural was initially serialised in a Swiss newspaper in 1962 and is set in the dramatic milieu of the northern Italian lakes, where Chiara spent his childhood. The life of the author himself is no less interesting than the events of his novels. Working during WWII as a court employee, he was arrested by the Fascist Italian government in 1944 after he was rumoured to have placed a bust of Mussolini in the dock. He fled to Switzerland where he was interned in a camp for Italian refugees. After the war he taught history in a Swiss high school. His first writings – a collection of poetry, Incantavi (1945) were published there. Returning to Italy, he became a post-war literary star, winning over a dozen Italian literary prizes. After his death, The Premio Chiara award was established in 1989 as an annual prize for short story writers.
The novel was published in English for the first time last year by Pushkin Vertigo. A new crime imprint of Pushkin Press, Pushkin Vertigo offer a number of foreign crime novels from Asia and Europe, from the 1920s to the 1970s. The Disappearance of Signora Giulia is the third book in this promising collection. Click here for more.
The conference on Representations of Rurality in Crime Fiction and Media Culture (ICRH, Queen’s University, Belfast, 15-16 June 2015) hosts acclaimed Crime Fiction authors Andrew Pepper, Anthony Quinn, Brian McGilloway, Gerard Brennan, Leigh Redhead, and Rob Kitchin. Please find here the full Programme
Belfast, Monday 15th June, 6: 15 p.m. No Alibis Bookstore,
As part of the conference on the Rural as a scene in Crime Fiction (conference organised by the Institute for collaborative Research in the Humanities at Queen’s University, Belfast), Brian McGilloway & Anthony Quinn will talk about their work in No Alibis Bookstore, in conversation with author Dr Andrew Pepper. All welcome ! Come and join us !
If you are interested in attending the conference on Interdisciplinary Approaches to ‘Setting the Scene’: Representations of Rurality in Crime Fiction and Media Culture, ICRH, Queen’s University,
Belfast 15-16 June 2015
Please contact : Dr Dominique Jeannerod (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr Linda Price (email@example.com)