International Crime Month: Melville House

melville house

~post by Molly O.

Melville House’s International Crime imprint has ambitious aims and far-reaching follow-through. They mean to publish international authors whose work compares favorably to the early English language masters of noir. As a radically oriented publisher, they concentrate on crime fiction in which solving a crime serves as a metaphor for exposing societal injustice. Melville House’s International Crime imprint prefers to place its authors in the spotlight rather than promote the imprint itself. I was impressed to note that behind the stand-alones and series lies a consistent philosophy and attention to detail that makes each Melville International Crime release a self-contained gem.

Although Melville House’s International Crime imprint is, to this point, a small imprint, it represents a burgeoning group of diverse authors with wide-ranging subject matter. Each author has a strong sense of place that makes “international” of equal weight to “crime.” Because Melville prefers to emphasize authors and their oeuvres, I will give a brief run-down of some of the various series they have released.

Austrian Wolf Haas, one of Melville’s most prominent crime fiction novelists, writes darkly humorous novels satirizing just about every aspect of modern-day Austrian life. His latest novel, Come Sweet Death, was recently reviewed on our blog.

Polish author Marek Krajewski’s novels are comparable to those of Phillip Kerr or Alan Furst as his protagonist, policeman Eberhard Mock, attempts to solve small crimes within the larger crime of 1930s fascism.

Frenchman Didier Daeninckx engages in left-wing politics when he is not writing socially critical detective novels. His crime fiction has had a powerful political impact on France’s willingness to address WWII-era war crimes in the public sphere. His latest release, Nazis in the Metro, serves as a powerful condemnation of right-wing extremists and, although written in 1995, seems even more relevant today in light of recent European election results.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi, born in Illinois and raised in Kenya, is two books deep into a series featuring Detective Ishmael, a policeman embroiled in politically motivated murders at home and abroad. His first two crime novels are Nairobi Heat and Black Star Nairobi.

As their International Crime Imprint continues to grow, Melville House has published increasingly diverse voices always willing to engage in edgy and biting social criticism. These authors never sacrifice story to polemics, however, and each author published by Melville House becomes an instant part of the contemporary noir cannon. They are also committed to bringing us classic crime fiction long-since out of print. One of their most exciting new authors, Giorgio Scerbanenco, has been described by Melville as the “Father of Italian noir” and the “Italian Simenon,” and Melville has just released Traitors to All, the first volume in his seminal 1960s Milano Quartet.

All of these books are available here on our shelves at BookPeople and via, come check them out!


International Crime Month: Europa Editions

europa editions

~post by Molly

Throughout International Crime Month, we will be profiling our four favorite publishers of international crime fiction: Akashic Books, Europa Editions, Grove Atlantic, and Melville House. It is thanks to these publishers that BookPeople can bring so many translated and foreign works to an Austin audience. I’ve decided to kick off June by profiling my favorite imprint since PM Press’ Switchblade Series  – Europa Editions World Noir imprint.

Europa Editions, primarily known for its translations of the latest in European literary fiction, has long been committed to bringing high quality international crime novels to English language publication. Although crime fiction has always been a part of their oeuvre, Europa launched a special imprint called World Noir early in 2013. This launch has meant an increase in circulating titles and some reissues of defining works. As a long-time fan of literature engagé, the postwar movement aimed at creating politically engaged fiction, I appreciate Europa’s emphasis on publishing socially responsible noir.

You may have noticed these stylish editions in our mystery section before, and their eye-catching appeal is no accident. Europa has worked with the designer Emanuele Ragnisco to create a distinct look for their titles, and they lavish the same care in their attention to quality translation. Each World Noir imprint reads smoothly, but with the lyrical cadences of its original language.

Sandro Ferri and Sandra Ozzola Ferri started Europa Editions in 2005 after finding success bringing authors from all over into the Italian publishing house Edizioni E/O. Europa’s Italian origins shine not only through their impeccable graphic design. Much of the World Noir imprint showcases a style called Mediterranean Noir, which distinguishes itself from traditional American Noir by embracing moments of sensuality and philosophical meditations in between the violence and criminality.

The Mediterranean Noir genre has roots in the early 80s and, some would argue, even before, but reached its maturity with the mid-90s publication of Jean-Claude Izzo’s Marseilles Trilogy, as much literature as it is crime fiction. With the launch of World Noir, Izzo is back in print and here in our store. This trilogy serves as an excellent introduction to the World Noir imprint. I would also recommend getting Caryl Férey’s ultraviolent police thriller Zulu before the movie hits the US.

Most of the World Noir releases are set in sweltering places full of simmering tensions and no clear path to resolution. Texas readers should feel right at home.

MysteryPeople Crime Fiction Fest!


7 Crime Fiction Authors

Double Feature Film Series

International Crime Month


June is an incredible month for crime fiction here at MysteryPeople. There’s so much going on, we’ve decided to pull out all the stops and celebrating with a month-long
MysteryPeople Crime Fiction Fest!

Join us this month for one of our many free, fun events!



7 Authors Are Lined Up To Visit BookPeople this month!
Dates & Info Available Here.

BookPeople events are free & open to the public. 
Books signed at BookPeople events
must be purchased from BookPeople. 




Join us for a brand new summer film series!

We’ll screen movies based on some of our favorite crime fiction novels, up on the third floor of BookPeople.

The screenings are FREE & open to the public.
Escape that summer heat & join us!


June 25   6PM
Double Indemnity



July 9  6PM – Purple Noon
(The Talented Mr. Ripley)


July 23  6PM
The Long Goodbye



August 6  6PM
Devil in a Blue Dress



August 20  6PM
Winter’s Bone






June is International Crime Month! We’re celebrating crime fiction writers around the world with a brand new series on the MysteryPeople blog that delves into the authors writing crime fiction around the globe and the publishers here in America who put those books on our shelves.

International Crime Month is a month-long initiative highlighting internationally acclaimed crime fiction authors, editors, critics, and publishers. Four of America’s most influential independent publishers—Grove Atlantic, Akashic Books, Melville House, and Europa Editions—have joined forces to promote one of the most vital and socially significant fiction genres of our time. We’re happy to join them!

Look for a special in-store display in MysteryPeople highlighting books from these publishers. Watch the MysteryPeople blog for regular posts throughout the month focusing on international crime fiction.