Thursday, April 19, 2012

No Pulitzer, No Problem : The BookPundit 2012 Award for Fiction Goes to Germany's Nele Neuhaus


[crossposted from BookPundit]

No Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012?
No problem.

How about an alternative reward for Nele Neuhaus, Germany's best-selling crime novelist?

As written at Agence Hoffman:
"Nele Neuhaus is the most successful German crime writer. She took the bestseller lists by storm with SCHNEEWITTCHEN MUSS STERBEN/Snow White must die and WER WIND SÄT.*

Nele Neuhaus' gripping novels are set in the Taunus mountains, where the author lives. www.neleneuhaus.de"
* We add here our footnote translation of "Wer Wind Sät" as "If You Sow Wind", based on the German phrase that whoever sows wind, will reap a whirlwind.

So we herewith award The BookPundit Fiction Prize for 2012 to Nele Neuahus, who writes "Taunus, Germany-based" complex crime novels in German dealing with modern topics such as wind energy and environmental politics, for example, which she then weaves into the magically interlaced substance of her marvelous criminal mystery novels. The results are outstanding.

This award, by the way, is not connected with any other benefit other than this simple recognition of her excellent book writing.

We initially became aware of the works of Nele Neuhaus after asking at the local library what novels were currently being borrowed the most and was told "the crime series of books of Nele Neuhaus". Well, so we loaned out a book.

Her books are a series of crime squad investigations led by Inspector Oliver von Bodenstein and his colleague Pia Kirchhoff. The books are well researched and the author works together with real crime investigation professionals to get the crime details right. A truly great, almost natural gift for writing adds the rest.

Our own bookseller regards Tiefe Wunde ("Deep Wounds") as the best book by Nele Neuhaus thus far and it is the third book in the series. Google Translator translates the short description of Tiefe Wunde at Amazon.de as follows:
"The 92-year-old Holocaust survivor David Joshua Goldberg is killed at his home in the Taunus with a neck shot. At autopsy, the doctor makes a strange discovery: Goldberg's arm bears the remains of a blood group tattoo, as it was customary for members of the SS. Then ... two more murders [occur], executions. What mystery linked the victims to each other? The investigations lead ... Chief Inspector Oliver Bodenstein and his colleague Pia Kirchhoff far into the past ...[to] East Prussia in January 1945 ... 
Nearly 200 enthusiastic readers ... on 22 August 2009, [experienced] the book launch of 'Deep Wounds' at the Kempinski Hotel in Königstein [in the Taunus]."
Well, if you read German, you are lucky, because you can enjoy the Neuhaus crime novels. We assume the publisher will bring English-language versions soon, but we can not guarantee it.

Maybe the best thing they could do this year was not to award the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. They would have missed Neuhaus anyway.


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