Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Passport to Crime
There's a new anthology (titled Passport to Crime) from the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine that acknowledges the growing importance in English-speaking countries of mysteries of all genres that are translated from other languages. Since EQMM is broad in its definition of "mystery," the anthology contains everything from cozies to Poe homages to noir and (appropriately enough) an Ellery Queen-influenced story. For some reason, I'm not normally a fan of mystery short stories (although I enjoyed the DC Noir anthology, I haven't obtained its cousins from Brooklyn, Baltimore, etc). But the authors included in Passport to Crime are mostly not available in English at all, the anthology is an invaluable window on other worlds. Some of the writers are available in English (and some have been mentioned or reviewed here, including Kjersti Scheen, Baantjer, Ingrid Noll, Dominique Manotti) most are revelations. Some are not to my taste (since I'm primarily interested in noir fiction), a few are mystery-esque stories by novelists who have primarily literary aims, and some are not up to the standard of the best recent translated crime novels (the Scandinavian wave is under-represented, as well as the excellent new books from Italy), but EQMM should be applauded for their public service in bringing this book (and the series in the magazine on which it's based) to us. And even if a particular story is not to your taste, the glimpse into the world of what a recent symposium called "bloody foreigners" is great fun.