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German author Andrea Maria Schenkel hit the ground running with her 2006 debut, Tannöd, based on the still-unsolved pickaxe murder of an extended family of six in a Bavarian farming community in 1922. Schenkel’s fictional account is set during the 1950s and won Germany’s prestigious Deutsche Krimi-Preis, as well as Sweden’s Martin Beck Award. The novel was translated into English as The Murder Farm, and was dubbed a “remarkable, sparse, chilling novel…the literary equivalent of The Blair Witch Project,” by the Times Literary Supplement.

Schenkel’s second novel, Kalteis, is set in Munich during the 1930s and features the hunt for a serial killer. This novel was also awarded the Deutsche Krimi-Preis, making Schenkle the first writer to ever win the prize two years consecutively. Translated into English as Ice Cold, Schenkel’s work once again earned critical acclaim, The Times Literary Supplement declared, ” With only a limited number of ways in which violent death can be investigated, crime writers have to use considerable ingenuity to bring anything fresh to the genre. Andrea Maria Schenkel has done it.” (more…)

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Today we have Portland (OR) writer Steve Anderson under the lens at Scene of the Crime. Anderson has published three e-books, including The Losing Role, an espionage thriller featuring failed German actor, Max Kaspar, who is forced to join a desperate secret mission in which he must impersonate an enemy American officer. The book has received solid reviews. Rose City Reader dubbed it “a terrific book that deserves a wide audience,” while Midwest Book Reviews termed it “a historical thriller … quite difficult to put down.” Historical Novel Review felt that The Losing Role  “does a marvelous job of showing the ‘fog of war’ wherein no one truly understands what is going on once the attack has begun.”

Steve set out to be a history professor, spending time in Munich on a Fulbright Fellowship. Then, as he notes on his homepage, “I discovered fiction and screenwriting — I could make stuff up, using history and research to serve the story. What could be better? Whatever the story, I always root for the underdog.” (more…)

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