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Criminal Content

May 2006

In the first of two police lineups of international noir authors, you’ll find none of the usual suspects, and positive IDs on all of the perpetrators.

Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s The Last Wager, from Morocco, reveals a detective wrestling with police reforms as he investigates a septuagenarian bride’s murder.

Brazilian Carlos Machado’s “The Man with the Long Mustache” develops the dangerous pastime of following strangers for sport.

Algerian author Mounsi’s “Villon and I” introduces a juvenile delinquent from the French underworld to poetry.

Italian Leonardo Gori’s nineteenth-century tale set in Florence, “The Big Sizzle,” finds a chef murdered in his own kitchen.

A pickpocket on a train chooses his victim in The Fourth Take, by Slovenian author Polona Glavan.

The birth of a grandson, a clairvoyant, and a trip to Switzerland make up the pieces of the puzzle in German author Friedrich Glauser’s Fever.

Finally, we have some history with these disreputable types, from the experimental fever dream of REX by Jose Manuel Prieto from Cuba, to the Mexican novel, The Black Minutes, by Martín Solares.

From “The Last Wager: A Detective Novel”
By Abdelilah Hamdouchi
“A woman . . . foreign . . . was murdered,” he replied out of breath as he was tying his faded necktie.
Translated from Arabic by Jonathan Smolin
The Man with the Long Mustache
By Carlos Machado
I looked at my watch. I felt distressed. It’s five o’clock.
Translated from Portuguese by Sarah Brush
“Villon and I,” from “Territoires d’Outre-Ville”
By Mounsi
People aren’t born delinquent; they become so according to the accidents of their lives and their response to them.
Translated from French by Martin Sorrell
The Big Sizzle
By Leonardo Gori
The long, heavy ladle was lying on the floor when he discovered the murder.
Translated from Italian by Anne Milano Appel
From “The Fourth Take”
By Polona Glavan
Don’t stare, he hissed in his ear.
Translated from Slovene by the author
From “Fever”
By Friedrich Glauser
The only sound to be heard in the little room was the snoring of the landlord interspersed with the quiet tick-tock of the clock on the wall…
Translated from German by Mike Mitchell
From “REX”
By José Manuel Prieto
To turn the stone over in the palm of my hand, scrutinize it more closely, a real stone, a diamond in the rough?
Translated from Spanish by Esther Allen
From “The Black Minutes”
By Martín Solares
Vicente Rangel González pulled out the twenty-two-caliber pistol he’d paid for in ten installments, undid his belt and put on the holster.
Translated from Spanish by Francisco Goldman & Aura Estrada