Saturday, 16 May 2009

Kein Einsames Grab

I’ve received my copy of the latest Lake District Mystery to be published in Germany by Luebbe. The Arsenic Labyrinth has metamorphosed into Kein Einsames Grab. As with previous books in the series, the title is not a direct translation, but an attempt to capture the flavour of the story (‘No Solitary Grave’ – a reference to what happens when police search for a body at the labyrinth site up in the Coniston fells.)

I definitely get a kick out of seeing my books appear in overseas editions. I can read German (although I’ve got rather rusty) but I’m not keen on reading my own books once they have been published, and I’ve not had the temerity to check the translation, which is once again by Ulrike Werner – I’m sure she’s done a great job.

Someone asked me if I was planning to do an ‘author tour’ of Germany. Unfortunately, the constraints of the day job do not permit it. But maybe one of these days…


Dorte H said...


I must admit I prefer the English title. Given plenty of time I might also be able to get through it in German, but I am not at all as fond of the German language as of yours. As my brother says, Germans call a butterfly ´schmetterling´ - says it all.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Dorte. A great line about the butterfly!

Kate S. said...

The English title does seem more distinctive. The German edition has a gorgeous cover though! Congratulations.

Lauren said...

One of my good friends met her husband at a German reading course, and noted in her wedding speech that "for [them] at least, German was a romance language." Aaaah.

I'm rather fond of the language's clunkiness. Perhaps you can call it function over form. In any case, there's certainly a lot of interest in crime fiction there - I'm always amazed to see just how much has been translated. (English-language publishers take note!)

Covers are sometimes a mixed bag (certain publishers are minimalist to the point of absence), but this one is lovely. If I come across a copy, I might run a comparison. I don't think I've ever read any English fiction in German.

At least the title is normal. There's an old tradition for things to get very odd in that department, particularly for films. (cf Mel Brooks.)

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Kate and Lauren.
I've always liked the German language, not a fashionable view perhaps, but there it is. And at one time I used to like reading in German, but I'd struggle with it nowadays.