2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet, O is for Oliver, Maria-Antonia Oliver


The Crime Fiction Alphabet arrives this week to the letter “o”. And my O is for Oliver. Maria-Antònia Oliver was born in Manacor. Manacor in Mallorca is also the birthplace of Rafael Nadal. But I will let Maria-Antonia speak for herself. Who I Am And Why I Write by Maria Antònia Oliver.

Maria-Antònia Oliver wrote three novels, Estudi en lila, 1985 (Study in Lilac), Antipodes, 1988 (Antipodes), and  El sol que fa l’anec, 1994 (Blue roses for a dead… Lady?) featuring Lònia (short for Apollonia) Guiu, a Barcelona-based, professional private investigator who, in the views of one reviewer is ‘philosophical at times, with a finely tuned social conscience, sexually liberated, quite idiosyncratic, daring, loyal and tough’. Lònia’s investigations provide Oliver with the opportunity to examine in some depth a number of issues which have a particular relevance for women, such as attitudes to abortion and unwanted pregnancy, the damaging long-term psychological effects of rape, and the exploitation of females by the sex industry. Her books are witty and well-written, and these feminist themes form an integral part of the action, rather than being a mere afterthought.(Crime Scenes: Detective Narratives in European Culture Since 1945, by Anne Mullen, Emer O’Beirne).

You can read more about Lònia Guiu HERE.

Seal Press introduced Lònia Guiu to English speaking readers as part of their Internationally Women’s Crime Series.

In Study in lilac [Estudi en lila]. Seattle: The Seal Press, 1987; Londres: Pandora, 1989. (Trad. Kathleen McNerney),  Private investigator Lonia Guiu has two problems on her hands: Sebastiana, a pregnant young rape victim whom Lonia has taken in off the streets; and Ms. Gaudi, a mysterious antique dealer who is trying to locate three men she claims defrauded her. Lonia’s search for the three men takes her from private, opulent estates to the seedy docks of Barcelona, and leads to a shocking discovery.

Antipodes [Antípodes]. Seattle: The Seal Press, 1989. (Trad. Kathleen McNerney).  Read an Extract.

In Blue roses for a dead… Lady? [El sol que fa l’ànec]. New Orleans: University Press of the South, 1998. (Trad. Kathleen McNerney)  A desperate mother searches for her daughter, Júlia. Lònia takes on the job of looking for her in Mallorca, her last known whereabouts. No one there knows anything. But Lònia suspects that her informers are lying. A Castilian song with its deformed version in Catalan provides a clue, and little by little she unwraps the skeins, but she pays a price: a destroyed car, a sprained ankle, a finger in a cast, a couple of beatings…Lots of action and lots of emotion.

The Crime Fiction Alphabet 2012 is a Community Meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week. ClickHERE to visit the contribution of other fellow bloggers.

7 thoughts on “2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet, O is for Oliver, Maria-Antonia Oliver”

  1. José Ignacio – Oh, what an interesting choice for O. I’ve not read a female PI series based in Spain before but this one sounds very nicely done. And it takes place in a city I like very much. Thanks for sharing Oliver’s work.

  2. I read Study in Lilac years ago and enjoyed it enough to pick up the copy of Antipodes I saw later. As I recall, I was very annoyed at the American translator’s carelessness. She did not even bother to pick up an atlas to check the correct English version of names, so for example Bass Strait is given as the Strait of Bass, and I seem to recall other infelicities so obvious to an Australian reader. A great pity, and not characteristic of translated crime novels generally.

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