10 Spanish Crime Novels in Disguise


I borrow this term from Stav Sherez, HERE. He defines ‘Crime Novels in Disguise’ as follows: ‘(Books that) were originally marketed as literary novels but contain all the ingredients, tropes and page-turning fury of the best crime books’. And I have come up with the following list by Spanish writers that may well fall within this category. My idea is to read, mainly re-read them all in due course looking for those crime fiction elements, if any. Stay tuned. 

My list in chronological order is:

  1. La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942) by  Camilo José Cela (The Family of Pascual Duarte)
  2. Tiempo de silencio (1961) by Luis Martín-Santos (Time of Silence)
  3. La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (1975) by Eduardo Mendoza (Truth about the Savolta’s case)
  4. El aire de un crimen (1980) by Juan Benet
  5. Los santos inocentes (1981) by Miguel Delibes (The Holy Innocents)
  6. Beltenebros (1989) by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Prince of Shadows)
  7. Corazón tan blanco (1992) by Javier Marias (A Heart so White)
  8. El embrujo de Shanghai (1993) by Juan Marsé (Shanghai Nights)
  9. La hija del canibal (1997) by Rosa Montero
  10. Veinte años y un día (2003) by Jorge Semprún 

Comments are welcome. Another list by Hispanic American writers will follow.

4 thoughts on “10 Spanish Crime Novels in Disguise”

  1. The only one I know is the Javier Marias – I am such a big fan of his, and that book is wonderful. But also – what a great category, that really defines a certain kind of book doesn’t it? Look forward to more lists….

  2. I agree, Stav Sherez came up with a great category. I am not familiar with any of these books, and I will stay tuned.

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