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:
- La familia de Pascual Duarte (1942) by Camilo José Cela (The Family of Pascual Duarte)
- Tiempo de silencio (1961) by Luis Martín-Santos (Time of Silence)
- La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (1975) by Eduardo Mendoza (Truth about the Savolta’s case)
- El aire de un crimen (1980) by Juan Benet
- Los santos inocentes (1981) by Miguel Delibes (The Holy Innocents)
- Beltenebros (1989) by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Prince of Shadows)
- Corazón tan blanco (1992) by Javier Marias (A Heart so White)
- El embrujo de Shanghai (1993) by Juan Marsé (Shanghai Nights)
- La hija del canibal (1997) by Rosa Montero
- 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”
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….
Thank you Moira. Am glad to hear that you’re such a big fan of Javier Marias.
I agree, Stav Sherez came up with a great category. I am not familiar with any of these books, and I will stay tuned.