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Brother Kemal

A Kayankaya Thriller

Translated by Anthea Bell

Part of Melville International Crime

Jakob Arjouni’s first novel—Happy Birthday, Turk!—was published when he was just eighteen. The book and its beleaguered hero, Turkish P.I. Kemal Kayankaya, instantly found an adoring audience throughout Europe, and three more bestselling Kayankaya novels quickly followed.

Now, more than twenty-five years later—after publishing a string of critically acclaimed literary novels—Arjouni returns to his most beloved character, Kayankaya … who finds that while things in Frankfurt have gotten glitzier, it’s still the ugliest town in all of Germany, and the city’s underworld has hardly changed at all.

Valerie de Chavannes, a financier’s daughter, summons Kayankaya to her villa in Frankfurt’s diplomat’s quarter and commissions him to find her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. She is alleged to be with an older man who is posing as an artist. To Kayankaya, it seems like a simple case: an upper class girl with a taste for adventure.

Then another seemingly posh job turns up: a major publisher needs to protect a writer who has offended Islamist groups during the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The two cases seem to be straightforward, but it goes all wrong for Kayankaya, as it almost always does. Luckily, that’s when he’s at his best.

JAKOB ARJOUNI was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1964, the son of acclaimed German playwright Hans Gunter Michelson. He has written numerous books, including the novel Magic Hoffmann, which was shortlisted for the IMPAC Award. But it is his series of four mysteries featuring Turkish immigrant detective Kemal Kayankaya–all of which are published by Melville House– for which he has become best known. Bestsellers throughout Europe and the winner of the German Thriller Prize, they have also been turned into wildly popular movies in his home country. Arjouni passed away in January, 2013. Brother Kemal was his final book.

ANTHEA BELL is one of the world’s most acclaimed translators, best known for her translations of the French Asterix comics and a translator of Stefan Zweig and W.G. Sebald.

“[Brother Kemal] is cool, witty, and entertaining, with just enough social comment to give it substance. It even ends on a more hopeful note than most hard-boiled private eyes enjoy. It imagines a different future path for Kemal, a future that must remain unrealized.” —Reviewing the Evidence

“The series offers something wonderful for fans of international crime stories, mostly for the perspective of Arjouni’s private investigator… His view of German society is jaded and witty – and while the stories and punchy dialogue echo James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, Arjouni also provides pockets of absurd humor.” —the Plain Dealer

The New York Times profiles Jakob Arjouni, “A Master of Crime Fiction”

“Spot-on and often beautiful descriptions distinguish the fifth and final Kemal Kayankaya thriller (after Kismet) from Arjouni… fans of his crime novels will be grateful that he chose to bring back the ruthless Kayankaya for one last raucous outing before his untimely passing earlier this year.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for Jakob Arjouni

”Sets a high standard for the crime novel as the best of modern literature.”The Independent (UK)