Crime Fiction Publishers in German and English

German-language publishers of crime fiction and thrillers

Arche (Switzerland)
Founded in Zurich in 1944. Its founder, Peter Schifferli, saw Arche (the Ark) as a kind of literary lifeboat for a ravaged Europe. Once home to crime classics by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Friedrich Glauser, more recent publications include whodunnits by Peter Zeindler, four-times winner of the German Crime Fiction Prize.

Argument (Germany)
Argument Verlag began in 1959 as a publisher specialising in academia and criticism. However, in 1988 the company started a new branch, Ariadne, which publishes crime novels featuring strong women and an edge of social criticism, subverting the norms and expectations of women in society and challenging taboos such as sexuality. At the moment their focus lies on working with new German-speaking female authors who experiment with genre and explore new terrain. Based in Hamburg, authors Ariadne have previously published include Frigga Haug, K.V. Forrest and the Lisa Nerz series by Christine Lehmann. Lichtschlacht (‘Light Well’) by Anne Goldmann was published by Argument and featured in New Books in German in 2014.

Aufbau (Germany)
Founded in Berlin in 1945. Authors include crime writers Katharina Peters, Barbara Krohn and Thea Dorn as well as translations of international crime fiction and thrillers by authors such as Colleen McCullough and Deon Meyer.

Bastei-Lübbe (Germany)
Cologne-based Bastei-Lübbe was founded in 1949 and is the market leader in the German-language publishing industry. Releasing bestselling translations of work by authors such as Dan Brown, Andrea Camilleri (creator of Inspector Montalbano), Arnaldur Indriðason and Lars Kepler, Bastei-Lübbe also publishes German regional crime novels and thrillers.

btb (Germany)
An imprint of Random House. Founded in 1996, Munich-based btb has a list of over 400 high-calibre crime fiction titles and thrillers from German and international authors including Ulrich Ritzel, Robert Hültner and Håkan Nesser.

Diogenes (Switzerland)
Diogenes is one of the biggest publishers of quality literature in Europe, with its stand-out success being Perfume by Patrick Süskind. It is one of the most established publishers in the German markets, having published over 4770 titles to date, some in translation, and some by German-speaking authors such as Ingrid Noll, Erich Hackl and Bernhard Schlink. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, they have published over 350 crime novels with literary merit, for example the Kayankaya series by Jakob Arjouni and the Berlin-Vienna series by Bielefeld and Hartlieb. Diogenes novels are instantly recognisable by their distinct covers with the image mounted on a white background.

Droemer Knaur (Germany)
Droemer Knaur is a publishing group based in Munich which publishes fiction as well as non-fiction books. They are very well established on the German fiction market and publish many bestsellers, including Todesstill - Chronik eines Mörders (‘Deathly Silence - Chronicle of a Killer’) by Thomas Raab, which featured in New Books in German in 2015. Many of their crime novels are published in translation, for example the Karen Rose novel Todesstoß, which was top of the Spiegel Bestseller list. They also publish a number of their novels purely in e-book form.

dtv (Germany)
Founded in 1960 and based in Munich, dtv publishes a large selection of crime fiction in paperback, including thrillers by Henning Mankell and Veit Heinichen.

DuMont (Germany)
Founded in 1956 with a focus on art and literature, DuMont Buchverlag (Cologne) now publishes a range of genres, including regional crime novels from authors such as Cay Rademacher and Oliver Bottini (shortlisted for the German Crime Prize 2015), as well as hard-boiled crime fiction by Ellery Queen. DuMont also publishes ebooks in its digital crime library.

Emons (Germany)
Emons Verlag was founded in 1984 in Cologne by Hermann-Josef Emons. Their greatest success has come from the Regional Mystery genre – crime novels which take place in a particular town or area. Emons publishes regional mysteries in nearly every German state, amounting to over one hundred novels a year. They have recently also started to supplement their crime fiction with other genres, mainly travel guides. Global bestselling writer Frank Schätzing, author of The Swarm, started his career at Emons. More recent novels featured in New Books in German published by Emons include Grüne Armee Fraktion (‘Green Army Faction’) by Wolfgang Metzner (2011) and Weissenau by Peter Beutler (2012).

Federfrei (Austria)
Founded in 2007, Federfrei publishes crime novels and thrillers with a regional focus on Austria, especially political thrillers.

Folio (Austria)
Founded in 1994 and based in Bosen and Vienna. Its catalogue comprises over 400 titles including crime fiction, represented notably by Eva Rossmann, Austria’s most successful female crime writer and author of the popular Mira Valensky crime series.

Gmeiner (Germany)
Founded in 1986 and based in Messkirch, Baden-Württemberg, Gmeiner specialises in thrillers set in German-speaking countries. They have published over 800 titles, including numerous crime thrillers. Authors include Susann Rosemann and Sandra Dünschede.

Goldmann Verlag (Germany)
An imprint of Random House. Founded in 1922 and now based in Munich, Goldmann is one of Germany’s largest publishing houses. Books include thrillers and crime novels by international and German-language authors including Jan Costin Wagner, Wolf Schreiner, Elisabeth Hermann, Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie.

Grafit (Germany)
Founded in Dortmund in 1989, Grafit helped to establish and develop the genre into the roaring success it is today. They published Jürgen Kehrer’s highly influential Georg Wilsberg novels, as well as the Eifel series by Jacques Berndorf; Uferwechsel (‘Flying under the Radar’) by Sunil Mann was featured in New Books in German in 2012. They aim to represent the multi-faceted potential of crime fiction, publishing novels with alternative perspectives, for example with narrators who are students, taxi drivers or journalists, as well as novels which are literary, comical or bizarre. Although Grafit specialise almost solely in German crime literature, they also publish historical novels and translations.

Heyne Verlag (Germany)
Founded in 1934 and now based in Munich, Heyne Verlag is an imprint of Random House. The catalogue includes international and German-language crime fiction and thrillers by Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Robert Harris, James Lee Burke, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert Ludlum, Brigitte Riebe, Regula Venske and Jürgen Alberts.

KiWi/Galiani (Germany)
Galiani Berlin is an imprint of Kiepenheuer & Witsch, established in 2009 by the creative team of Wolfgang Hörner and Esther Kormann. Committed to making new literary discovers, the imprint is home to crime authors such as Jan Costin Wagner and Linus Reichlin, winner of the German Crime Prize in 2009.

Nautilus (Germany)
‘A poem can be as revolutionary as a piece of theory’ – this is the motto of the publishing house Edition Nautilus, based in Hamburg. It has been releasing fiction and political non-fiction since 1974. An independent house, Nautilus has gained a reputation in recent years for its crime titles. The crime series Kaliber 64 (64-page crime short stories) is now in its nineteenth edition. Authors who have seen great success include Andrea Maria Schenkel, whose novels The Murder Farm, Ice Cold and Bunker (all released by Quercus in UK) were bestsellers in Germany, and German Crime Fiction Prize winner Robert Brack.

Pandion (Germany)
Founded in 1954 and based in Simmern in the Hunsrück area of Germany. The publisher specialises in regional literature including thrillers and whodunnits by Heinz-Peter Baecker and Niels Peter.

Pendragon (Germany)
Founded in 1981 and based in Bielefeld. Pendragon is a dedicated crime fiction publisher specialising in thrillers, classic whodunnits, atmospherically charged crime novels and satire. It has a list of over 600 titles. Its German-language authors include award-winners Mechtild Borrmann, Jörg Juretzka, Frank Göhre, Rainer Gross and D.B. Blettenberg. International authors include US bestselling author Robert B. Parker and David Osborn.

Piper (Germany)
Munich has been the home of the Piper Verlag since 1904, making it one of the oldest publishing houses in Germany. Founded by Reinhard Piper, the company has released crime novels by Scandinavian writer Arne Dahl and Spiegel bestsellers by Paul Finch, Wolfgang Burger and Giesa Pauly.

Rotbuch (Germany)
Founded in 1973 in Berlin, Rotbuch Verlag underwent a few relocations in the 1990s before returning to its original home in 2007. Renowned for challenging literature and political debate, critical non-fiction and enthralling crime novels, Rotbuch's authors include Gunter Gerlach and award-winning writers Jörg Juretzka and Rob Alef (whose work has since gained cult status). ‘Hard Case Crime’ has brought an array of German crime novels onto the market, as well as translations of international fiction.

Scherz (Germany)
An imprint of the S. Fischer publishing group. Founded in 1938 and now based in Frankfurt. Works include thrillers and crime fiction by international authors including Peter James and Tana French, and German authors such as Oliver Bottini.

S. Fischer (Germany)
Founded by Samuel Fischer in Berlin in 1886, S. Fischer is now based in Frankfurt. With over 300 crime titles and thrillers on its list, it publishes numerous international and German-language crime authors such as Jörg Maurer, Tana French and Linda Castillo.

Ullstein (Germany)
Founded by Leopold Ullstein in Berlin in 1877, this is now one of Germany’s largest publishing companies. Notable international and German-language authors include Jo Nesbø o, John le Carré, Mario Puzo, Rita Mae Brown, James Ellroy and Nele Neuhaus.

Wunderlich (Germany)
Founded in 1926 in Tübingen and now an imprint of Rowohlt, Wunderlich pecialises in thrillers and crime fiction. International authors include Simon Beckett, Hjorth & Rosenfeldt and Jilliane Hoffman. German authors include Ursula Poznanski, Andreas Winkelmann and Horst Eckert.


UK publishers of crime fiction and thrillers

Arcadia Books
Arcadia Books began life in 1996 and publishes the best of world literature today, including a great deal of crime fiction. Winner of the title Small Publisher of the Year, a number of its novels have won the International Dagger crime award and been long-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Its headquarters are in London. Arcadia has published Cay Rademacher's The Murderer in Ruins (2015).

Bitter Lemon Press
A London-based independent publisher, launched in 2003, Bitter Lemon focuses on
high-quality entertaining and gripping crime fiction and literary thrillers, in particular those that expose the darker side of foreign places. Most of their books are translations that have won prizes and received critical acclaim in their home countries. Their German-language crime writers include Hans Werner Kettenbach, Jörg Fauser and (forthcoming) Mario Giordano.

Bloomsbury was founded in 1986 and is now based in London, but with offices in the USA, India and Australia. It is now a leading independent publishing group which has published such names as J.K Rowling, Donna Tartt and Khaled Hosseini. They have published over 400 crime novels; those in translation include the Konrad Simonsen series by Lotte and Søren Hammer and Lost World by Patrícia Melo.

Europa Editions
Founded in 2005 and based in New York, Rome and London, Europa is an independent publisher of quality fiction including renowned international crime fiction in translation. Its new ‘World Noir’ imprint, launched in 2013, focuses on crime fiction that goes beyond entertainment, with an element of melancholy injected into the work by the juxtaposition of setting and criminality. Notable successes at Europa include books by global bestselling author Elena Ferrante.

Doubleday was launched by Transworld Publishers in 1989 as its hardback imprint. Recent successes in the crime fiction genre include the bestselling psychological thriller The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. Its authors also include Kate Atkinson and S. J. Watson.

Faber and Faber
Founded in 1925, Faber and Faber are a large independent publishing house based in London. They have published many crime novels, for example Stallo by Stefan Spjut and the works of P. D. James.

Harvill Secker
Formed from the merger of Harvill Press with Secker & Warburg in 2005, Harvill Secker is the specialist international fiction imprint of Random House. With a roster of authors including Arne Dahl, Jo Nesbø, Henning Mankel, Fred Vargas and Jan Costin Wagner, Harvill Secker boasts a strong list of bestselling crime writers.

Hodder & Stoughton
Hodder & Stoughton was founded in 1868 and is now a part of the major publishing group Hachette UK. Based in London, they have published many crime novels, some in translation, for example Mons Kallentoft’s Water Angels and Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s The Silence of the Sea.

MacLehose Press
Part of Quercus, the London-based imprint MacLehose Press, founded by Christopher MacLehose less than 10 years ago, focuses on publishing crime novels and literature into English. Famous for bringing the Stieg Larsson trilogy to an English-speaking audience and the highly successful novel Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes (recently longlisted for the IFFP), the relative newcomer has a reputation for publishing award-winning, thought-provoking books. Its German language authors include Daniel Glattauer, Markus Heitz, Paulus Hochgatterer, Daniel Kehlmann, Daniela Krien and Frank Schätzing.

Launched in 2014, Orenda was founded by Karen Sullivan (formerly of Arcadia Books) and publishes literary fiction, with an emphasis on crime and thrillers, half of which are translations. Gunnar Staalesen, one of the fathers of Nordic Noir, is a significant author for the London-based publishers and the next instalments of his Varg Veum series are scheduled for publication in 2016 and 2017. Orenda also has Icelandic novelist Ragnar Jónasson on the books and has bought the world English rights for The Abrupt Physics of Dying by Canadian–Australian author Paul Hardisty.

Penguin Random House
The Penguin Random House group contains nearly 250 independent publishing imprints from around the world. Their headquarters is based in New York, USA but they also have a UK division based in London. Penguin Random House is one of the most established publishing groups on the planet, publishing more than 15,000 print titles annually. They have published over 2,800 crime novels, many of which are in translation, for example Mari Jungstedt’s Anders Knutas series, and Henning Mankell’s Wallander series. Penguin Random House are also currently reissuing the complete works of Georges Simenon, famous for creating the detective character Jules Maigret, in new English translations.

Founded in Cambridge in 1999, Salt has published nearly 1,000 books in the UK. They publish a wide range of genres and started commissioning crime fiction in 2011. Notable novels they have published include The Lighthouse by Alison Moore, a brooding thriller set mainly in Germany which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012. Salt are based in Cromer, Norfolk.

Serpent’s Tail
Founded in 1986 and based in London, Serpent’s Tail is an independent publisher which has achieved much in the 29 years since its conception; they have published three Nobel Prize winners (Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Müller and Kenzaburo Oe) an Orange Prize Winner (We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Schriver) and a Man Booker Prize Shortlisting (Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan). They have also published many crime novels, of which a good percentage are in translation, including titles from Jean-Patrick Manchette, Fernando Vellejo and Mehmet Murat Somer.

Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster UK is one of the leading general book publishing companies in the UK. The group is based in London with sister companies in Australia, India, Canada and the United States. Home to bestselling authors and award winners, Simon & Schuster UK prides itself on being a commercially driven publishing house of quality writing. Its renowned crime and suspense authors include Tom Rob Smith, Spencer Quinn and J.A. Jance. Recent German-language crime: Sascha Arango, The Truth and other Lies (2015).

Orion Publishing Group was founded in 1991 and is based in London. It publishes fiction and non-fiction in both hardcover and paperback. Orion publishes a large number of American and British crime authors, including Robert Ludlum, Ian Rankin and Antonia Fraser. ‘The Murder Room’ is Orion’s classic crime ebooks imprint.

Pushkin Press
Pushkin Press aims to publish high-quality writing from across the world, releasing a broad spectrum of novels from modern classics to contemporary fiction. Operating since 1997, Pushkin Press publishes works by authors such as Stefan Zweig and this year's IIFP short-listed authors Erwin Mortier and Tomás González. A brand new crime imprint, Vertigo Pushkin, launched in September 2015, publishes crime classics from around the world.