An unimaginably valuable pink diamond has gone missing and a mysterious Russian residing in Switzerland is suspected of having made off with the treasured jewel. But the investigative duo of Johann Friedrich von Allmen and his Guatemalan butler Carlos are on the case. Their search leads from London to Zurich to a grand hotel on the Baltic coast. Amorous adventures and diverting mishaps litter the path through a world of European high culture and luxury, with hard-knuckle forays into global financial markets and high tech moves to manipulate them. This is the second in a series of fast-paced detective novels devoted to a memorable gentleman thief who, with his trusted sidekick, runs an international detective agency to recover stolen precious objects. Don’t miss the first in the series, Allmen and the Dragonflies.
The fifth volume in our popular Very Christmas series, this collection brings together traditional and contemporary holiday stories from Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. You’ll find classic works by the Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hermann Hesse, Joseph Roth, and Arthur Schnitzler, as well as more recent tales by writers like Heinrich Böll, Peter Stamm, and Martin Suter. Eine fröhliche Weihnachten—A Merry Christmas—made all the more festive with these literary treats redolent of candle-lit trees, St. Nikolaus, gingerbread, the Christkindl, roast goose and red cabbage, Gugelhopf, and stollen cakes, accompanied by plenty of schnapps.
Joseph Roth’s story “Christmas in Cochinchina,” published in English for the first time in this collection, appears in the December 2020 issue of Harper’s Magazine.
Please consider other volumes in this series: A Very French Christmas, A Very Russian Christmas, A Very Italian Christmas, A Very Irish Christmas, A Very Scandinavian Christmas and A Very Mexican Christmas.
A thrilling art heist escapade infused with European high culture and luxury that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of human nature.
Johann Friedrich von Allmen, a bon vivant of dandified refinement, has exhausted his family fortune by living in Old World grandeur despite present-day financial constraints. Forced to downscale, Allmen inhabits the garden house of his former Zurich estate, attended by his Guatemalan butler, Carlos. When not reading novels by Balzac and Somerset Maugham, he plays jazz on a Bechstein baby grand. Allmen’s fortunes take a sharp turn when he meets a stunning blonde whose lakeside villa contains five Art Nouveau bowls created by renowned French artist Émile Gallé and decorated with a dragonfly motif. Allmen, pressured to pay off mounting debts, absconds with the priceless bowls and embarks on a high-risk, potentially violent bid to cash them in. This is the first of a series of humorous, fast-paced detective novels devoted to a memorable gentleman thief who, with his trusted sidekick Carlos, creates an investigative firm to recover missing precious objects.
Martin Suter’s novel The Last Weynfeldt was published by New Vessel Press in 2016.
Adrian Weynfeldt is an art expert in an international auction house, a bachelor in his mid-fifties living in a grand Zurich apartment filled with costly paintings and antiques. Always correct and well-mannered, he’s given up on love until one night—entirely out of character for him—Weynfeldt decides to take home a ravishing but unaccountable young woman. The next morning, he finds her outside on his balcony threatening to jump. Weynfeldt talks her down, then soon finds himself falling for this damaged but alluring beauty and his buttoned-up existence swiftly comes unraveled. As their two lives become entangled, Weynfeldt gets embroiled in an art forgery scheme that threatens to destroy everything he and his prominent family have stood for. This refined page-turner moves behind elegant bourgeois facades into darker recesses of the heart.