POLISH MODERN WRITERS OF DETECTIVES

Remigiusz Mróz

Remigiusz Mróz is perhaps the most prolific contemporary Polish writer, and according to the National Library readers’ survey in 2019 he was also the most popular (= best-selling) author in Poland. In his books, he showcases various literary genres (historical novel, detective story, legal thriller, science fiction). But all his books are united by suspense and a rapid change of action.

Despite the fact that Remigiusz Mróz writes in different genres, criminal detectives are the most among his books. And since his merits are also impressive (he became the first Polish writer to receive a double nomination in 2016 for the Wielkiego Kalibru (Large Caliber) Prize of the International Crime Festival for the books Kasacja oraz Zaginięcie), I could not help but put him in first place on this list.

There are 43 books of his authorship! But the writer is only 33 years old in 2020! This is actually impressive.

Books: where to start?

Where to start acquaintance with the crime books Remigiusza Mroza (Remigiusz Mruza in runet)? For example, with Kasacji. Firstly, this book already opens a twelve-volume cycle (for the second half of 2020), so you won’t have to rack your brains for a long time to read this. Secondly, according to rumors and reviews, it is perfectly readable – the author cleverly combines a criminal plot with a legal thriller. The main character of the book is the lawyer Joanna Chyłka (Joanna Hylka), who becomes a human rights defender of a person suspected of murdering several people. Will she be able to prove his innocence? And does she believe in her first of all? Look for answers in the pages of the book.

In 2019, the number one among Polish detectives was recognized as such books as Umorzenie and Wyrok, number 9 and 10 from the series about Mrs. John.

But if you don’t want to get involved in a twelve-volume edition, Pan Remigiusz also has independent books, for example, Świat, który nadejdzie.

Katarzyna Bonda

Katarzyna Bonda seems to be the most common-sounding female name for “Polish detective writer”. In Poland she was nicknamed królowa polskiego kryminału (the queen of the Polish detective novel). She is far from writing as fast as Remigiusz Mróz (it seems to me that no one in Poland writes as intensively as he does), publishing on average one book a year.

Books: where to start?
All books are good, but if you choose, then let it be a cycle about Hubercie Meyerze (Hubert Meyer), a police profiler. The cycle begins with the author’s debut novel, the book Sprawa Niny Frank. Katarzyna Bonda was the first to introduce into the world of a Polish detective novel the character of a police profiler, that is, a psychologist working on tracking down the most dangerous criminals.

Katarzyna Puzyńska

Another female name on the list, another Katarzyna. Katarzyna Puzyńska, a psychologist by training, is valued for his close observation of human behavior and intricate storylines. The writer uses her experience in the field of psychology to create characteristic characters. At the moment, she has 14 books of the crime saga about the village of Lipowo (Lipovo).

The atmosphere of a small area becomes the background for criminal mysteries. Who is the murderer of the nun who faked her death as an accident in a car accident? Who wishes the death of a lonely old woman who sells flowers? Are there really ghosts in Lipovo? Look for answers in the author’s books.

Books: where to start?

Of course, from the very beginning, and the first book in the Lipovo cycle is Motylek.

Ryszard Cwirlej

 

Ryszard Cwirlej has been recognized by critics as the creator of a new literary genre – the “neo-militar detective”.

Based on his own novel Ręczna robota, he wrote a 75-episode radio play, staged by the Polish Radio Theater for the radio station Jedynka. In 2015, his novel Błyskawiczna wypłata won the Kryminalnej Piły (Crime Saw) Award for Best Urban Crime Novel 2014. Ryszarda Cwirleja’s novels have been nominated for the Wielkiego Kalibru (Large Caliber) Prize at the Wroclaw International Crime Festival five times. In 2017, Milczenie jest srebrem won the Wielkiego Kalibru Readers Award, and in 2018 Tylko umarli wiedzą was awarded twice, the Jury’s Wielkiego Kalibru Award and the Wielkiego Kalibru Readers Award.

Books: where to start?

Probably, I would like to start with the book that received the most awards, but this is the second book in the series about Antonim Fisherze, and therefore start with the first so as not to lose the thread of the story. Its name is Tam ci będzie lepiej, and its rating is only slightly lower than that of Tylko umarli wiedzą, the best (at the moment) book of the writer.

Wojciech Chmielarz

Another Polish author worth highlighting is Wojciech Chmielarz, the author of a series of crimes dedicated to Jakubowi Mortce (Jakub Mortka). For the third volume of the Przejęcie cycle, the writer was awarded the Wielkiego Kalibru Prize, awarded for the best Polish detective of the year.

Books: where to start?

From the books of Wojciecha Chmielarza, we recommend referring to the novel Żmijowsko, on the basis of which the Canal + production series is being filmed.

The book describes the fate of a group of friends who decided to go on vacation to a small village by the lake. During the rest, the daughter of one of the couples disappears under mysterious circumstances. No trace remains, and the police investigation does not lead to a denouement. A year after these events, the girl’s dad decides to take matters into his own hands – he returns to the village to try again to find the child.

Olga Rudnicka

Olga Rudnicka (Olga Rudnitska) combines criminal plots and black humor in her novels. A series of unfortunate events intertwined with sensational intrigue and dark secrets. The murderous plans of potential widows, a violent death that can neither be suicide nor murder, disappearing diamonds or the mysterious appearance of a decapitated body – these are just some of the problems faced by the heroes of Olgi Rudnickiej novels. How do they deal with all this? Check it out by taking on one of her novels.

Books: where to start?

You can start with the books with the highest rating, and at the moment these are Natalii 5 (this is 1 volume of the cycle, but I saw another 0.5 volume) and Cichy wielbiciel. And also – Były sobie świnki trzy. Something light and pleasant with humor and irony, that is, a crime comedy, and the name itself says a lot. The heroines of the book are three women who decide to get rid of their husbands before the husbands themselves do it.

Marek Krajewski

Marek Krajewski (Marek Krajewski) is undoubtedly one of the most popular Polish crime detective writers. Krajewski is a devoted lover of Wroclaw (hurray!), Classical philology and black detective. He writes retro detective stories that combine his three passions to create the true brand Marka Krajewskiego. The plots of his novels unfold primarily in Wroclaw (German: Breslau) in the first half of the 20th century. Their main character is Commissioner Eberhard Mock, who investigates mysterious murders, thefts, kidnappings and rapes. To solve criminal riddles, he repeatedly had to visit gloomy eateries, gloomy neighborhoods and seedy brothels. Krajewskiego books are distinguished by detail, accuracy and historical consistency. The writer in his books recreates the realities prevailing in the city, retells the story, perfectly conveying the atmosphere and geography of the places where the action takes place. Often, he uses old maps and photographs of the era. Sounds really great, right? And all this, of course, could not fail to receive numerous awards, which you can read about separately here.

Books: where to start?

You can start with Śmierć w mieście Breslau, that is, the first volume of the cycle with Eberhardem Mockiem in the title role.

Robert Małecki

Robert Małecki is a political scientist, philosopher and journalist, as well as a teacher of creative writing. Winner of the most important Polish literary crime trophies, including the Wielkiego Kalibru Prize and the Kryminalnej Piły Prize. He won the hearts of readers with a series about Commissioner Bernardzie Grossie and journalist Marku Benerze.

Books: where to start?

Start with what Polish readers liked so much – Skaza, the first volume about Commissioner Bernardzie Grossie, and Najgorsze dopiero nadejdzie, about Marku Benerze.

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