cover image Kismet: A Kayankaya Mystery

Kismet: A Kayankaya Mystery

Jakob Arjouni, trans. from the German by Anthea Bell, Melville International Crime (Consortium, dist.), $15 paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-935554-23-3

Hard-boiled detective fans should welcome German author Arjouni's U.S. debut, the fourth book in his popular series (Happy Birthday, Turk! etc.) featuring Kemal Kayankaya, a wisecracking Turkish immigrant PI. When a ruthless gang calling itself the Army of Reason demands 6,000 marks a month from a Frankfurt restaurateur acquaintance of Kemal's, Kemal and his sidekick, Slibulsky, wind up in a gun battle that leaves two thugs dead. In 2001, the year this novel was first published, Balkan refugees were streaming into Frankfurt. Kemal must deal with Croatians trying to move in on territory already divided among German, Albanian, and Turkish bosses as well as searching for a wealthy woman's lost dog and protecting an all too worldly 14-year-old Bosnian girl. While Kemal lacks charm, this entry will whet readers' appetite for the three earlier Kayankaya mysteries. (Oct.)