I've got handfuls of new books to introduce, starting with The Strange Case of the Composer and his Judge by Patricia Duncker, a crime novel which begins with the discovery of a group of bodies lying in the snow of the Jura. "Hurtling breathlessly through the vineyards of southern France to the gabled houses of Lübeck, through cathedrals, opera houses, museums and the cobbled streets of an Alpine village, this ... is a metaphysical mystery of astonishing verve and power."
Next, not just a new book but a new publishing house, too. Peirene Press has been founded by German journalist and writer Meike Ziervogel to bring out contemporary European literature in English translation, books which are "thought-provoking, well designed, short".
Peirene's list has been launched with Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi, a French literary bestseller about "how a mother's love for her children can be more dangerous than the dark world she is seeking to keep at bay".
"Mesmeric, mournful and intensely lyrical, Chef by Jaspreet Singh is ... about hope, love and memory, set against the devastatingly beautiful, war-scarred backdrop of occupied Kashmir."
This first novel was shortlisted for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, and has been longlisted for the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Its mixture of "delicate cuisines and crude politics" sounds an intriguing one.