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Will Italian crime fiction take over bestseller lists?

10th January 2011

The UK's reading public is likely to see an influx of works by Italian crime writers hitting book store shelves, it has been predicted.

An article in the Observer claimed that the dominance of Scandinavian crime authors such as Stieg Larsson could be replaced by writers like Gianrico Carofiglio, Giancarlo de Cataldo and Michele Guittari.

One of the factors which could pave the way for the rise of Italian crime fiction is the BBC1 series Zen, which is based on the novels of British writer Michael Dibdin - whose protagonist is a Venetian-born detective.

Laurence Colbert, an editor at small UK publisher Bitter Lemon Press, told the newspaper: 'The time for Italian fiction is coming, thanks to the adaptation of the Aurelio Zen novels and the setting in of Scandinavian fiction fatigue.'

The article added that publishers such as Bitter Lemon Press are currently translating a number of Italian thrillers into English for the first time, with the aim of launching them in the UK over the coming months.

Italian crime writers will have to work hard to usurp the position of Larsson in the charts. Last week, Nielsen BookScan figures published by the Guardian revealed that his The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the top-selling title of 2010, followed by The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and The Girl Who Played with Fire.

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