Iraq the latest crime hotspot for Bitter Lemon Press

Crime publisher Bitter Lemon Press has acquired two new novels set for publication in spring 2014.

It has signed debut novel Baghdad Central by Elliott Colla, in a world rights deal with the author. The book is set in Iraq following the “mission accomplished” announcements of the Bush administration, and follows a Baghdad police inspector investigating the disappearance of young female translators. The author is an Arabic literature teacher at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Bitter Lemon Press publisher François von Hurter said: “This is a very exciting and seductive story, told from the perspective of an Iraqi policeman caught in the post-invasion chaos and corruption. Only someone intimately familiar with the Middle East could tell it so well.”

The publisher has also signed up Hotel Brasil by Frei Betto after they acquired world English language rights from the author. It is set in a Brazilian hotel, where guests keep dying in mysterious circumstances. It will be translated by Jethro Soutar. Betto is a former friar and political prisoner, who went on to become an advisor to President Lula da Silva. Laurence Colchester, publisher at Bitter Lemon Press, said: “We are proud to be publishing this subversive crime novel written by the ultimate insider. Brazil and its problems are dissected, lovingly but with no holds barred.”