Sunday, February 11, 2018
Burg's Hobby Case, by Matthew Wilson
This is a first story? Wow. In my experience first mystery stories tend to be short and rooted in the author's immediate experience (and nothing wrong with that). This one is a novella, or pretty close to it, and set forty years ago in a foreign country. Although, to be fair, Wilson spent six years in the city where it is set.
So, we are in Bad Kissingen, a German spa city near an American military base. It is the late 1970s, and Hans Burg has just been assigned an important murder case, a young woman shot to death. That's surprising because he is a drinker and a screw-up.
More surprisingly, he seems to have no interest in solving this big opportunity. Instead he is pursuing his "hobby case," a search for certain Nazi memorabilia, banned in West Germany. Obviously Burg is up to something, but you will have to follow his steps to find out. Along the way I learned about some nuggets of post-war history that were new to me.
A very satisfying and believable tale. YOu can read the first few pages for free here.