The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jul 8, 2014

Michael Molsner

[Continuing my series of little biographies of winners of the Deutscher Krimi Preis. This one comprises translated excerpts from the German Wikipedia.]

Heiner Michael Molsner (April 23, 1939, Stuttgart - ) is a German journalist, scriptwriter and author of crime fiction and children's books.

The son of a writer and a journalist, Molsner grew up in Olsztyn, Aalen and Munich. After graduating high school in 1959, he studied German and English literature at the University of Heidelberg. Following an editorial internship, he first held a court reporter role in Munich, then journalism appointments in Hamburg and Hanover. Since 1968, he has been a freelance writer. He is one of the founders of the "Verband deutscher Schriftsteller" (Association of German Writers), a body representing the interests of professional writers, and "Autorengruppe deutschsprachige Kriminalliteratur – Das Syndikat" (The Syndicate, an association of German crime fiction authors).

Since 2000, Molsner has lived in the Ruhr area - first in Dortmund and now in Duisburg.

Acclaim in the press has been widespread: "This man knows how to entertain an audience." (Buchreport, May 2000); "Unusually smart ... his novels have Anglo-Saxon qualities" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, August 16, 1985); "...has narrative verve and a sophisticated understanding of the social milieu" (Frankfurter Rundschau, 1996); "The best kind of challenging and addictive word play that I can think of" (Eugen Drewermann reviewing Molsner's Schwarzen Faktor). Der Spiegel wrote: "...Molsner, a trained journalist, has proven to have the greatest narrative range and multifaceted understanding of the social conditions and consequences of crime. These are exemplified in his thriller Rote Messe, published in 1973: a sociological study of a small town fearful of student agitations leading to the deaths of two migrant workers. Molsner has been compared to Leonard Sciascia and Sjöwall and Wahlöö, and lauded for his "educative entertainments and entertaining educations".


Michael Molsner has won the Deutscher Krimi Preis thrice: Die Euro-Ermittler: Der ermordete Engel (1987), Unternehmen Counterforce (1988), and Die Ehre einer Offiziersfrau and Euro-Ermittler: Urians Spur (1989). In 1998, he was awarded a special prize by The Syndicate for his services to the German crime fiction fraternity.

The Euro-Ermittler (Investigator) series dealt with issues of economic and state crime. Another of his series Global-Agenten examined political topics across Europe, the Balkans, and the Middle-East.


When asked why he wrote crime fiction, he replied: "I was a child in Olsztyn, East Prussia - northeast of Auschwitz and southwest of the Wolf's Lair. Murder there was an everyday office business. The quotidian life is the subject of literature. But literature must also be fun. And so we have the sellable form: crime fiction."


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