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Conceived in defiance of a literary establishment that had for fifteen years refused to publish Haas's novels, the quirky ex-policeman turned private investigator Simon Brenner is now celebrated by literary critics and readers alike. Cranky, ambitionless, and often underestimated, Brenner (whose name translates as "Burner") is a reluctant hero who embodies many stereotypical Austrian traits while at the same time undermining traditional images of Austria as an unspoiled tourist destination with a rich cultural heritage, traditional values, and wholesome inhabitants.

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This document was originally published in 100 Greatest Literary Detectives by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. Copyright restrictions may apply. Reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield. All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute, or reprint.