Heike Henderson, Professor of German in the Department of World Languages, contributed a chapter to the recently published volume 100 Greatest Literary Detectives (https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442278226/100-Greatest-Literary-Detectives). This compilation offers a selection of the most influential, important, and intriguing fictional sleuths from around the world. Each entry summarizes the distinctive features of notable investigators and their approaches to crime, provides a brief outline of major features of their fictional careers, and makes a case for their importance based on literary-historical impact, novelty, uniqueness, aesthetic quality, or cultural resonance.
Dr. Henderson’s chapter examines Simon Brenner, a quirky and cranky ex-policeman turned private investigator. Contemporary Austrian author Wolf Haas conceived Brenner as a reluctant hero with a wry sense of humor and a pronounced lack of ambition. He investigates cases that implicate many of Austria’s revered institutions and traditions, thus exploring Austrian identity while solving crimes.