Hunkeler and the Golden Hand
Hunkeler und die goldene Hand

hunkeler and the golden hand hansjoerg schneider
February 2008 / 256pp

This book is outside of the five-year window for guaranteed assistance with English language translation. We suggest getting in touch with the relevant funding body for an informal conversation about the possibility of support. Please refer to to our  recommendations page for books that are currently covered by our funding guarantee.


Hunkeler, the grouchy, elderly detective inspector from the Basel Criminal Investigation Department, whose seventh appearance before the public this is, is on sick leave receiving treatment for his bad back. He waits impatiently for his turn at the spa’s Jacuzzi jet when suddenly there is uproar. Two chattering women stop talking and start screaming for help, a body in the main pool comes into view, gushing blood, various unidentified figures streak past and disappear. Then a distraught young man with a knife strapped to his leg rushes forward. He is the boyfriend of the victim, a Basel art collector and gallery owner, and he is immediately arrested. But did he do it?

It really is time that the endearing Hunkeler, a wise, independentminded and sometimes accident-prone loner, got a showing in Britain. After all, just think Andrea Camillieri, for instance. The sex here is mixed – the detective’s assistant, as well as the young suspect in the case, is gay. The setting is the interesting triangle of territory embracing Alsace, the Black Forest, and of course Basel itself and the cantons surrounding it. And then there are the frequent samplings of those delicious Alsacian wines. Irresistible.

press quotes

‘Excellent characterisation and perfect narrative rhythm and drive.’– Das Kulturmagazin

about the author

Hansjörg Schneider was born in 1938 in the small Swiss town of Aarau near the Jura mountains. He has written a wealth of plays and novels and has been awarded the major crime novel awards and others for his work in the theatre. He lives in Basel.

Previous works include:
Silberkiesel (1993); Das Paar im Kahn (1999); Tod einer Ärztin (2001); Hunkeler macht Sachen (2004) – all Ammann Verlag.

rights information

Ammann Verlag & Co.
Tel: +41 44 268 10 42
Contact: Kathrin Baumann

For more information about Ammann Verlag please contact the Editor.

translation assistance

Pro Helvetia covers up to 100% of the effective translation costs for literary works by Swiss authors.

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All recommendations from Autumn 2008