Diogenes Verlag
March 2023 / 336pp
  • #1 on the Swiss 2023 all-year List
  • #5 on the 2023 all-year Spiegel Bestseller List
Sample Translation here
by Jamie Bulloch


Rights currently sold:

Arabic (Al-Arabi)

French (Phébus)

Greek (Kritiki)

Italian (Sellerio)

Spanish/world (Galaxia Gutenberg)

# 1 Spiegel Bestseller

# 1 Swiss Bestseller

# 4 Austrian Bestseller

Melody is a tremendously compelling modern mystery set in the recent past, about a man who loses his great love – the ‘Melody’ of the title – and spends the rest of his life searching for her. 

This wonderfully romantic story is a captivating read, as well as an extended meditation on truth, memory, and the nature and purpose of storytelling. Set in Zurich and Greece, the narrative is smooth and enjoyable, full of innumerable plot twists and turns, which keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. 

Dr. Peter Stotz, an eminent citizen of Zurich (a former member of the National Council, among other things), hires Tom Elmer, an unemployed young law graduate, to assist with his ordering his affairs. Stotz regales Tom with stories from his life, and in particular the tale of his great love, ‘Melody’, who disappeared suddenly a few days before their wedding and whose image surrounds them. Although Stotz claims he has searched for Melody ever since, he has never found her. 

Tom moves into the guest apartment in Stotz’s Zurich villa, becoming an integral part of a long-established and very quirky household. He tackles the task for which he was hired by attempting to organise the many documents in Stotz’s possession. Later on, however, as he hears more of Stotz’s stories, he contemplates what to shred and what to keep, and in the end, who his employer actually is, the nature of memory, what his motivation for telling his life story might be, and finally, whether his stories are actually truth or fiction. In addition to the members of the household – Dr. Stotz, Tom, the cook Mariella, and the butler Roberto – the reader is introduced to a handful of well-developed characters, each of whom contributes to the stories of Dr. Stotz and the ultimate unspooling of the narrative, resolving the mystery of what happened to Melody.

The truth has many faces in Melody, encouraging the reader to question everything about this tightly plotted novel. And yet the narrative perspective and structure are expertly choreographed; the ending is not given away even a moment before the reader arrives at it. The Swiss setting is the icing on the cake, offering insights into life in Zurich.

press quotes

Who doesn’t love a well-written love story wrapped up in a mystery written in an almost cinematic style, especially one that doesn’t give itself away and truly keeps the reader on the edge of her seat?

Linda L. Gaus, Reader

about the author

© Marco Grob

Martin Suter was born in Zurich in 1948. His novels and his Business Class stories have seen huge international success. Since 2011 he has also written crime novels featuring Allmen, the gentleman thief, a series that currently stands at six volumes. A documentary film about Martin Suter was released in 2022 and screened at the Locarno Film Festival. Martin Suter lives with his family in Zurich.

Other works include: Allmen and the Dragonflies, New Vessel Press (2018); Elefant, 4th Estate (2018); Allmen and the Pink Diamond, New Vessel Press (2019); One of You, Diogenes (2022).

rights information

Diogenes Verlag

Contact: Susanne Bauknecht
Tel: +4144 254 8554

translation assistance

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

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