Barcelona, España, 1962

A graduate in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona - where she also studied Classical Languages - Teresa Solana principally works as a literary translator from English and French. She was the Director of the Casa del Traductor in Tarazona for eight years. She first came to public notice in 2006 with the novel Un crim imperfecte, for which she was awarded the Brigada 21 Prize for a novel in Catalan, and which has been translated into several languages. Since then, she has published six more novels and two short story book collections. She has won several awards, including the Crims de Tinta for the novel Negres tempestes, which opens the series starring Norma Forester, a sub-inspector of the Mossos d'Esquadra with a very peculiar family. Her book of short stories Matèria grisa translated into English as The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and Other Stories, won the 2017 Roc Boronat Award and was longlisted for the 2019 CWA Short Story Dagger Award in the UK.

  • “Solana’s novels are sharp and acerbically funny...the present collection brings together her explorations of the darker side of contemporary Barcelona and her unsettling surrealistic streak.” Paul Preston
  • "The Catalan writer Teresa Solana may have invented a new variation of the traditional private eye partnership." The Times
  • "A hugely imaginative collection" Ian Rankin (on The Prehistorical Serial Killer and Other Stories)
  • “Teresa Solana’s distinctive writing is humorous yet thought-provoking, and her short fiction is as entertaining as her novels.” Martin Edwards

Bibliography

The third novel of Norma Forester Crime Series set during the political conflict in Catalonia in October 2017.

The murder of a suspected retired actor which, in fact, seems more like a robbery gone wrong, will force the inspector of the Catalan Police, Norma Forester, and her team to move to the Gràcia neighbourhood to initiate the investigation. The case will get complicated when they discover that the victim lived under a false identity...

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Novel

The third novel of Norma Forester Crime Series set during the political conflict in Catalonia in October 2017.

Barcelona, 20 September 2017. There are only eleven days to go to the Catalan independence referendum, that the Spanish courts have declared to be illegal. A good number of Catalans, led by the government of the Generalitat, is preparing to defy the ban, while the Civil Guard searches to no avail for the urns where citizens will place their ballot papers.  

The Mossos d’Esquadra, the local police force to which Inspector Norma Forester belongs, experience moments of enormous tension. At this crucial moment in history, Inspector Forester and her team must visit the radical district of Gràcia and investigate the mysterious murder of a man with no identity in a scenario devoid of clues.  

Inspector Norma Forester is the granddaughter of an English member of the International Brigades, and her family is a varied bunch: a forensic doctor husband, a hippy mother, a squatter daughter and an aunt, a nun in an enclosed order, who operates as a hacker from her austere convent cell. Both Norma’s family and the team of detectives she leads reflect the different attitudes and aspirations within Catalan society as regards independence and the referendum for self-determination.  

The novel begins on 20 September 2017, when citizens are protesting in front of the Economics Ministry against the arrests and searches being carried out by the Civil Guard, and ends on the night of 1 October, after the results of the referendum have been declared.  During eleven roller-coaster days, Norma and her team have to investigate a disturbing crime while, all around them, a large section of Catalan society prepares to carry out the greatest act of peaceful civil disobedience Europe has ever seen.   

October is a gripping police procedural imbued with the unique style of author Teresa Solana who gives readers an original take on these political tensions in Barcelona.  

Teresa Solana, the only Catalan author to become a finalist for America’s Edgar Allan Poe prize for mystery novels, resumes her series starring the twin detectives from A Not So Perfect Crime, A Shortcut to Paradise and The Sound of One Hand Killing.

Although they seem like polar opposites, Eduard and Borja are brothers, twins and partners. One is left-wing, sensible and conventional. The other is a right-wing, shameless social climber. Together as detectives, their partnership is as eccentric and impossible as it is effective.In this new adventure, they investigate the murder of a bride’s father, poisoned with polonium during the wedding banquet. However, the detectives suspect that the murderer was after a more ambitious target: the groom’s father, a multimillionaire American investor, or the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, another guest at the unfortunate celebration.

“Full of murder and mayhem, but also packed full of humour and acute observation…” Oxford Times 

“The Catalan writer Teresa Solana may have invented a new variation of the traditional private eye partnership. Her heroes, Borja and Eduard, are twins who don’t look at all alike, have different surnames (one of them is a fake) and are farcically inefficient at their job. Solana’s Barcelona is exciting, sexy and louche, the city’s literary scene and the people who inhabit it portrayed with satirical Charming and great fun.” The Times

“I hope Solana keeps up this wonderful series: further comic and criminal forays into Barcelona life, and further installments in the brothers' lives  would be most welcome.” International Noir Fiction

Solana's second novel made me laugh so much the tears soon rolled. She shoots from the hip at the guardians of culture…” El País

The Norma Forester Crime Series

In the garden of an old squat house in Barcelona's Vallcarca district, the body of a girl appears. The deputy inspector of the police Norma Forester receives an uncomfortable call for her to go there straight away. The investigation makes Norma immerse herself in the environment of the victim: the companies where she worked, her husband, her best friend... The crisis, which covers everything, has turned a daily world into a breeding ground for possible crimes, where good and evil are not fully distinguished. However, the case is more delicate that what it seems, and having a daughter involved, Norma should not interfere. Meanwhile, an accident at Prat Airport, leaving hundreds dead, means she can´t count on her husband Octavi, who is forensic pathologist and who unexpectedly reunites with a former lover that will complicate his life.

Like Barcelona, the city in which she was born and lives, Norma's family is a happy mix of different roots and sensibilities. If in Black Storms, the first novel in the series, the investigation of a history professor led her to bring to light one of the many cases of fascist repression, in The Butterfly House Norma will have to solve a crime in a squat that seems to have no immediate motive but a variety of suspects.

Two detectives, brothers Borja and Eduard, are contracted by best-selling author Teresa Solana to research the world of so-called alternative therapies. They enrol for a course at Zen Moments, an exclusive meditation centre in the ritziest part of Barcelona, only to discover the director murdered, whacked in the head with a statuette of the Buddha. The violent death of a neighbour - who happens to be a CIA agent - simultaneously drags them into an international conspiracy complicated by Borja's attempt to smuggle a priceless Assyrian figurine, the “Lioness of Baghdad”.

In this, the third in her satirical series, Catalan ‘noir' novelist Teresa Solana mercilessly punctures the pretensions of New Age quacks who promote pseudo-science and pseudo-spirituality. At the same time, Solana draws compassionate portraits of characters trying to live ‘ordinary' lives in circumstances that have ceased to be normal, yet still cope with such every day issues as adultery, the menopause and simply surviving to the end of the month. 

"... once again people will be calling her ‘the Queen of Catalan Noir’. If they are not, they should." Getting Away With Murder

Deputy-Inspector Norma Forester is one of the most able investigators working for the Catalan police in Barcelona, although she comes from a rather unusual family. She is the grand-daughter of an Englishman who fought for the International Brigades and was executed at the end of the Spanish civil war and a Catalan leftist from a wealthy family. Her husband is a forensic pathologist, her daughter lives in a squat and is a member of an antisystem group; her mother is a hippy, and her aunt, a nun in a closed order who has exceptional computer skills. Norma also has a lover she sees only sporadically, and an ex- boyfriend who, as well as being her daughter´s biological father, is her husband's brother and is gay. Norma enjoys her family life, but is absorbed in her police work. Now she must investigate the death of Francesc Parellada, a professor of history who was just to about to retire. Norma and her assistant, Gabriel Alonso, deal with the case, but the investigation hardly advances until they relate the death of Parellada with a murder that happened a couple of weeks before and with some memories in which it describes the harsh moral and material atmosphere of the Spanish postwar period. Negras tormentas is an entertaining and vibrant novel that reflects on the weight of the past and the danger of oblivion.

The shady, accident-prone private detective twins Eduard Martinez and Borja “Pep” Masdeu are back. Another murder beckons, and this time the victim is one of Barcelona's literary glitterati. 

Marina Dolç, media figure and writer of best-sellers, is murdered in the Ritz Hotel in Barcelona on the night she wins an important literary prize. The killer has battered her to death with the trophy she has just won, an end identical to that of the heroine in her prize-winning novel.The same night the Catalan police arrest their chief suspect, Amadeu Cabestany, runner-up for the prize. Borja and Eduard are hired to prove his innocence. The unlikely duo is plunged into the murky waters of the Barcelona publishing scene and need all their wit and skills of improvisation to solve this case of truncated literary lives.

Another day in Barcelona, another slimy politician’s wife is suspected of infidelity. Lluis Font discovers a portrait of his wife in an exhibition that leads him to conclude he is being cuckolded by the artist. Concerned only about the potential political fallout, he hires twins Eduard and Pep, private detectives with a supposed knack for helping the wealthy with their ‘dirty laundry’. Their office is adorned with false doors leading to non-existent private rooms, a mysterious secretary who is always away and a broken laptop computer picked up on the street. The case turns ugly when Font’s wife is found poisoned by a marron glacé from a box of sweets delivered anonymously. 

This is a deftly plotted, bitingly funny mystery novel. A satire of Catalan politics and a fascinating insight into the life and habits of Barcelona’s inhabitants, diurnal and nocturnal.

Short stories and novellas

2019 Shortlisted to the CWA Short Story Dagger Award (UK)

2017 Roc Boronat Literary Prize

A dark, humorous collection of stories by one of Spain’s best-known crime writers

The oddest things happen. Statues decompose and stink out galleries, two old grandmothers are vengeful killers and a prehistoric detective trails a triple murder that is threatening idyllic cave life.The collection includes the prize-winning Connections, a sparkling web of Barcelona stories that allows Solana to explore the darker side of the city. 

"Solana excels herself with this collection of blackly humorous short stories. It's a laugh-out gem of surrealism." Times

“Solana has long been one of the quirkiest and most accomplished of crime writers, but this is something new: wonderfully crafted short-form fiction -- often sardonic, often surreal, but always pure Solana.” Barry Forshaw, author of Euro Noir 

“Teresa Solana’s distinctive writing is humorous yet thought-provoking, and her short fiction is as entertaining as her novels.” Martin Edwards, author of Gallows Court and The Lake District Mysteries 

“Solana’s novels are sharp and acerbically funny...the present collection brings together her explorations of the darker side of contemporary Barcelona and her unsettling surrealistic streak.” Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War

"A hugely imaginative collection of (mostly crime) (mostly Barcelona-based) short stories. The ‘Connections’ sequence in particular is terrific." Ian Rankin

"If none of these crime short stories wins a prize this year the judges will have proved they have no sense of humour.  To be blunt, I can’t recall a cleverer comic crime story collection – probably because there hasn’t been one.” Russel James, Shots Magazine

 

 

Fascinating short stories that include a rather bloody satire on installation art (“Still Life No.41”, shortlisted for the 2012 short story Edgar award), a wonderful story of gruesome revenge involving a wayward son-in-law, a surprising and hilarious tale of a pre-historic serial killer who invents God and psychoanalysis,

"Teresa Solana, already Barcelona's wittiest satirist, excels herself with The First Prehistoric Serial Killer, a collection of blackly humorous short stories. It's a laugh-out-loud gem of surrealism. The book 's title story explains how the planet's first detective investigated a murder. Eight other linked stories deal with disparate topics, each with a crime slant—including I Detest Mozart, being an interpreter at a gathering of gangsters and how to hide dodgy money. Just as you think there cannot be yet another funny twist, Solana comes up with three more, each more outrageous than its predecessor." The Times

"This subtly inventive story collection from Spanish author Solana (The Sound of One Hand Killing) floats effortlessly from whimsy to horror, from exploring the inner life of ghosts to witnessing a murderous gang fight. Solana's understated narratives allow the criminality or weirdness to build until the reader is unexpectedly immersed in it. All are well worth reading." Publishers Weekly

"Solana’s novels are sharp and acerbically funny...the present collection brings together her explorations of the darker side of contemporary Barcelona and her unsettling surrealistic streak." Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War

"A hugely imaginative collection of (mostly crime) (mostly Barcelona-based) short stories. The ‘Connections’ sequence in particular is terrific." Ian Rankin

Books for children and young readers

The crew of the Diplodocus continue to sail through the space fulfilling the concert schedule of Sopa de Llufes. Suddenly, they cross paths with a sunbeam that opens a slit in the space-time continuum. Soon they will suffer the consequences: they will encounter the Diplodocus of the future and all its crew members.

The crew of the Diplodocus ship continues to sail through the space fulfilling the concert schedule of the interstellar tour. This time, however, Pau and Roger, the Supernyaps, will have to deal with some horrible creatures, a concert full of zombies!

The Diplodocus ship has run out of water due to a leak and everyone is hysterical. Unfortunately, the nearest planet to fill the Diplodocus tanks is the planet Caca Blanda, formed by minerals that give off a very bad odor but where the inhabitants can live perfectly because they have no sense of smell. Professor Chiruca will have to invent the anti-smell moustache because the Sopa de Llufes can do a concert in exchange for the planet letting them fill the Diplodocus with water.

Diplodocus is the main scenario of Roger and Bernat’s adventures; they are two eight-year-old cousins that have a band. They will have to deal with the ship captain’s daughters: the quadruplets Ma, Me, Mi, and Mo, ¡they are the worst! Moreover, we discover the evil tactics of Doctor Chiruca and nurse Irina, who hate rock music and want to prevent them from doing their tour. Roger and Bernat, the boys, together with Mr. Pedos (Mr. Farts), an A class robot tha turned out faulty and understands everything literally, will be alert to act against their machinations. In this first adventure, The Mysterious Invasion, lice will invade the Diplodocus Ship. Profesor Chiruca invents a lotion to kill the plague, but the quadruplets finish the entire container in one go, leaving the rest of the crew defenceless.

 

 

Prizes

  • 2017 - Premi XIX Roc Boronat for her short stories Matèria gris
  • 2010 - Premi Crims de Tinta, organised by the Interior Department of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia
  • 2007 - Brigada 21 Prize for the best original novel in Catalan, for Un crim imperfecte