Alicia Giménez Bartlett

Alicia Giménez Bartlett

Almansa, España, 1951

Alicia Giménez Bartlett gained a degree in Spanish Studies from the University of Valencia and a PhD in Spanish Literature from the University of Barcelona. Having published various novels to considerable success, in the 1990s the author created the character Petra Delicado, the star of a long saga of crime novels that has made this writer one of the most widely read and translated in the Spanish language. In 1999, a television series was broadcast based on the adventures of Petra Delicado. Alicia Giménez Barlett’s novels have been very well received in France, Germany, the USA and Italy. In Italy, the author’s second Petra Delicado novel is currently being made into a television adaptation. She has received many awards, such as the Planet Prize (2015) for her novel Hombres desnudos, the Nadal Prize for Donde nadie te encuentre or the Grinzane Cavour Prize for Un barco cargado de arroz.

  • "Alicia Giménez Bartlett has joined that select group of authors who sell their work before they’ve even written the first word of the prologue." El Periódico
  • "Alicia writes very lively and elegant prose and displays an amazing talent for bringing her characters to life, with a sense of atmosphere, vigorous dialogue and unfailing humour." Madame Figaro
  • "Petra Delicado is a cult character, easy to fall in love with and who you want to meet regularly." Il Manifesto


One of the owner partners of a food truck is found stabbed early in the morning. The vehicle is parked alongside others of the same kind. A young couple serving Mediterranean cuisine sleeps next to the van where the crime was committed, but they haven't heard or seen anything during the night that could serve as a witness.

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One of the owner partners of a food truck is found stabbed early in the morning. The vehicle is parked alongside others of the same kind. A young couple serving Mediterranean cuisine sleeps next to the van where the crime was committed, but they haven't heard or seen anything during the night that could serve as a witness. After the initial investigations, Petra and Garzón have only one lead to follow: the neighbors of the food truck saw that on the evening of the murder, a woman made a big purchase from the deceased. They discover that she is French, like him, and that the data on her credit card are fake. They seek help from the French police: the woman is identified as a high-ranking leader of a drug cartel. Finding her becomes the top priority for all police operations, but it seems that an unseen hand is following the officers, violently warning anyone they approach.

Petra Delicado will have to confront a criminal who will try to ensure that the case is never resolved.

Alicia Giménez Bartlett gives Petra Delicado a break and begins a new police saga featuring an irresistible pair of investigative sisters.

The day before she has to testify in a corruption trial, the president of the Valencian Community is found dead in a hotel room, apparently due to a heart attack. The authorities fear a scandal if her death is discovered to be not as natural as it seems. So, they decide to put the case in the most inexperienced hands imaginable: those of two women, two police inspectors fresh out of the academy and with no real experience. 

Not only are Berta and Marta Miralles novice detectives but they are also sisters and they quarrel constantly. However, contrary to what is expected of them, they discover that the president has indeed been murdered and that they cannot trust anyone except each other if they want to get to the bottom of the matter.   

Who is Petra Delicado? This enigmatic question presents the best-selling police inspector with her toughest challenge. Pure noir, 100% crime-free.

What we know about Petra Delicado is that she is a veteran homicide detective and that her contradictions are illustrated by her first and last names (which mean “stone” and “delicate”, respectively). She has always abhorred marriage and yet she has been married three times. She decided not to have children, but her last husband is the father of three. She cannot stand conventions or old-fashioned people, but the most important man in her life, Fermín Garzón, is their personification.

In Petra's new novel there are no murderers, no corpses, no crime mystery, but there is an unsolved riddle: who is Petra Delicado? In what amounts to a sort of memoir, Petra recalls her life, from being an intelligent and rebellious young girl, with a dominant mother, to becoming a woman in search of a place in a world tailored to the interests of men. Her indiscipline in the religious school, the liberating university years, the infatuations, the premature married life that immediately settled into a corrosive routine, her occasional lovers, her dissatisfaction with the practice of law, all lead Petra to take a stand and make the heroic resolution to assume control, in the light of a unique, non-transferable morality, of the reins of her life.

"A clear example of how crime fiction and literary fiction can be the same thing. With this assault on the most private part of her work, Giménez Bartlett reminds us to what extent some of the most beloved and universal characters in literature are derived from the genre, both from the classics and from contemporary works: Lisbeth Salander, Carvalho, Montalbano and, of course, Petra Delicado. How else could it be?” M. Sanmartín, ABC 

Petra Delicado, the inspector created twenty-one years ago by Alicia Giménez Bartlett, returns to the scene of the crime with her inseparable sidekick, the endearing blabbermouth Fermín Garzón. In this latest case, they investigate a serial killer targeting women who are apparently very different, but have something in common: solitude. Sometimes the search for company involves certain risks.

We encounter a Petra Delicado in crisis, pushing fifty, worried about the inevitable accumulation of years. She has trouble accepting the fact that her investigation has been placed under the command of a young regional police inspector who’s just a bit too perfect.

However, Petra Delicado has not lost her strength, crankiness, irony, the stubbornness that drives her bosses to despair, or that insolent ability to take charge that is so disconcerting to her male colleagues. This personality has made her the genre’s most popular female character in Spain and Italy.

“The best novel in the whole series.” Zenda Libros

“The return of the inspector with the most character, wisdom and fans in contemporary crime fiction.” El Periódico



Winner of the 2015 Planeta Prize 

Irene’s husband has left her for a younger woman and her family business is on the verge of collapse, but the last thing she wants is to be the subject of gossip or pity. So she starts spending time with Genoveva, a divorcée who, in liberating herself from the bonds of marriage, has also freed herself from the clutches of the old crowd of “couple friends.”

Javier is a literature teacher who suddenly loses his job at a Catholic school. He’s not ambitious—the months go by and no work materializes. Then, almost by accident, he gets back in contact with Iván, a cocky friend from his youth who introduces him to the world of stripping and male prostitution.

Circumstance brings Irene and Javier together: he gets some extra cash and mental stimulation out of their relationship, and she finds an outlet for her frustrations. However, Irene doesn’t want to have sex with him—she just wants to see him naked, humiliated, dominated. Their relationship takes a troubling turn, but things may be even more complicated than they seem.

Alicia Giménez-Bartlett weaves a tale of economic and personal devastation, portraying the ways that life’s disappointments can bring people to do things they never would have imagined.

"The war of sexes of 'our dark lady', La Repubblica

"A novel as provocative as it is necessary." El Mundo

"Giménez-Bartlett's novels brilliantly satirize an at times uncomfortable contemporary reality." El País

"A generous portrayal of the human condition, Naked Men delivers a vast gallery of diverse human personalities." El Cultural

"Naked Men has one of the most tense endings I’ve read in a long time. The sense of anticipation builds to the point of becoming a knot in the stomach." Nudge Book, USA

“... an unpredictable, memorable ending.” Publishers Weekly



Inspector Petra Delicado reopens a cold case with a dubious outcome: the murder of a wealthy entrepreneur, found dead at the apartment of a hooker in Barcelona’s Raval district.

Petra makes her way to Rome to follow up on the best lead she has: the victim’s ties to the Italian mafia. The trip also allows her to put a little distance between herself and her husband, with whom she has recently been fighting more than is normal or healthy. While her sidekick, Deputy Inspector Fermín Garzón, happily enjoys the thousand and one delights on offer in the Eternal City, Petra become entangled in a tense relationship with a charming Roman superintendent. The inspector’s meddling in the world of the Camorra will place her life in grave jeopardy. Petra Delicado Saga

A psychiatrist from La Sorbonne, specialised in criminal minds, travels to Barcelona in 1956 to study the case of Teresa Pla Meseguer, a woman accused of twenty-nine deaths, known as La Pastora (the shepherdess). She is the resistance fighter most wanted by the Civil Guard, and has become a popular legend because she remains free. A Barcelona journalist seems to possess key information regarding this person. A memorable, fast-paced story that rediscovers an episode from our past, narrated with the skill of a master storyteller.

Awarded the Nadal Prize in 2011.

A friar and art expert from the Poblet monastery is murdered while working on the restoration of an incorrupt body exhibited in the chapel of a Barcelona convent, which has disappeared. Police inspector Petra Delicado and her assistant, Fermín Garzón, research historical territory that is alien to them. The investigation is conducted around two uncertain focal points: the dark echoes of the Tragic Week of 1909 and the history of the convent’s powerful benefactor family. Petra Delicado Saga.

Inspector Petra Delicado is forced to visit a shopping centre. In a careless moment, someone steals her purse. She looks up and sees a little girl running away. Petra gives chase, but before she can catch her, the girl throws down the bag and escapes. Petra searches through her belongings, and everything is in its place: her money, documents...only her handgun has disappeared. The inspector panics. Why would a girl barely ten years old want a gun? Petra Delicado Saga.

The peaceful coexistence in a small community of Spanish engineers working abroad crumbles when an affair comes to light between one of the men and the wife of another. In just a few days, the colony’s fragile web of complicities, small hypocrisies and pent-up desires collapses, and a world of sex, deceit and long-unrealised dreams comes to the surface.

A masterfully narrated story dealing with an eternally relevant topic: relationships between couples and how they evolve, are transformed and die...or give rise to others.

A beggar’s corpse appears one morning on a park bench. It appears to be just another crime committed by skinhead gangs. But neither Petra Delicado nor her assistant, Fermín Garzón, are willing to settle for this version of the story. They begin to unravel a surprising plot with unforeseeable implications. Petra Delicado Saga

Sara is a force of nature. Fierce, beautiful, spontaneous, she lives away from ideals and justifications. She acts. She is the most chaotic creature in all of creation, and the freest, as she explores the limits of the blossoming freedom of 1968. The same friends who shared her younger years did everything in their power to get her to adjust to an orthodox, bourgeois life with the passage of time, to settle down, become a wife and mother. But something went wrong…they achieved their goal.

The body of a young lawyer, partner in a prestigious law firm, is found floating in the pool in an upscale housing estate. This shocks his wife and the other two couples of friends who shared nearly everything with them in this privileged setting. But as soon as Petra Delicado and her assistant, Fermín Garzón, stick their noses in the case, they start to wonder about the fragile boundaries that separate friendship and betrayal, sincerity and deceit, appearance and truth. Petra Delicado Saga.

"A superlative police procedural." The Washington Post

A detested television journalist specializing in muckraking has been murdered. Inspector Petra Delicado and her sentimental sidekick Garzn are thrown into the ruthless world of show business, high society, and belligerent celebrities, where public and private lives meet in an explosive and deadly mix. In this new installment in the Petra Delicado series, Alicia Gimnez-Bartlett proves once more why she was recently named best female writer in Spain, and gives further evidence for the success of this series both in her native country and abroad. Petra Delicado Saga.

Someone mails Inspector Petra Delicado a series of packages with very peculiar contents: amputated penises. The consequent investigation does not achieve positive results, but as the Inspector and Deputy Inspector Fermín Garzón delve into the labyrinth of tiny clues they do have, a monstrous reality begins to take shape. The grim packages are not the product of a disturbed mind or deranged pervert, but something of much more alarming proportions. Petra Delicado Saga.

"Giménez-Bartlett has discovered a world full of dark corners and hidden elements." ABC

In this hardboiled fiction for dog lovers and lovers of dog mysteries, detective Petra Delicado and her maladroit sidekick, Garzon, investigate the murder of a tramp whose only friend is a mongrel dog named "Fright." One murder leads to another and Delicado finds herself involved in the sordid, dangerous world of fight dogs. Petra Delicado Saga.

"Is there anything quite as satisfying to the mystery lover as discovering a pair of made-for-each-other police partners in a new book?...Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett, a Spaniard, gives us similar cause for appreciation in 'Dog Day'" The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Barcelona police Inspector Petra Delicado and paunchy, fiftysomething Sgt. Fermin Garzon prove to be one of the more engaging sleuth teams to debut in a long time." The Washington Post

"Alicia Giménez-Bartlett won the Feminino Lumen prize as best female writer in Spain, and "Dog Day," the first book in her ongoing series about Barcelona Police Inspector Petra Delicado and her partner, Sgt. Fermin Garzon, shows why." Chicago Tribune

"A sharply honed tale of dog trafficking in Barcelona." Publishers Weekly



Lumen’s Women’s Award, 1997  

Ostia Mare Award, 2004 

An original portrait of Virginia Woolf as seen through the eyes of her maid.

For eighteen years, Nelly Boxall worked as cook and servant to Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard Woolf, and an unusual love-hate relationship developed between the two women, about which we find abundant references in the writer’s diaries. Una habitación ajena tells the story of Nelly’s life, her worries and concerns, and the advantages and frustrations of being in close contact with such a special “lady” and her circle of friends, the prestigious Bloomsbury group.

After thorough documentation and having read Virginia Woolf’s diaries, unpublished letters and an extensive bibliography, Alicia Giménez Bartlett produced this great novel that fuses biography, fiction and reflection, and anticipates the most recent debates on feminism and class. It won the Lumen Women’s Award in 1997.

In a new edition revised by the author, Lumen recovers this revealing, unexpected portrait of Virginia Woolf, the iconic writer who aspired for women – although perhaps not all of them – to have a room of their own.

“An intelligent novel that invites us to reflect on our own contradictions.” Olga Merino, El Periódico

“The conversations between Virginia and Nelly are a chance to penetrate the heart of the famous Bloomsbury group.” Moby Dick

“A novel that is the fruit of a modern feminine culture, which leads the author to kindle class consciousness.” Il Messaggero Veneto

"Intense, overwhelming." La Gazzetta di Parma

“Similar to what Vera Nabokov gave Vladimir, Sofia Tolstoy to Lev Nikolaevitch, Dorothy Pound to Ezra, and what endless women and wives gave over endless years endless men – famous or less famous, what comes through Una Habitacion Ajena is that the most valuable thing Buxall gave Virginia was daily caring and motherly attention." Haaretz

Detective Petra Delicado's marriage is on the rocks. Her colleagues are more impossibly sexist than ever. And she thirsts for new challenges, new faces, and new ways of keeping the spark inside of her alive. Her relationship with Sergeant Fermin Garzón is getting more complicated as their private and professional lives increasingly overlap. Tough, sexy, and self-assured, Petra Delicado is a new kind of cop in Spanish crime writing. In this new addition to the series, she and Garzón are on the trail of a serial rapist stalking the streets of Barcelona. Petra Delicado Saga.

“Inspector Petra Delicado and Sgt. Fermín Garzón prove to be one of the more engaging sleuth teams to debut in a long time.”—The Washington Post

In the coastal town where they spend their summers, Blanca and Jorge prepare for a visit from Elena and her husband, Ramón. The two women like to consider each other friends. The reality of the situation, however, is not so easy. And in that confusing playing field without rules, a dangerous dialogue based on self-affirmation begins to take shape, with spite and aggressiveness, as they tense up for a compulsive game that can only end in violence or resignation.

Truckers pass by towns and cities while their inhabitants work or sleep. Their world, however, populated by easy women, weather-beaten men and bar owners, is terribly harsh. In this atmosphere, rough love stories are forged, made of sordidness and sentiment, passions in which sex is grasped like a handle to flee from solitude.

A surprising novel by Alicia Giménez Bartlett in which the reader, peering into Rafael’s life, can see that not only beggars, drug addicts and criminals live on the fringes of society.

This is the novel that strips gossip magazines bare.

"Old people of the world, unite! Awaken from your lethargy and conformity. Come with us: at FLAC, we do not accept death. We have forbidden the term “nursing home”. We do not allow ourselves to become marginalised. We refuse to consider ourselves redundant in a neurotic, idiotised society, where there is less and less space for us. (...) But enough words. FLAC is action. Action! Right now we’re preparing something big, something very big. It’ll be on the front page. Those journalists think we’re a bunch of old fools. Old, yes, but no way are we stupid. As they’re about to find out."

Catalina, a solitary professor, and Adelaida, a sensual woman, decide to spend a whole year travelling around Europe. They both become involved in a series of interwoven and unexpected events, while also seeking a solution or answer to their existential expectations. Sex, irony and imagination are the three main components of this novel, populated by impossible fauna. Europe, the novel’s true protagonist, crumbles as the two women face destiny.

Lovely Pamela, fragile Clarisa, financier Finn, Madame Tevener, Octosílabo the railway man, and poet Leonard have absolutely nothing in common…except EXIT, the peculiar emergency exit they’ve chosen for their lives. After paying the appropriate fees to the organisation, the guests will stay at the peaceful EXIT mansion no longer than three months, under the care of two doctors and a nurse, until each one decides how they prefer to commit suicide. From this unusual starting point, Alicia Giménez Bartlett portrays the coexistence of a group of endearing characters in a series of disconcerting situations with a special sense of humour.

“Now that women are participating in literature on an equal footing, it’s about time they tell us how they view what is real, and give us that half that’s missing in order to truly see what exists. In this book, her first novel, Alicia Giménez Bartlett is making great strides in that direction.” Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, 1984.


Short stories and novellas

Pepe Carvalho Crime Novel Award 2015

Through nine episodes, Petra Delicado investigates a number of crimes that interrupt the usual progression of annual milestones, such as Christmas, Carnival, and summer vacation. Not even at those times can the inspector avoid what fate has in store for her. Her family life, with its inescapable moments, is continuously ruined by the recurring presence of crime, and the most hidden episodes of our most suggestive cop are revealed.

A story included in the anthology Tu nombre flotando en el adiós: Nueve historias autobiográficas de amores frustrados (Your Name Floating in the Air: Nine Autobiographical Stories of Frustrated Love. Nuria Barrios, Mario Delgado Aparaín, José Manuel Fajardo, Mempo Giardinelli, Alicia Giménez-Bartlett, José Ovejero, Antonio Sarabia, Luis Sepúlveda and Horacio Vázquez-Rial – authors known for their works of fiction – are faced with the challenge, on this occasion, of delving into the memories of their own reality without the protective mask of fiction. They reveal their own most personal failures in love: a heartrending impossible love, a secret passion, the metaphorical infatuation of an adolescent, an intense passion full of fleeting suspicions, a condemned marriage, a misunderstanding, a deceitful love, a guilty love, and a cowardly love.

Novel, written in collaboration with 11 other authors.


We all know it: when we’re born, everyone tells us how beautiful we are. However, things change with the passage of time, and we all have to play with the hand genetics has dealt us. For women, the obligation to be beautiful, or to at least try, often becomes an outstanding debt with the world that surrounds and judges us. Many have tried to correct their defects. Others have had the bright idea of taking advantage of their ugliness. This being the case, Alicia Giménez Bartlett offers us a glorious journey through the world of ugly women. She encourages us to try and smile in front of the mirror, and to each settle a debt as old as Eve’s first wrinkles in our own way.

Las relaciones entre hombres y mujeres parecen hoy una novela de suspense: ellos y ellas se aman, se odian, se vuelven a amar y a odiar… Al fin, y ése es el gran misterio, ven que se necesitan. Este libro aborda con amor y humor esos misterios a partir de las diversas edades de la vida: el único dato objetivo en el laberinto sentimental. Niños, jóvenes, adultos, viejos, sean hombres o mujeres, recorren el camino de acuerdo con lo que cada edad ofrece. Y, al final, lo que cuenta es la apertura del espíritu y el talante positivo de cada cual.

Alicia Giménez Bartlett earned a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Barcelona with a doctoral thesis titled La Narrativa de Gonzalo Torrente Ballester (The Fiction of Gonzalo Torrente Ballester). She poured all her admiration and knowledge of the author’s works into this book.



Other genres

  • Carta a Tristana (Prólogo a Tristana de B. Pérez Galdós, 2000), Grijalbo Mondadori.
  • Prólogo a Si te dicen que caí de Juan Marsé (2009), Bibliotex, El Mundo.

Corazones cruzados (Guión en colaboración con Bigas Luna)


  • 2023 - Premio El Segre Negre por su trayectoria literaria
  • 2018 - Premio Negra y Criminal de Tenerife Noir
  • 2015 - Premio Planeta for Hombres desnudos
  • 2015 – 6th José Luis Sampedro Prize for her career
  • 2015 - Premio Pepe Carvalho
  • 2010 - Premio Nadal for Donde nadie te encuentre
  • 2008 - Premio Raymond Chandler (Italy)
  • 1997 - Premio Femenino Lumen for Una habitación ajena
  • 2006 - Premio Grinzane Cavour literary award for foreign fiction for Un barco cargado de arroz
  • 2006 - Women’s Fiction Festival di Matera literary award (Italy) for the Petra Delicado saga
  • 2004 - Premio Internazionale Ostia - Mare di Roma for Una camera tutta per gli atri