Crime in the underbelly of Nazi-era Germany

Nazi-era Germany: A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

Celebrate the debut of an emerging star as both a writer of crime novels and of historical fiction. Rebecca Cantrell’s A Trace of Smoke marks the advent of Hannah Vogel, an investigative crime reporter in Berlin in the year 1931, when Adolf Hitler’s brownshirts were dismantling the last vestiges of the Weimar Republic.


A Trace of Smoke (Hannah Vogel #1) by Rebecca Cantrell (2009) 301 pages

@@@@@ (5 out of 5)


In A Trace of Smoke, Hannah Vogel investigates the murder of her beloved younger brother, Ernst. In the process, she finds herself caught up in the deadly drama of Berlin’s gay and transvestite underground society, which leads her close to the top of the emerging Nazi leadership. Cantrell convincingly evokes the smoky foreboding of the underground and the brutal menace of growing Nazi power, revealing both the best and the worst of German character as she tells this suspenseful tale.

About the author

A Trace of Smoke was Cantrell’s first novel of crime in Nazi-era Germany. It was followed by The Night of Long Knives. Two more entries in the Hannah Vogel series are due in 2011 and 2012.

Rebecca Cantrell has published nine novels in over ten different languages. Her novels have won the ITW Thriller, the Macavity, and the Bruce Alexander awards. They have been nominated for the GoodReads Choice award, the Barry, the RT Reviewers Choice, and the APPY award. She and her husband and son live in Berlin. Cantrell is also the author of a series of novels featuring Joe Tesla, an agoraphobic millionaire who is confined to Grand Central Terminal and the tunnels under New York City. The first novel in the series, The World Beneath, won the 2014 Best Ebook Original award from International Thriller Writers.

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