Simone Buchholz

Blue Night

Crime Novel
(German title: Blaue Nacht)
ca. 280 pages
Simone Buchholz
Foto: Simone Buchholz
© Gerald von Foris

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. She has been writing for women’s magazines for more than 15 years, but has always written about football, the economy, and journeys to foreign countries as well. In 2008, she published her first crime novel, Revolverherz, which was subsequently translated into French and Italian. Since then, five more volumes of the Chastity-Riley-series have been published; the sixth volume, Blue Night, was #1 on the KrimiZEIT-Best of Crime List for months. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award as well as the 2nd Place of the German Crime Fiction Prize for Blue Night. Film rights for Blue Night have also been optioned. Together with her husband and their son, Simone Buchholz lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg.

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English world rights (Orenda Books), Italy (Emons)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg)


German Crime Fiction Prize 2017

Winner of the Crime Cologne-Award 2016

Tough. Independent. Offbeat. Chastity Riley is back.

The world‘s deadliest drug. Old enemies that resurface. But Chastity Riley remains on top of it all.


»Just for the record: This is an extremely strange night. And strange nights are always a harbinger.«


Due to an unfortunate incident where she convicted a superior of corruption and shot a gangster all at once, district attorney Chastity Riley has been transferred to victim protection and thus – officially been put in the backwater. Her private life doesn’t offer any consolation either: her formerly favourite colleague sets out, what with his midlife crisis and all, on his own personal vendetta, while her most faithful ally in the police department descends into the depths of his broken heart.

The first victim she is sent to is a man without a name and who was admitted to the Marien Hospital in Hamburg unconscious and badly beaten up. It’s evident that this was a professional job – a classic warning shot. Riley soon develops a connection to the man and slowly wins his trust, but who he is and what happened to him remains a mystery. Finally, after two or eight beers on the hospital ward, he reveals a lead that takes Riley to Leipzig. There, she finds not only an ally as well as far too many drugs. When she realizes who is behind all this, she sees a chance to finally catch one of the really big fish…


From the jury’s statement on the Crime Cologne Award:
»We were looking for a crime novel that is multi-layered, literary, surprising, and, naturally, filled with suspense. […] Blue Night, Simone Buchholz’s sixth novel about the chain-smoking and Astra-drinking district attorney Chastity Riley from Sankt Pauli, Hamburg, with the well-concealed scars on her soul, literally shines among the other – definitely also fantastic – crime novels published last year. And this is, first and foremost, due to Buchholz’s style, which gives the novel a completely unique, fresh, distinctive sound.
The great skill of the author, a trained journalist, lies in her ability to write sentences that come across as casual, very dry, slapped together and a little bit broken, just like Sankt Pauli, in whose backyards and backrooms everything is a little bit more grimy, more lawless and at the same time more lost than elsewhere. […] Nothing, no scene, no sentence, not a single word is superfluous in this book, exceptionally smart and precisely composed. Buchholz is to the point, hints, leaves space. A few sentences are enough for her to conjure up the dim Sankt Pauli as convincingly and densely as she does the inner life of her always edgy protagonists. Witty and with subtle humour, she delves into their heads, hearts, life lies, and dreams and in doing so, vests them with profound humanity […].
There’s a lot of drinking, smoking, and swearing in this crime novel. The subject matter is though, as is the tone. But still, all of the protagonists in Blue Night are searching, falling, loving. The perpetrators just as much as the victims. And that is why you get so close to them. […]
Simone Buchholz finds the perfect balance between coolness, humour, and melancholy. Tongue-in-cheek and charming, seemingly en passant, she plays with the – traditionally male – hardboiled tradition.
And in that way, Blue Night is also a novel with an echo: as soon as you’ve reached the end, you feel the urge to read more, learn more about its heroine, and in doing so, sniff a bit more of Hamburg’s salty breeze.« Gisa Klönne, 18.09.2016


»Blue Night has a unique style: fragmented, flitting from subject to subject. It flirts with the avant-garde. […] This is a punk rock album translated into a hard-bitten tale of low life scum and a lone officer. Fierce enough to stab the heart.« Jeff Noon, The Spectator

»Chastity Riley belongs amongst Germany’s most complex crime heroines: a lone wolf who looks into the chasms of human society.« Brigitte

»a haze of delightfully delicate, delightfully affectionate stories [centered in St. Pauli].« Elmar Krekeler, Die Welt

»Cheeky, funny and a little melancholic. Simone’s best so far.« DIE ZEIT

»The nonchalant, concise tone that’s never too chummy nor too flippant or fixated on punchlines, makes the story charming and interesting« Peter Körte, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Truly great story […] Tough cosmopolitan crime novel with warmth and humour.« Volker Albers, Hamburger Abendblatt

»strong dialogues, wit and tension; terrific, refreshing entertainment. Very charming!« WDR

»refreshingly different […] bristling with surprises« Michael Hoch, Krimi-Couch.de

»What’s especially pleasant is the fresh, cheeky tone of the novel that remains free of clichés.« Sylvia Staude, Frankfurter Rundschau

»A page-turner set in Hamburg, written with great skill: Germany’s most hard-drinking district attorney is chasing the bad guys again.[...] Simone Buchholz just writes very, very well, all the while sure of her milieu, atmospherically confident and full of empathy for her characters.« kgr, BÜCHERmagazin 3/2016

»A smashing thriller […] simply recommendable.« ReiseTravel

»Buchholz creates her protagonists with greatest affection [and] attention to detail. [She] writes her stories in a delightfully offhand, snappy style.« Rudolf Trinks, Freie Presse

»Exciting!« BARBARA

»a must-read « Marcus Müntefering, culturmag.de

»Between the covers […] is a rich, tightly woven plot that’s brimming with intrigue and with plenty of back story woven in, compelling characters and a great approach to narrative.« Mumbling About

»Simone Buchholz pulls no punches in this the first in an exciting series. This is a stunning new novel that really ends up exploding in your face. If this is how you love your thriller, then Blue Night is one for you. […]. I dare you to put this one down! «  The Last Word Book Review

»Throughout this book the language sparkles and seduces, drawing the reader in to the story. […] Part of the success of this crime thriller lies in the beautiful, almost poetic writing which contrasts well with the deadly subject matter.« Live and Deadly

»Simply an excellent slice of atmospheric crime. Give me more, soon!« Blue Book Balloon

»Blue Night is a deliciously dark novel with layers upon layers of mystery, not all uncovered by the end of it. Buchholz leaves her readers intrigued to know more about these characters. Whatever case Chastity Riley takes up next, if indeed she does, I’ll be very keen to uncover it with her.«  Segnalibro

»There is an abundance of atmosphere; the streets of Hamburg leap off the pages and I was dying to be in the Blue Night drinking vodka at the bar. Words are used sparingly and to great effect creating a beautiful noir novel which, since I finished reading it, hasn’t been far from my thoughts making other books pale into insignificance. Wonderful.« Beverley Has Read



Simone Buchholz reads from Blue Night:

Other publications

Mexikoring/Mexico Ring (2018)

Sold to:

English world rights (Orenda)

Beton Rouge/Beton Rouge (2017)

Sold to:

English world rights (Orenda)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg)