In 2020 during lockdown Anna Emm wrote a series of whodunit novellas about a police detective who is on medical leave after an injury. To pass the time, he noses about in the police's unsolved murder cases. Although Alexander Hinkel has a knack for solving riddles, his injury left him bitter and disillusioned, and often he is his own worst enemy. When he teams up with the cheeky and unconventional box club owner, Janke Lofstat, she begins to press all his buttons and eventually forces him to face his demons.
"The Hinkel Cases" was originally written in Afrikaans and the e-books received more than 30000 times, receiving scores of 5-star reviews on Kobo.com. Now translated to English the first three novellas in the series are available as FREE E-BOOKS on both Amazon (CLICK TO DOWNLOAD) and Kobo (CLICK TO DOWNLOAD)
Four years ago, when Hinkel was an ambitious police detective, a bullet in the thigh destroyed his career. The injury left him with a limp, and in the dark months that followed, he also lost his fiancée. Now he is so brusque and cynical that he comes across as downright rude, alienating his previous colleagues. But the crime in Agrippa is out of control and the police are swamped with unsolved murders, so Captain Robert Flint is forced to turn to Hinkel for help. Hinkel has just one condition: He works alone... However, while investigating the death of a dancer who supposedly jumped from the Steyggler building, Hinkel is thrown together with Janke Lofstat, the cheeky boxing club owner and former girlfriend of gang boss Bennie Price, whom Hinkel put behind bars. Janke may be short of stature, but she is streetwise and has an eye for detail. She presses all Hinkel’s buttons. When circumstances conspire for the two of them to work together on another case, and then another, Hinkel isn’t pleased. Though Janke’s past involvement with the gangs is cause for concern, it is Hinkel’s growing attraction to her that really scares him.
While investigating a series of murders, Hinkel en Janke’s relationship is further complicated by a visit from Hinkel’s ex fiancée, and also the handsome bakery owner that pursues Janke. Things come to boiling point when Janke’s ex, gang boss Bennie Price, escapes from prison and kidnaps her. Rushing from clue to clue to try and save her before time runs out, Hinkel has to confront his demons and finally face his feelings.
The dark and broody city of Agrippa is fictional, but based on modern day Cape Town where gangster culture rules the streets and there is constant tension between the classes. The novellas have a real South African flavour, from the characters’ typical South African names, to locations like the flats, the nearby racecourse, and the old city library - all places that are very familiar to the author. The urban world is vividly painted, and moves quickly from Hinkel’s studio apartment above the Mockingbird Café and the Red Rooster Boxing Club where Janke spends most of her time, across the breadth and width of Agrippa.
As each case unfolds, the reader is introduced to a cast of very real and quirky characters that are just as diverse as the urban setting they find themselves in. A YouTube sensation hosts a murder mystery party to promote her new movie, and then a real body turns up. An Olympic swimmer is found dead in Agrippa’s public swimming pool, apparently after having drowned. A business tycoon is found dead – and naked! – in his study during a private family dinner where he was planning to make an important announcement... There is also the case of an unidentified body found in a bakery, of a stock car driver who went over a cliff next to the ocean, and of an eccentric librarian found dead in Agrippa’s only remaining library. Forming an unlikely team, Hinkel and Janke set out to solve these murder cases, while managing their unfolding romance and the dark shadows from their pasts.
“The Hinkel Cases” reads like a BritBox detective series. The reader is addressed in the present tense, and in conversational tone, giving him a sense of being taken along as the action unfolds minute by minute, blow by blow. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie style 'closed room' whodunits, the make sure to download the first three FREE NOVELLAS at the links below.