Grove Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

The Woman in the Blue Cloak

by Deon Meyer Translated from Afrikaans by K.L. Seegers

Internationally acclaimed writer Deon Meyer returns to his beloved Benny Griessel series with a case that combines the disappearance of an Old Masters painting with a grisly murder

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 192
  • Publication Date April 21, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4893-3
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $15.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 176
  • Publication Date May 07, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4723-3
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $22.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date May 07, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4724-0
  • US List Price $22.00

About the Book

Early on a May morning in the depth of South Africa’s winter, a woman’s naked body, washed in bleach, is discovered on a stone wall beside the N2 highway at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass, some 35 miles from Cape Town. The local investigation stalls, so the case is referred to Captain Benny Griessel and his cynical partner Vaughn Cupido of the Hawks—the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations. The woman proves to be Alicia Lewis, an expert in old Dutch Masters paintings specializing in the recovery of valuable lost art. Discovering the two men she had contacted before coming to South Africa reveals what she was seeking—a rare painting by Carel Fabritius, Rembrandt’s finest student, not seen since it disappeared from Delft in 1654. But how Lewis died, why, and at whose hand shocks even the two veteran detectives.

The Woman in the Blue Cloak is a compact jewel, as rich as any of Deon Meyer’s award-winning novels, driven by crystalline prose, earthy dialogue, and clever plotting.

Praise for The Woman in the Blue Cloak

“Is it O.K. to call a murder mystery ‘lovely’? That’s the word that comes to mind for The Woman in the Blue Cloak, a short but quite beautifully told story about two women by the South African author Deon Meyer . . . Quietly moving.”—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Distinctive . . . Features the veteran team of Capt. Benny Griessel and his partner, Capt. Vaughn Cupido . . . Time is of the essence in this short, swift book. But Mr. Meyer doesn’t fail to evoke the subtle and often appealing qualities of his characters and their surroundings. The Woman in the Blue Cloak projects an almost palpable aura.”—Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal

“A priceless work of art is at the heart of Meyer’s latest thriller . . . This novella-length tale is a worth addition to the Benny Griessel series.”—Booklist

“Anything Deon Meyer writes is welcome, especially if it features his fantastic South African detective Benny Griessel . . . [The Woman in the Blue Cloak] leaves us wanting more. Anyone who has yet to discover Meyer—who writes in Afrikaans—or his wonderfully rounded and very human hero is in for a treat . . . Meyer is one of the best crime writers on the planet.”—Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

“Enjoyable . . . Strong characterizations.”—Publishers Weekly

“A short-but-packed, tight, chilling police procedural. Add to that the central story line of a murder and a missing piece of art and I’m hooked. Great character development with the two primary Detectives, Bennie and Vaughn, and it kept me guessing throughout the book. Looking forward to the next book from this author.”—Holland Saltsman, The Novel Neighbor (St. Louis, MO)

Praise for the Benny Griessel Series:

“Mr. Meyer, the leading thriller writer in his native country, traffics in crime-novel situations familiar the world over: drunken cops, charming robbers, dangerous murderers, sudden violence—and sometimes, issues of race. Mr. Meyer’s South Africa, however, is unique. His books, translated from Afrikaans, are usually set in the Cape Town region, where mountains spectacularly meet the sea on the Horn of Africa. Amid these vistas his detective confronts his own—and his country’s—tortured past and the legacy of Apartheid.”—Wall Street Journal, on Cobra

“Meyer . . . vividly depicts the story of South Africa in his novels, from the hope and turmoil of the fall of apartheid to the corrupt and desperate aspects of present-day Cape Town . . . Meyer’s novels have an insistent forward motion, and the ones featuring Captain Griessel in particular have a pleasing relentlessness.”—Los Angeles Review of Books, on Cobra

“A serious writer who richly deserves the international reputation he has built.”—Washington Post, on Cobra

“Deon Meyer’s name on the cover is a guarantee of crime writing at its best.”—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Playing with Fire, on Icarus

“Deon Meyer’s South Africa is laid bare in Icarus; it is as glittering and hard as the diamonds his country is famous for . . . Meyer utilizes the crime fiction genre as an apparatus to create a multifaceted, unsparing picture of his country.”—Independent, on Icarus

“South African author Deon Meyer’s Benny Griessel series is one of the high points of contemporary crime fiction, and the fifth title, Icarus, is his best yet . . . [An] expertly engineered tale of sex, lies, and fraud.”—Guardian (Best Recent Crime Fiction Novels), on Icarus

“Deon Meyer continues his string of superb, tightly constructed timeline thrillers. Coming on the heels of the breath-holding Thirteen Hours, Seven Days takes us into the heart of a major police hunt for a killer targeting policemen as he demands the investigation of a seemingly unsolvable cold case.”—Globe & Mail, on Seven Days

Thirteen Hours has breathtaking suspense, psychological understanding, and one of the most inspiring detectives ever. Deon Meyer deserves his international reputation.”—Thomas Perry, author of The Burglar, on Thirteen Hours

“Unputdownably brilliant.”—Mail & Guardian (South Africa), on Thirteen Hours

“A smashing story. Imposing a strict time limit and a tight location on his plot, [Meyer] ramps up the suspense to an unbearable degree. Best of all, his sharply drawn characters really feel part of the new South Africa, where loyalties and beliefs must always be questioned.”—Financial Times, on Thirteen Hours