Jürgen Kehrer in 2007
21 January 1956 |
Jürgen Kehrer (born 21 January 1956) is a graduated educationalist who is known as a German author whose success led to a substantial change in German crime fiction and who brought a new industry to his chosen home town Münster.
Jürgen Kehrer was born in Essen in the Ruhr region and lived in this very metropolitan part of North Rhine-Westphalia until he moved eventually to the Münster region, which is coined by agriculture. Like many academics of his generation he was attracted by journalism and worked 14 years as a journalist and editor before he decided to publish his first novel. He got in contact with a publishing house in the Ruhr area which had just established a new kind of crime fiction called "Lokalkrimi". This subgenre was characterised by crime stories that took place in rather rural and unspectacular areas of Germany. Instead of trying to mimic American crime fiction these authors went their own path. Kehrer's "Und die Toten lässt man ruhen" ("And the dead ones are left in peace") was published in 1990. It avoided all clichés and described a private detective who was neither heroic nor armed. The following mystery novels about private detective Wilsberg harvested an increasing interest in his adventures. Since Kehrer created suspense without violence Germany's ZDF found his oeuvre appropriate for their understanding of quality entertainment and in 1995 they broadcast a first TV feature film about detective Wilsberg. The fact that in the novels Wilsberg is going through many substantial, nearly epic personal changes made it difficult to create a TV series on these grounds. Eventually a concept and a new actor (Leonard Lansink) for the principal role were found. The original character changed in many respects when he was adapted for the TV screen, a fate that befell already for example Arsène Lupin and The Saint, but Jürgen Kehrer endorsed the TV series Wilsberg by even appearing in cameo roles. So unlike Georges Descrières or Roger Moore the German actor Leonard Lansink is appreciated by all fans of the protagonist in question. Jürgen Kehrer moved on, publishing non-fiction books (as he had already done in 1985) and novels without Wilsberg. Like Arthur Conan Doyle he has even published a number of historical novels.
Kehrer's success has inspired numerous authors to write their own novels about local private detectives and journalists who investigate in the author's region. Hitherto it had been a popular belief that a German crime fiction author could only succeed with an English pen name and an Anglo-Saxon protagonist. Kehrer revealed that this was a misbelief.
Besides the landscape of German crime fiction also Münster and its reception throughout Germany have evolved. Film industry has become a lasting part of Münster's economy. This is underpinned by another crime fiction series within Tatort that likewise presents Münster. Tourists coming to Münster for sightseeing can book guided tours that take account of Kehrer's novels and its adaptations.
- "Juergen Kehrer was born in 1956. He lives in Muenster, where he works as a freelance writer". Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- "Local productions". Retrieved 2011-05-13.
- "Filme made in Münsterland". Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "Tatort". Retrieved 2011-05-12.
- "Welcome to Münster in Westphalia". Retrieved 2011-05-12.
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