What's in a Title?

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Mercy aka The Keeper of Lost CausesThe Keeper of Lost Causes aka MercyWhat's in a title, you may ask? Well, clarity you hope, but might I suggest instead, confusion and sometimes too time wasted. Whatever am I talking about, you might wonder. Let me ask - how often have you went looking for a book, only to discover that the title you seek is not the title that resides on the library bookshelf or the bookseller's for that matter? How often have you started to read a book only to soon get a feeling you've read it before? What I am getting at is the confusion that can abound because of the habit of publishers of releasing the same book under different titles. Sometimes it's a case that titles differ depending on the market (e.g. UK v US) but also too the title can change in the same market with the release of a new or paperback edition. And if that isn't confusing enough, book covers change too!

A case in point is a favourite author of mine, Denmark's Jussi Adler-Olsen, writer of the Department Q crime series, which to date consists of five titles in Danish, four of which have so far been translated into English and all of which have different UK and US titles:

Kvinden i buret - (translates as 'The Woman in the Cage')
Mercy (UK, 2011) aka  The Keeper of Lost Causes (US, 2011)

Studio 69 aka Exposed aka Studio SexExposed aka Studio 69 aka Studio SexFasandræberne - (translates as 'The Pheasant Killers')
Disgrace (UK, 2012) aka The Absent One (US, 2012)

Flaskepost fra P - (translates as 'Message in a Bottle')
Redemption (UK, 2013) aka A Conspiracy of Faith (US, 2013)

Journal 64
Guilt (UK, 2014) aka The Purity of Vengeance (US, 2013)

Other crime fiction books that come to mind with two or more titles are:

Liza Marklund (Sweden)
Studio 69 aka Exposed (reprint) aka Studio Sex (US)
Paradise aka Vanished

Arnaldur Indriðason (Iceland)
Jar City aka Tainted Blood (pbk ed.)

The Keepsake aka Keeping the DeadKeeping the Dead aka KeepsakeTess Gerritsen (US)
Keeping the Dead (UK) aka The Keepsake (US)
The Killing Place (UK) aka Ice Cold (US) (Ice Cold - talking book)

Karin Fossum (Norway)
Calling Out for You (UK) aka The Indian Bride (US)

Åsa Larsson (Sweden)
The Savage Altar aka Sun Storm (US)

Donna Leon (US, lives in Italy)
The Anonymous Venetian  aka Dressed for Death
A Venetian Reckoning (UK) aka Death and Judgement (US)
Acqua Alta aka Death in High Water
The Death of Faith (UK) aka Quietly in Their Sleep (US)

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow aka Smilla's Sense of SnowSmilla's Sense of Snow aka Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow  Peter Høeg (Denmark)
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow (UK) aka Smilla's Sense of Snow (US)

Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (Sweden)
The Laughing Policeman (sorry, no longer in stock) aka An Investigation of Murder

So, if reading your next book you get a feeling...

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Note: UK = United Kingdom; US = United States; aka = also known as

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