Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Swedish Mysteries and Detective Novels

I recently worked on a book list for a patron who likes Swedish mysteries. I have heard of Mankell and of course Larsson but I was amazed at how many different Swedish crime authors are out there!

From the 1940's on, the mystery genre in Sweden became very popular and can be characterized by two very distinctive traits: a strong sense of place and to highlight the political and social policies of Sweden.
From the 1960's on, the American influence is felt and a great example is Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander series) who is probably the bestselling Swedish crime novelist and the most well known abroad. In recent years the deceased Stieg Larsson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) has caused an international sensation with his Millenium Trilogy. Many other Swedish mystery writers have become extremely popular and are writing award-winning detective fiction.  Try one of the following talented Swedes and experience the mystery that is Sweden.

Karin Alvtegen--this award-winning author is also the grandniece of Astrid Lindgren.
Ake Edwardson (Inspector Erik Winter novels)--he is a 3-time winner of the Swedish Crime Writer's Academy Award for best crime novel.
Kerstin Ekman--her taut novel Blackwater is set in the North and focuses on racial tensions between Lapps (Sami) and Swedes.
Kjell Eriksson--he won the 2002 Best Swedish Crime Novel for The Princess of Burundi.
Mari Jungstedt--her husband's birthplace, the island of Gotland, is the setting for her first three novels.
Camilla Lackberg--she is one of Sweden's youngest successful female crime writers.
Asa Larsson--she is a former tax lawyer just like the heroine of her novels, Rebecka Martinsson.
Liza Marklund--she collaborated with James Patterson on The Postcard Killers and became the second Swedish author to reach #1 on the NY Times bestseller list.
Hakan Nesser--he is known for his Van Veeteren mysteries and his Gunnar Barbarotti novels.
Leif G. W. Persson--he is a criminologist and expert commentator on notable crime cases.
Roslund/Hellstrom--this crime-writing duo is Anders Roslund a journalist and Borge Hellstrom an ex-convict & founder of a crime prevention organization.
Johan Theorin--his novels are set on the island of Oland in the Baltic Sea which is where his mother's family hails from.
Helene Tursten--she is a former nurse whose novel's main character is Detective Inspector Irene Huss.

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