Scandinavian Mysteries

***denotes favorites

  • ***Henning Mankell — Swedish Henning Mankell is arguably the most influential writer of Scandinavian crime fiction today. Mankell’s protagonist is Inspector Kurt Wallander – First book in series: Faceless Killers (1991); most recent: An Event in Autumn (2014).
  • ***Karin Fossum — Norwegian “Queen of Crime” Karin Fossum is one of the most highly acclaimed writers of Scandinavian crime fiction in the English speaking world. Karin Fossum’s books often feature dark secrets in small, typically isolated, communities. Fossum protagonist is the highly intelligent and melancholy inspector Sejer – First book in series: Don’t Look Back (2002); most recent: Hell Fire (2016).Featured image
  • ***Arnaldur Indridason — Icelandic Arnaldur Indridason won the Glass Key Award for best Nordic crime novel back to back in 2002 and 2003 for Jar City, his first novel, and Silence of the Grave. Most recent: Outrage (2011).
  • Jo Nesbø — At daytime Jo Nesbo was a well-paid financial analyst, at night a successful rock band singer. But Jo Nesbo decided to take 6 months off, traveled to Australia and came back with a manuscript. A few months later he was a bestselling author in his native Norway, and recently his success has spread throughout the world. Protagonist Harry Hole’s first novel: The Redbreast (2006); most recent: The Leopard (2011).
  • Håkan Nesser — Sweden’s Håkan Nesser always writes his first drafts by hand, and then rewrites the entire story 8-10 times before he is satisfied. Protagonist Inspector Van Veeteren – First book in series: Borkmann’s Point (2006); most recent: The G File (2014).
  • Maj Sjöwall-Per Wahlöö— Without doubt the Swedish husband and wife team are the founders of modern Scandinavian crime fiction. In many ways Sjöwall-Wahlöö changed the crime fiction genre. First, Sjöwall-Wahlöö’s chief investigator Martin Beck is not a solo maverick. He is part of a team where all members are fully realized characters. The interaction within the team, as well as the setting in which the team operates, is as much in focus as the crime. They have no intention to paint the world in black and white, where the honorable police investigators hunt down innately evil perpetrators. Finally, Martin Beck is not a glamorous hero or a phenomenal genius. Instead we find a world-weary, dyspeptic man whose personal life is gradually disintegrating in the course of the series. First in series: Roseanna (1965); last in series: The Terrorists (1975).
  • Featured image***Camilla Lackberg – The most recent addition to Scandanavian detective fiction worked as an economist before starting to write about small town policeman Patrik Hedstrom. Her first four novels all became Swedish bestsellers. First book in series: The Ice Princess (2008); most recent: The Ice Child (2016).
  • Arne Dahl — Intercrime series, involving the A-team, a group highly trained in dealing with criminal cases in Sweden. First book in series to be released in English Misterioso on July 12, 2011. He has sold more than 2 million copies of his work in Europe. His latest: Europa Blues (2015).
  • ***Liza Marklund – Swedish; Features crime reporter Annika Bengtzon; her books have sold over 12 million world-wide. Netflix series. First book in series: Paradise (2000); most recent: The Final Word (2016).
  • ***Stieg Larsson – Swedish; A world-wide publishing phenomena with his Millenium Series. Bestselling author in the world between 2008 and 2010. First book: Men Who Hate Women (2008) (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the US). Most recent: The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest—US title (2010).
  • ***Anne Holt – Norwegian; Her Hanne Wilhelmsen character is a lesbian police Inspector in Oslo. First book in series: Blind Goddess –not published in English until success of 1222 (2010).Featured image
  • Lars Kepler – Swedish; Detective Inspector Joona Linna. First in the series: The Hypnotist (2011). Massive media frenzy around this book around the world.
  • ***Yrsa Siguroardóttir — Icelandic writer finally published in English in 2007. Features Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, a smart, sexy lawyer and investigator. First book: Last Rituals (2007).
  • Helene Tursten – Swedish Inspector Huss in the Violent Crimes Unit in Goteborg. First book: Detective Inspector Huss (2003).
  • ***Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis – Nina Borg, Red Cross nurse runs a network of volunteers who assist illegal immigrants and refugees. First book: The Boy in the Suitcase (2011); latest: Death of a Nightingale (2013).
  • AJ Kazinski – Danish duo of Anders Ronnow Klarlund and Jacob Weinreich have only worked together on this one thriller at this point. The Last Good Man (2012).
  • Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom — Detective Inspector Ewert Grens in Stockholm. Many Swedish awards for this series. First book: The Beast (2005), but most well known is US for: Three Seconds (2010).

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