Monday, 21 February 2011

Libraries- Scandinavian Crime Season

A strange succession of deaths at Helsinki tube stations....a corpse found rolled in a rotting carpet (or rotting in a rolled carpet?) a hospital basement in Stockholm two bullet-riddled bodies lie sprawled on the floor... a church in the glittering frozen wastes of northern Sweden.  Inside, a sacrifice.....winter should be a quiet time on the holiday island of Gotland..... his eyes gouged out and a strange symbol carved on his cold autumn night, a woman is found hanging from a beam in her summer cottage by Lake Thingvellir..... his head stoved in by a tin of unwanted reindeer meat, cloudberry jam in his pockets.....

It's Scandinavian Crime Month at Kilburn library- hurry there before it ends- on 3rd March.

Swedish librarian, Åsa Nylinder, has made a fantastic selection, by authors you'll have heard of- Steig Larsson, Henning Mankell, Peter Hoeg, and others you may not know - like the Icelandic Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Jo Nesbø and Sofi Oksanen.  I'm part way through Arnaldur Indridason's "Hypothermia" (that's the Lake Thingvellir hanging), and it's great stuff, well translated too.

On Thursday 3rd March 7-9pm award winning and best selling Norwegian crime author, Gunnar Staalesen, is talking about his work at Willesden Green Library.  If you want to read one his books first, ask for "Consorts of Death", "The Writing on the Wall" or "Yours until Death".  Hope to see you there!

I'm a big fan of Scandinavia - the style, the swimming (from those sensible wooden jetties so you don't have to wade through seaweed), the language, the people, the food (excepting the tinned reindeer and, even worse, tinned bear meat on sale in Helsinki's covered market)- I love the way everyone eats peas from  pods in the summer, and goes wild for berries, and then there's the trendy Danish foraging by Rene Redzepi.  Giles Coren described it all brilliantly here

But back to the libraries- it really is a case of Use it or Lose it at the moment, so get down there, join if necessary and borrow some of this gripping Scandinavian crime.

And, by the way, I made up that bit about the reindeer meat and the cloudberry jam - it sneaked in from Frugal February.

Afraid I only just found out about the Crime Short Story Competition- the closing date is on Wednesday 23rd Feb, so unless you can write 2,000 words very quickly it's a bit late.  The challenge is to complete this story begun by Swedish crime fiction author Camilla Ceder:

"In theory, Margaret had functioned well as his partner.  She was a faded beauty who had once been a celebrated singer.  It would not have hurt for her to drink less."


  1. There's an interesting article on Scandinavian crime fiction in today's Guardian by Deborah Orr. Read it online at Guardian 24.02.11

  2. Hello, Åsa from the library here. Fantastic blog and I found the article very interesting –
    thanks for sharing.

    Norwegian author Gunnar Staalesen, who is visiting Willesden Green Library on 3rd March,
    is yet another example of the Scandinavian take on crime fiction. He has been credited with
    introducing social realism into the genre through his critical commentary on our times.

    Gunnar Staalesen, one of Norway’s leading crime writers, has written some 20 novels
    of which 6 (I believe) have been made into films. His books have been translated into 15
    languages, and it is a great honour that he is travelling all the way from Norway solely to visit
    the residents of Brent.
    For those wanting to know more about him, click here for an interview from last year in which
    Gunnar Staalesen discusses his authorship with the famous crime writer Ian Rankin.

    Hope you can make it to Gunnar Staalesen’s talk at Willesden Green Library on Thursday
    3rd March. It is a free event, just turn up on the night and you will be able to buy signed
    copies of his book!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...