Ystad and Wallander

I love Wallander, in all his incarnations: Book character, Swedish TV show character, even British TV show character. He has a certain melancholy quality that reminds me of my dad.

I would love to visit Wallander’s hometown Ystad. Some of my ancestors lived in Kristianstad, which isn’t too far away (about an hour and 10 minutes by car, according to Google), so someday when I’m richer, God willing, I will plan a trip that includes both towns.

On the Kurt Wallander trail in Ystad, Sweden – The Independent


Nordic Crime Fiction

I’m an avid reader of Nordic crime fiction, but I read it because it’s Nordic and not because it’s about crime. Crime fiction is not my favourite genre and when it’s from anywhere else it doesn’t appeal to me. I’d love it if more genres of Nordic literature were as widely translated into English and available here in Canada as crime fiction. (I’ll post another time about the non-crime books and authors I’ve discovered, but will stick to crime fiction for this post.)

My favourite Nordic crime author is, perhaps not surprisingly, the late Stieg Larsson. Nothing compares to his Millennium trilogy. After I read it, I had trouble giving any other book five stars on Goodreads, because I measured everything else by the standard I felt it set. The Girl in the Spider’s Web has now been released, which is author David Lagercrantz‘s attempt to continue the story. I suppose it’s now a series, not a trilogy, but I will probably always think of Stieg Larsson’s original three books as its own self-contained trilogy. For some time I thought I wouldn’t even read the new novel because I was certain it would be a horrible disappointment, but the reviews seem to be quite favourable, so I’ve decided to give it a chance. I have it on order from Amazon and it’s due to arrive tomorrow. I’m actually rather excited about it. I’ve missed Lisbeth.

Another excellent author is Jussi Adler-Olsen. His Department Q series is the best thing I’ve read besides the Millennium trilogy. Other authors I enjoy are Jo Nesbø, Camilla Läckberg, Henning Mankell, Gunnar Staalesen, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Arnaldur Indriðason, and Mari Jungstedt. This is not an exhaustive list of all the authors I’ve discovered, these are just the ones I recommend. I have read some sadly mediocre novels in this genre which I feel no need to list. There are also a few authors that I’m aware of but haven’t read yet, like Elsebeth Egholm and Roslund Hellstrom.

Check out this BBC documentary on Nordic crime fiction on YouTube: