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The Top Scandinavian Mystery Writers: Jo Nesbo/Karin Fossum

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

With the popularity of Stig Larssen’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Millennium trilogy, readers have searched for other Scandinavian mystery writers. Scandinavian crime fiction is a respected genre of good quality.  Several Nordic writers have had international best sellers in Europe. One of the first of the newer writers to become popular in the U. S. was  Peter Høeg's Smillia's Sense of Snow in 1992 which was made into a movie. Now, a new group of Nordic noir writers are becoming popular in the United States. There are a great number of good Scandinavian Noir books to choose from.

The parents of modern Scandinavian mystery fiction are Swedish writers Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo who wrote their books in the 1960s and 1970s. Their book The Laughing Policeman was a hit and made into an American movie with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern. The book explained the title, but the movie didn’t. The husband and wife team introduced Inspector Beck in a procedural type of crime novel.

Swedish author Henning Mankell is well known for his Kurt Wallendar series. His books have been popular in the United States. The Wallendar television series that stars Kenneth Branagh is shown on PBS is also popular.

Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbo is an award winning Norwegian author that wrote mystery fiction before Stig Larsson. Nesbo is currently the world’s bestselling crime author. His translated books have been best sellers throughout Europe and becoming popular in America.

The Redbreast, 3rd of the Hole series, Nemesis, 4th in the series, and The Devils

The Redbreast
Star 5th in the series were the first books published in America.  These books feature his series detective Harry Hole (Whoule) of the Oslo Crime Squad. The first Harry Hole book is The Bat. These books can be read out of order, and any of them is a good place to start. He has written standalone books without Hole as the main character.

Hole is a divorced alcoholic, and Nesbo admits he is fascinated with addiction. Hole is a divorced alcoholic, addicted to cigarettes. Nesbo admits to a certain pleasure in torturing his hero with temptations.

Nesbo’s books are well written, hard and sometimes bleak. Some have compared his books to the Cohen brothers and Tarentino movies. He is in negations for the Cohen brothers to make a movie of one of his books. They give a great feel of the country and its people.

Karin Fossum

The Times of London listed Norwegian writer Karin Fossum one of the 50 best mystery writers of all time. She is a former poet, and her novels are translated into 16 languages.

She is known for the Inspector Konrad Sejer mystery series. A widower, Sejer is a good interviewer and listener without much personal baggage. He lives alone with a dog. Fossum’s stories take place in small isolated communities. Her book Don’t Look Back

Don't Look Back
is her first book in the series and the first of her books published in America.

While Sejer is a likeable person, her books can be hard and somewhat bleak. Don’t Look Back concerns a missing girl. She turns up unharmed and eventually Sejer begins looking for a murder.

Scandinavian crime fiction is often bleak. It’s not as dark as Jim Thompson books, they generally have a harder edge than American crime fiction. They approach crime as reality. These books aren’t cozies and warm and fuzzy. Some complain about names being hard to read, but these problems disappear as a person keeps reading.

With With the popularity of Stig Larssen’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Millennium trilogy, readers have searched for other Scandinavian mystery writers. Scandinavian crime fiction is a respected genre of good quality.  Several Nordic writers have had international best sellers in Europe. One of the first of the newer writers to become popular in the U. S. was  Peter Høeg's Smillia's Sense of Snow in 1992 which was made into a movie. Now, a new group of Nordic noir writers are becoming popular in the United States. There are a great number of good Scandinavian Noir books to choose from.

The parents of modern Scandinavian mystery fiction are Swedish writers Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo who wrote their books in the 1960s and 1970s. Their book The Laughing Policeman was a hit and made into an American movie with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern. The book explained the title, but the movie didn’t. The husband and wife team introduced Inspector Beck in a procedural type of crime novel.

Swedish author Henning Mankell is well known for his Kurt Wallendar series. His books have been popular in the United States. The Wallendar television series that stars Kenneth Branagh is shown on PBS is also popular.

Jo Nesbo

Jo Nesbo is an award winning Norwegian author that wrote mystery fiction before Stig Larsson. Nesbo is currently the world’s bestselling crime author. His translated books have been best sellers throughout Europe and becoming popular in America.

The Redbreast, 3rd of the Hole series, Nemesis, 4th in the series, and The Devils

The Redbreast
Star 5th in the series were the first books published in America.  These books feature his series detective Harry Hole (Whoule) of the Oslo Crime Squad. The first Harry Hole book is The Bat. These books can be read out of order, and any of them is a good place to start. He has written standalone books without Hole as the main character.

Hole is a divorced alcoholic, and Nesbo admits he is fascinated with addiction. Hole is a divorced alcoholic, addicted to cigarettes. Nesbo admits to a certain pleasure in torturing his hero with temptations.

Nesbo’s books are well written, hard and sometimes bleak. Some have compared his books to the Cohen brothers and Tarentino movies. He is in negations for the Cohen brothers to make a movie of one of his books. They give a great feel of the country and its people.

The Redbreast: A Harry Hole Novel
Amazon Price: $7.99 $3.25 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2013)
The Bat
Amazon Price: $13.72 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2013)
Phantom
Amazon Price: $25.95 $8.59 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2013)

Karin Fossum

The Times of London listed Norwegian writer Karin Fossum one of the 50 best mystery writers of all time. She is a former poet, and her novels are translated into 16 languages.

She is known for the Inspector Konrad Sejer mystery series. A widower, Sejer is a good interviewer and listener without much personal baggage. He lives alone with a dog. Fossum’s stories take place in small isolated communities. Her book Don’t Look Back

Don't Look Back
is her first book in the series and the first of her books published in America.

While Sejer is a likeable person, her books can be hard and somewhat bleak. Don’t Look Back concerns a missing girl. She turns up unharmed and eventually Sejer begins looking for a murder.

Scandinavian crime fiction is often bleak. It’s not as dark as Jim Thompson books, they generally have a harder edge than American crime fiction. They approach crime as reality. These books aren’t cozies and warm and fuzzy. Some complain about names being hard to read, but these problems disappear as a person keeps reading.

 
Don't Look Back
Amazon Price: $14.00 $2.17 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2013)
The Indian Bride (Inspector Sejer Mysteries)
Amazon Price: $14.00 $2.36 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2013)
When the Devil Holds the Candle (Inspector Sejer Mysteries)
Amazon Price: $29.95 $4.76 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 8, 2013)
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