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Top Scandinavian Mystery Writers: Lackberg/Larsson

By Edited Jul 28, 2016 0 0

Stig Larsson’s Millinium Trilogy is popular, but several Scandinavian mystery writers predate his books. Henning Mankell was the second wave of Scandinavian crime fiction after Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo were popular in the U. S. Camilla Läckberg and Asa Larsson are in the latest wave of Swedish crime writers to become known in the United States after Stig Larsson opened the door.

Camilla Läckberg

Europe’s sixth best-selling author is Swede Camilla Läckberg. Her first novel, The Ice Princess, came out in 2002, which predated Stig Larsson’s books. Her novels take place in a small town called Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden. Her husband is police officer Martin Melin. He won the Swedish television program Expedition Robinson that Survivor modeled itself on.

Camilla Lackberg
Credit: Amazon

Like Anne Holt, one of her early favorite writers is Agatha Christie. She was an economist when her husband gave her a creative writing course for Christmas. Now she writes psychological mysteries.

The Ice Princess: A Novel
Amazon Price: $15.99 $4.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2016)

Detective Patrik Hedström and Erica Falck are the investigative team in her books. They met in her 2002 book, The Ice Princess, which was awarded France’s prestigious mystery award, Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. All six of her novels have become Swedish bestsellers. Her goal is to be on the New York Times bestseller list.

Läckberg’s books take place in her home town of Fjällbacka. The Ice Princess is the series first. Alex is the victim and Läckberg tells the reader she didn’t have the inner strength to commit suicide. Erica Falck and Alex were childhood friends. Falak is there for her parent’s funerals when Alex’s body is found frozen in a bathtub full of ice. Her wrists are slashed. Falck becomes friends with Patrik Hedström, the investigating officer. Hedström is cheerful, has a sense of humor and not an alcoholic. He and Falck become interested in each other. The investigation starts to lay open the town’s secrets and dark heart. The book has a number of twists and is a psychological mystery popular with mystery readers.

In 2008 she wrote a book, Tastes From Fjällbacka with chef Christian Hellberg. It is the local Fjällbacka cuisine inspired by the popularity of her books.

Some of her other books are The Preacher, The Stonecutter, The Drowning, The Hidden Child and The Gallows Bird.

The Preacher: A Novel (Pegasus Crime)
Amazon Price: $3.01 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2016)

Åsa Larsson

Åsa Larsson is a Swedish lawyer who writes Scandinavian noir. Lapland is a country of extreme and bitter winters. That’s where Larsson sets her mysteries, and where she grew up. Her books are well written atmospheric and psychological novels.

Sun Storm, Savage Alter in the UK, is her first novel. She received the Swedish Crime Writer’s Association Prize for best first novel. In this book, a charismatic preacher’s mutilated body is found dead in his new church. The investigation is blocked by his followers who won’t give answers or help the investigation. Rebecka Martinsson is a tax attorney who goes back to the town she left in disgrace several years ago. She knew the murdered man Viktor, and was a good friend of his sister. His sister, Sanna, has requested that Rebecka come back. Inspector Anna-Maria Mella and Detective Sven-Erik Stalnacke are in charge of the investigation that heads into the town’s cold, dark secrets. The book deals with interpersonal relationships to uncover the solution. Larsson doesn’t hold back, she is a dark and graphic writer.

Sun Storm
Amazon Price: $16.00 $7.47 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 28, 2016)
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