and still more from the smorgasbord

There’s an interesting article on Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo by Jack Bumsted in the lastest newsletter from the Whodunit bookstore in Winnepeg, Canada. He points out the social critique that the couple deliberately wove into their Martin Beck series and the similarities between their work and that of both the American hardboiled tradition and current Swedish crime fiction (especially some parallels between Wahloo’s life and Stieg Larsson’s).

Glenn Harper reflects on a new television version of Norwegian author Gunnar Stalessen’s hero Varg Veum which some lucky people are able to watch on an enlightened and worldly cable channel (not available in my neighborhood, harrumph).  It sounds good, and as Glenn points out is a reminder that Scandinavian crime fiction didn’t take a long nap between Sjowall and Wahloo and Mankell. He considers this “an excellent and unique series that should not be forgotten in our appreciation of Scandinavian crime fiction’s current worldwide popularity.” He also kindly helped me learn how to pronounce the hero’s name. Tusen takk.

What can I do in the face of Sarah Weinmann’s astonishing industry but steal her stuff? She reports: “so much THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE! Which is wholly deserved, because it’s an amazing thriller, but there’s Dennis Drabelle in the Washington Post, Alan Cheuse in the SF Chronicle, Daniel Mallory in the LA Times, Brian Bethune’s Stieg Larsson profile in Maclean’s, Vanessa Thorpe’s assessment of Larsson-mania in the Observer, and the National Post’s Larsson-themed travel guide.” She also unearths another story about the new Wallander.  I think I will go take a nap now.

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