As a sign of how terribly behind I am, Peter announced way back on November 22nd that Lief G. W. Persson’s Den döende detektiven won the prize for the best work of Swedish crime fiction, the third time Persson has won the prize. (Obviously, if you want to know what’s going on with Scandinavian crime fiction, keep an eye on Peter’s Nordic Bookblog.
Publishers Weekly covered the wave of interest in Scandinavian crime fiction following on the Larsson tsunami.
University College, London’s Scandinavian Studies department has started a book club with its own blog. Quite a book club – Hakan Nesser is dropping by in February.
BBC4 aired a documentary titled Nordic Noir featuring interviews with Maj Sjowall and Hakan Nesser as well as commentary by Barry Forshaw (Stieg Larsson’s biographer) and smart analysis by Val Mcdermid (a Scottish crime writer who is herself very good, indeed). If you missed the show, you can at least read reports by Martin Edwards, Norm (aka Uriah), (Norm gets the “best comeback” award for a FriendFeed Crime and Mystery room comment, recalling the program’s coverage of Smilla’s Sense of Snow: “We have several words for snow here in Devon, but not all are suitable for posting.” It has been an unusually Nordic winter in the UK.) Move coverage of the television program at The Scotsman.
The Guardian looks at three actors who have played Wallander in two Swedish and one British television series. Each has something slightly different to offer and (like the denizens of Lake Wobegon) all are above average. Norm takes a closer look at one of them, Rolf Lassgard, who he thinks is probably the closest in resemblance to the fictional character and whose work is supported by a strong cast and good cinematography.
Also in the Guardian, Norwegian author Anne Holt offers her top ten female detectives, which include Lizbeth Salander, Annika Bengtzon, and (a new one to me) Anne-kin Halvorsen, from a series by Kim Småge, featuring a character whom Holt calls “the foremother of all Scandinavian female detectives.”
The Black Sheep Dances wraps up her Scandinavian Fiction Challenge, which attracted 78 participants. She promises an even harder challenge for the new year. Jose Ignacio Escribano reports on how he met the challenge. And Bernadette has found another Scandinavian challenge for 2011 to keep her slimming her bank account and mining Mount TBR in the coming year.
Peter brings news that Eva Gabrielsson will be publishing a biography of her famous partner, Steig Larsson. It will be published in the US by Seven Stories Press.
Rolling Stone has an article (available to subscribers only) on the “Stieg Larsson industries” by Nathaniel Rich; an interview with him can be read online. He concludes that the Millennium Trilogy was Larsson’s way of supporting his true passion – his impassioned journalism and his publication, Expo‘s, attack on racism – by writing a savvy bestseller. “He was a great student of the crime novel. He knew the formula exactly and he knew what worked,” according to Rich, and he needed money to keep the neo-Nazis on notice.
It’s the season of lists, bests, and tops, and Stieg Larsson’s Girl is everywhere. The Bookreporter names The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest the book of the year and the three books the trilogy of the decade. Also on their tops for the year were Camilla Lackberg and Lars Keppler. The Metro’s tops list includes Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s Ashes to Dust, Hakan Nesser’s The Inspector and Silence, and Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman. No doubt there are many others on many more tops lists that have escaped my notice.
But the blog with the intriguing title A Huge Spider for Daddy offers a different ending for the Girl Who Played With Fire, provided by a six year old who hasn’t read it yet, but knows how it must end. The girl, you see, smokes “stigarettes” – and you know those are bad for your health.