Responding to the same passion for Scandinavian mysteries that animated this blog (which has gotten a bit dusty, lately – sorry for the infrequent posts) and to the new potential offered by short-run printing and ebook distribution, a new venture has been launched with four crime fiction titles translated from Swedish in the past month. Stockholm Text (which has an attractive website featuring moving parts and paper-like cutouts – and Pippi – and dragons) is aimed at reaching a global audience “without technical or geographical borders,” according to the publisher. “Packaged for the future, we deliver the books wherever you are.” What that means is printing through short run or print on demand companies and selling the books in print and electronically wherever readers are. What a refreshing change from the usual regional restrictions.
Stockholm Text kindly sent me copies of their first crime fiction offerings. They are attractively packaged with covers that carry just enough branding to be distinctive. The books are by different authors, only one of whom has been published in English before, with different translators. I hope to have reviews up here in due course. Another intriguing aspect of this publishing house is that they aren’t concerned about spacing books out traditionally; we’ll have more books by Carin Gerhardsen and Mari Jungstedt in just a few more months. In addition to crime fiction, Stockholm Text has other works on their list, including non-fiction.
But these are the titles that will interest crime fiction fans:
Mari Jungstedt’s The Dead of Summer – in a familiar series to Scandinavian crime fans, this entry features the murder of a man on an isolated island where he has been camping with his family. As Anders Knutas is on holiday himself, Karin Jacobsen investigates, with reporter Johan Berg covering the news.The translation is by Tiina Nunnally.
Anna Jansson’s Killer’s Island – more islands! In this case, a legend from Gotland’s past intersects with a present-day murder. Jansson has written over a dozen crime novels (including one nominated for a Glass Key award and made into a television drama) and several children’s books and works part time as a nurse because she evidently likes to be busy (!) The translator is Enar Henning Koch.
Karin Wahlberg’s Death of a Carpet Dealer – involves a Swede who has traveled to Turkey to buy carpets and is murdered there. It’s one of series of (so far) eight books featuring Chief Inspector Claes Claesson and his physician wife. The author is an obstetrician. (These are some very busy writers.) The translator is Neil Betteridge
Carin Gerhardsen’s The Gingerbread House – part of a police procedural series set in south Stockholm in which bullying that occurs in a primary school has long-term consequences. Gerhardsen wrote the first three volumes of the Hammarby series before submitting them all at once for publication. The translator is Paul Norlen.
I just got word that the publisher has a nice offer for readers at the moment. Purchase a paperback or e-book from any retailer, send the order confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org – you will be sent a free copy of another of one of the publisher’s crime novels.
I’m excited to have more authors, especially women authors, being translated into English. I’m intrigued by the publisher’s embrace of new technology. And I’m really happy that a publisher and the authors they work with are thinking beyond borders.