Archive for May 18, 2009


Crime fiction conventions such as Bristol’s Crime Fest offer a wonderful opportunity for ordinary fans to meet and chat with the authors and translators who have given them so much pleasure over the years. When one discovers that these “superstars” of the genre are charming, friendly and totally unpretentious it is an additional delight.

As a particular fan of Scandinavian crime fiction I was very happy to show translators Steven Murray and Tiina Nunnaly some of the sights near Bristol. 
Even though they have translated some of the biggest names in Scandinavian fiction including Astrid Lindgren, Mikkel Birkegaard, Peter Hoeg, Karin Fossum, Leif Davidsen, Karin Alvtegen, Henning Mankell, Mari Jungstedt, Camilla Lackberg, and Stieg Larsson, they were willing to listen to some of my advice on proper English terminology. So they next time you read the expression “Bloody speed bumps” or “blinking bollards” in a Scandinavian book you will know who is responsible, and I will be receiving 0.000001% of the royalties for that translation. 
We had a lovely day, the weather was typically English and our visitors said the rain was a pleasant change from the heat and sunshine of Albuquerque. I think they were being polite. 
We visited the Royal Crescent, the Circle and the Pump Room in Bath, the World Heritage site at Avebury, and the village of Lacock. 
I hope they enjoyed getting out of the busy city and seeing something of the very green English countryside. We certainly enjoyed their company, doing our bit for Anglo-American relations, and receiving a wonderful signed copy of The Sardine Deception by Leif Davidsen. This fine political thriller was Steven and Tiina’s first co-operative translation from the Danish and was published by their own appropriately named Fjord Press of Seattle. 
I will certainly not be offering this book as a prize in any of my quizzes.