Archive for August 7, 2011

Yesterday a new Larsson book dropped through my letter box, and brought back into focus some thoughts I have mentioned in previous posts. 

It was not that mysterious lost fourth book by Stieg Larsson, but Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson. The sticker on the front cover boldly stated ‘Special Price £12.99’ but this Amazon user paid only £6.49 with free postage. I am glad I am not running an independent book shop struggling to make sales against that sort of discount. 

Asa Larsson was born in Uppsala and grew up in Kiruna, Sweden. Her first novel, The Savage Altar won the Swedish Crime Writers’ Association prize for best debut, the sequel, The Blood Spilt, was the Best Swedish Crime Novel of 2004.

You can read my review of her third book The Black Path hereAsa Larsson is a tax lawyer and one of her heroines is also a tax lawyer, Rebecka Martinsson, who joins forces with Police Inspector Anna -Maria Mella in her investigations. One of the clever bloggers on the FF forum [my apologies but I can’t remember who that was] pointed out that:

ReBECKa MARTINsson was possibly a tribute to Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo’s great detective Martin Beck.

In the last ten years from 2001-2010 only six Swedish crime writers have been short listed three times for the Best Swedish Crime Novel prize. And I suspect most people would find it difficult to name them without looking it up. Some of the biggest names are not among that select six who are:

Asa Larsson 2003, 2004*, 2008: Kjell Eriksson 2001, 2002*, 2003, 2004, 2005: Anders Roslund-Borge Hellstrom 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009*: Arne Dahl 2002, 2006, 2008: Hakan Nesser 2001, 2007*, 2009: Leif G.W.Persson 2002, 2003*, 2010* [* winner that year]

Whether you agree with the judges, or not, it is still good news that new books from all these authors are now available, or will be available in the next few months.  

In case you are wondering what acclaim your favourite Swedish crime fiction author received; Johan Theorin, still a very new writer, has won Best Swedish crime novel in 2008, Nordic Glass Key in 2009, and the CWA International Dagger in 2010. 

Roslund-Hellstrom as well as Best Swedish crime novel in 2009, won the Nordic Glass Key in 2005, and the 2011 CWA International Dagger. Karin Alvtegen won the Nordic Glass Key in 2001, and Stieg Larsson won Best Swedish crime novel in 2006, and the Nordic Glass Key in both 2006 and 2008!