I live in Philadelphia, and there's was a pretty good article in the Inquirer about Swedish crime novels. Good stuff, so far. . . .


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Swiss???? Never heard of Swiss crime novels.
Swedes . . . Swiss . . . it's all the same thing ;)
Nope. The Swedes are in fact good!
As opposed to the Swiss who have no opinion either way. Any culture that celebrates the start of summer by holding an Alpine Beauty Contest for their dairy cows, complete with costumes and those darn bells needs a wagon-load of good crime novels.

Wait a minute, what's that, dear?...Oh, uhm, yes, I see. I am reminded that I sit here in Northern Wisconsin in the middle of the County Fair season, and I realize that I may have been a bit too hasty with my criticisms of the Swiss..... Never mind.
Actually the sounds of those cow bells are very nice.
A short distance across the border, in the German Allgau, also with plenty of cows, there is a mystery series about the Kempten police chief who has a great fondness for "Kaesespatzen." There are 3 or 4 of them by now, but I don't believe they have been translated.
I J Parker wrote:
"Swiss???? Never heard of Swiss crime novels"

Well, there are some! Friedrich Durrenmatt (who wrote 3, I think), Friedrich Glauser (who wrote several in the 1930s - 2 or 3 of which have been brought out by the wonderful Bitter Lemon Press - and who has a prize named after him), Martin Suter for someone more up to date. And, going back, one of my favourite books we studied in German class (but he's Swiss) is Jeremias Gotthelf's Die Schwarze Spinne - which I guess could be classed as supernatural noir :o) It's been a long time since I studied it at school but I still remember it - it was very creepy.

I'll also second Barfly's recommendation of Arnaldur Indridason - his books are superb. I also have several Scandinavians on my TBR pile that haven't been mentioned here or in the original article yet, but as I am not at home I can't remember who they all are but there are squillions - Karin Fossum, Liza Marklund, Henning Mankell, Sjowall and Wahloo, Leif Davidsen, Matti Joennsuu, Pernille Rygg, Asa Larsson, Ake Edwardson, Karin Alvtegen, Jo Nesbo, Anne Holt, Gunnar Staalsen...I've probably mangled about three quarters of those names!
Aw, shucks! My list of books to acquire just grew longer...
And I'd strongly second the recommendation of Glauser - I read Thumbprint not so long ago and it was really quite a startling book - in a good way.
I also studied some fabulous books for German A Level at school (A levels are UK exams for 18 year old school leavers). I did Metamorphosis by Kafka (?insect noir :). The Judge and His Hangman by Durenmatt, and The Jew's Beech, a nice little noir novella from IIRC 18th C about two brothers by Annette von Droste-Hulshoff.
How about "Read the Swedes"?

And it's not just the Swedes. Check out the Norwegians, too. And the one Icelandic writer whose police procedural series is available in English, Arnaldur Indridason. Pretty creative to set a series of murder mysteries in a country that averages less than one homicide a year.
Don't forget those Danes... my brother-in-law originates thereof!
Yes, Iceland is pretty peaceful, but since it rains 220 days a year and has 20 knot winds blowing off the North Atlantic, I think that a nation-wide systemic depression keeps most of the population pretty subduded. Save for New Year's Eve when they light three story high bon fires, each within eyesight of the next, around three quarters of the island nation. Then drunken young men challenge each other to race up and throw tin buckets sloshing full of kerosene into the towering infernos...for laughs.

I worked for the US Navy there for two years. The only report I ever heard of a gun being fired in anger was when a resident of Reykevick got tired of waiting for a space to open up in the national prison so he could start serving his time for some crime and so he borrowed his friend's shot gun and went into the square where they play life-sized chess and emptied both barrels into a the grassy slope next to the chess match.. He got to start his jail time the very next day.


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