Tag Archives: Scandinavian crime fiction

Tickets on sale for Nordic Noir Book Club event featuring Jorn Lier Horst, Lone Theils and Stefan Ahnhem

Join us for an all-Scandinavian evening of thrilling bestselling crime fiction with Jorn Lier Horst (Norway), Lone Theils (Denmark) and Stefan Ahnhem (Sweden). Prepare for battle, as the authors and audience engage in the historic sibling rivalry of the Scandinavian countries to decide, once and for all, which of the Scandinavian countries is more “Nordic Noir”.

When: Monday 22 May 2017, 6:00pm – 9:00pm (Event starts at 7:00pm, but if you arrive at 6:00 food is available to order, as there is a delivery service to the table at Juju’s from Poppies Fish and Chips across the road)

Where: JuJu’s Bar and Stage at the Old Truman Brewery. Access is from Ely’s Yard, Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR.

Tickets: Tickets are available from Eventbrite at £5. Please purchase your tickets here.

Jorn Lier Horst will present his latest novel When It Grows Dark (Sandstone Press), a prequel to his now 10-volume William Wisting series.

Lone Theils will present her debut novel about the journalist Nora Sand, Fatal Crossing (Arcadia) – a true Scandinavian crime novel, which takes place mostly in the UK.

Stefan Ahnhem will present the second instalment in his Fabian Risk series, The Ninth Grave (Head of Zeus).

The event will also feature the launch of the founder of the Nordic Noir Book Club, Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen’s book Scandinavian Crime Fiction (Bloomsbury).

Books will be available for purchase from Newham Books and for signing at the event.

Please check back on the blog for more information about the event, the authors and their books; and please contact Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (j.stougaard-nielsen@ucl.ac.uk) if you have questions about the event.

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Filed under book club, Danish crime fiction, London events, Nordic Crime Fiction Event, Norwegian crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction, Swedish crime fiction

Scandinavian Crime Fiction – The Book

scancrimefiction-frontpageMy book, Scandinavian Crime Fiction, has now been published by Bloomsbury. On the Nordic Noir Book Club blog, you can find information about the book, learn about how the book came into being, read reviews and, not least, find out how to purchase a copy with a Book Club discount.

Click here to visit the Book page on the NNBC Blog

In other news, the Book Club is working on a new London event scheduled for late May featuring crime writers from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Follow us on Facebook and on the blog to receive further news about the event and early access to tickets.


Filed under Crime Research, Scandinavian crime fiction

The Glass Key 2014 goes to…

Gard Sveen with Jørn Lier Horst

Gard Sveen with Jørn Lier Horst

The Scandinavian Crime Foundation (SKS) has the pleasure of announcing that their great award, The Glass Key 2014, will be awarded to the Norwegian author, Gard Sveen, for his novel ”Den siste pilegrimen” (The Last Pilgrimage).

This is his debut novel, and is thus the first in a planned series about the investigative detective, Tommy Bergmann, who is trying to piece together a connection between a murder during the summer of 2003 and a skeletal finding from World War II.

Not only has he won the Glass Key as a debutante author – he also won the Riverton Award. This is the first debutante who is awarded with both awards since Jo Nesbø in 1998.

Gard Sveen (1969-) is the senior adviser in the Norwegian Department of Defense.

The other nominees for this year’s Glass Key was:
Simon Pasternak (Denmark)
Reijo Mäki: Sherrifi (Finland)
Christoffer Carlsson: (Sweden)
(Iceland did not have a candidate this year)

This year, at the crime festival, Krimimessen, the three candidates from Norway, Sweden and Denmark were introduced to the enthusiastic readers, along with last year’s winner, Jørn Lier Horst.

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Danish Book Launch: Murder in the Dark and Conversation with the Translator – video

In partnership with Norvik Press, the Nordic Noir book club held a reception at University College London on 4th November 2013 to celebrate the publication of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the Dark. The book’s translator Mark Mussari took part in an interactive Q&A during the event, live via video link from the USA. You can watch the full video below (27 minutes).

The video Q&A was hosted by UCL’s new PhD student in Danish-English Translation Studies, Ellen Kythor, and the launch was made possible with support from the university’s School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

You can purchase Murder in the Dark now via the Norvik Press website.


Filed under Danish crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Danish Book Launch: Murder in the Dark and Conversation with the Translator

In partnership with Norvik Press, the next Nordic Noir book club event will be a reception to celebrate the publication of Dan Turèll’s Murder in the Dark, translated by Mark Mussari. turellcover

Murder in the Dark is the first in Danish author Turèll’s ‘Murder’ series. The scruffy, unconventional anti-hero narrator is a journalist with a warm wit, who drinks to excess, is desperate to be loved, yet revels in being an outsider – the author strongly denied he was based on himself, though the parallels are striking! The series takes place in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, depicted as a grotty crime-ridden underworld full of brothels, dodgy bars, and drug dens. The book opens with a mysterious 3.30am phone call from a strange voice telling the narrator to come – now – to an address on Saxogade. When he wakes again at a more reasonable hour, the narrator contacts the police:

I had to say my name twice – and give them my social security number once – before they took me seriously.

And that they certainly did. In authoritative tone, the voice in Cafe Freden’s payphone asked me to appear at Police Inspector Ehlers’ office in Halmtorvet as soon as possible.

I told them I would be there in fifteen minutes.

I spent twelve of those minutes on two bitters and two cups of even more scalding hot coffee. I spent the final three minutes walking the twenty meters to the police station at Halmtorvet, as slowly as possible. I’ve always hated spending my free time in police stations.

Translator Mark Mussari will be taking part in an interactive Q&A via video link for the event, so we would like to get some questions from book club members about his experience translating this classic crime novel. You can suggest questions in a number of ways: post a comment here, tweet @nordicnoir, or comment on our Facebook page.

The launch takes place on Monday 4th November 2013 at University College London. The event is free, but please RSVP by 5pm on Wednesday 30th October to Ellen Kythor at norvikevents@gmail.com.

If you can’t make it, the translator’s Q&A will be available on YouTube soon after – watch this space for details!

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Filed under Danish crime fiction, Scandinavian crime fiction

Crime, Myth, Cooking – The Scandis are coming to London

Yet another opportunity to join discussions about what Scanidnavia is and means, and why Nordic Noir has received so much attention in Britain over the recent years. Nordic Noir’s very own ‘honorary crime expert’ Barry Forshaw will be there – and the organisers at Voice have put together a fun programme that goes well beyond the noir to include Nordic Mythology and cooking.

We have Snorri Kristjansson, the Icelandic author of Norse Mythology Epic Swords of Good Men, Signe Johansen the Norwegian author of cookbook and lifestyle guide Scandilicious, and Barry Forshaw, Scandinavian Crime Fiction commentator and writer coming to VOICE on the 20th August to discuss Scandinavian culture and writing, and to ask what it is about Scandinavia that captures our imaginations. Is it the forbidding landscape and bleak weather, or the warriors colder than the Baltic sea? Perhaps it’s the inhumanly calculating criminals or the hard bitten, self sufficient detectives? Maybe what we really love is the simplicity of Scandinavian food and lifestyle and the independence of its outlook, the juxtaposition of violence and crime with one of the safest, most civilized groups of countries in the world? Maybe we just like reading about countries colder than our own? We want to try and find out – but just in case the discussion gets too earnest and worthy, writers Stu Heritage and Robyn Wilder of Luv and Hat have agreed to return to offer their own view on the theme. As well as the usual well stocked bar, there’ll be bar food for those of you who are peckish. We’ll send round a bar menu soon. Also Tom, inspired by the Scandinavian theme, will be creating his own Scandinavian cocktail for the evening so make sure you don’t miss that. Don your wooly jumper and snow boots and come and join us in the august surroundings of the Broadway House Members club in Fulham Broadway. Listen, learn, meet, drink and decide for yourself.”

Check out the Facebook page for the event and tickets. Hope to see our Nordic Noir friends at this event.

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Nordic Noir Book Club interviewed for Greek newspaper

Dear Nordic Noir, we are mistaken if we believe the current wave of interest in Scandinavain Crime Fiction is merely a British or Northern-European one. I have recently been interviewed by a Greek newspaper, and the questions and my answers are below. I know, there is not much new here for most of you – but I would certainly like to read some comments on my answers.

–    Do you believe that the contrast between the peaceful life of reality and the violent behavior of the book characters is what makes Scandinavian crime fiction so special in the first place?

On the one hand I would say yes. I believe that people are at first drawn to the ‘Scandinavian paradox’ of seemingly being flooded with crime fiction depicting violent crimes, corruption at all levels of society, violence against women etc., and, at the same time,  still being stereotypically pleasant countries with the highest living standards in the world, egalitarian democracies with universal welfare, lowest rates of corruption and, according to the Eurobarometer, the highest level of subjective wellbeing and happiness. Maybe the crime fiction coming out of Scandinavia appeals to Scandinavian and non-Scandinavian readers exactly because the fictive corruption, violence and misery is depicted in a context where such things are comparatively rare. I also believe that Scandinavian crime writers explicitly use the context of the universal welfare state to deal with issues relating more to general life situations, to social issue, interpersonal issues, with the genre of crime fiction as a form or genre that merely works as a catalyst for saying more general and maybe transnational things about modern existence, responsibilities, globalising forces and pressures – put more simply, Scandinavian crime fiction, while driven by a strong tradition of storytelling and in many cases excellent uses of melodramatic techniques, it is simply a genre that, at its best, deals with ordinary people in extraordinary situations, with the everyday, with relationships, with balancing careers and families. Therefore, a kind of literature that is both very local and global.

–    After all, we can find many reasons why Scandinavian crime fiction is probably the best nowadays but is there one reason above all?

I am not sure, I would say that Scandinavian crime fiction is the best crime fiction available. Luckily, we are in Britain witnessing a surge in the translation and publishing of wonderful crime fiction from a number of countries that have not before been available. I think the Scandinavian crime wave has been instrumental in furthering this interest, and I think there are a few really world class writers coming out of Scandinavia. A main reason for why some of the Scanindavian crime writing certainly measure against the very best in this global genre is its mix, as I said above, of well-crafted suspense and social-critical realism, the latter of which has a very strong tradition in Scandinavia going back to Georg Brandes and Henrik Ibsen at the end of the 19th century.

–    All these novels reveal aspects (political and social) of Scandinavian life that an average reader from abroad couldn’t imagine. How do people of Scandinavia feel about that?

I do believe, though, that the political and social issues raised in many of the Scandinavian crime novels (personal issues such as how to make a relationship work, balancing work and family, responsibilities towards your children and elderly parents, and more social issues such as financial and political corruption, social inequality, gender inequality) are recognizable in most other cultures and countries as central issues in contemporary peoples’ lives. It may be a surprise to readers abroad to learn that Scandinavian’s, despite the universal welfare states and high quality of living, have major concerns about their own countries and their place in an increasingly globalised world. But if you have read a few novels or seen some movie adaptations, you realize that Scandinavians share many of the concerns of other people, and they do write about them. I guess it would also not really be interesting in a crime novel to read too much about how pleasant life is in Scandinavia in terms of welfare and well-being. Scandinavian’s are concerned about the changes happening to their lives, states and cultures, about divisions in their societies – and naturally they and their authors feel that such problems and issues should be turned into stories and art with the hope of bettering the society.

–    Can we find a connection between the modern Scandinavian crime fiction and the rich literary tradition of Scandinavia?

As mentioned above there is a strong tradition for Cultural Radicalism in Scandinavian going back to Georg Brandes and Ibsen, a sense of artistic obligation to debate current issues and problems in the society. Authors in Scandinavia have since then periodically been asked to contribute to developing the societies and the welfare states by directing their fiction towards real life issues. In Scandinavia, artistic social engagement is to most people a merit. There is naturally also a strong tradition for genre fiction and storytelling in Scandinavia going back to the Icelandic sagas and folk tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Selma Lagerlöf, Karen Blixen and Astrid Lindgren etc. The mixture of storytelling, the fantastic, the uncanny and the social engagement may be a way to understanding why quite many Scandinavian crime writers experience great success with readers today.

–    Do you believe that without Stieg Larsson all this conversation would never have happened? Did the Millennium trilogy change the way readers face the Scandinavian crime fiction?

I do believe that Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy was the most significant reason for why Scandinavian crime fiction broke through on a grand scale to the English speaking market. However, Scandinavian crime writers have for decades been very popular in the German market and in other continental markets, but its global success is surely due to Stieg Larsson. The reason why the Nordic Noir Crime wave has not receded is because there was so much good crime writing in Scandinavia just waiting to be translated, now that Larsson had paved the way. And new interesting authors keep appearing as well. But, I think it is safe to say, that without the Larsson trilogy, this would not have happened in quite the same massive way it has.


Filed under Scandinavian crime fiction