Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beyond Agatha Christie

Mysteries have always been my favorite genre, and British mysteries are what I guess you might call my favorite sub-genre. However, much as I love reading and re-reading Agatha Christie, I'm always on the lookout for something new. Recently I have branched out into mysteries that not only feature faraway locations, but are also translated into English from the original language. I just finished Woman with Birthmark, a great revenge tale by Swedish author Hakan Nesser, featuring Inspector Van Veeteran. (Imagine a Stockholm based 87th precinct.) I wish an audio version were available so that I could hear how all the Swedish town names were pronounced. I'm also reading a very funny fiction book, Doghead, by Morten Ramsland, translated from the Danish. It came highly recommended by my friend and former co-worker, Jeanne, who I can always count on for great suggestions.

Have you read any good mysteries lately? If you're looking for something a little bit different, try some of these books and broaden your horizons.

Murder on the Leviathan - Boris Akunin (Russian) - Inspector Erast Fandorin
The Paper Moon - Andrea Camilleri (Italian) - Inspector Montalbano in Sicily
A Widow in Copacabana - L.A. Garcia-Roza (Portugese)
The Spoke - Friedrich Glauser (German)
Bethlehem Raod - Batya Gur (Hebrew)
The Final Bet - Abdelilah Hamdouchi (Arabic) - Casablanca
Double Blank - Yasmina Khadra (French) - Algiers
A Not So Perfect Crime - Teresa Solana (Catalan) Spain

Linda Knorr - Readers' Services


Anonymous said...

I don't read a lot of mysteries, but I really enjoyed Elizabeth George's With No One as Witness. George is an American writer but she sets her mysteries in Britain. There is also an excellent TV series, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, based on her books.

Jeanne said...

I have to recommend The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Translated from the Swedish, this mystery/thriller tackles family secrets and financial journalism and keeps you reading late into the night.

Joanne said...

I've enjoyed reading Scandinavian mysteries ever since I read Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg. I want to put a word in for Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallandar Swedish detective series. I just saw a Swedish film production of Before the Frost on channel 20. It was dubbed but I think the Swedish language and actors add to the authenticity. I see that Kenneth Branagh is the English language Wallander coming to channel 11. I don't know if I like him for the part of the moody midlife challenged Wallander. The series is a great way to learn about Sweden and Europe.

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