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Interesting how opinions vary! In my case I have little patience for magic in novels....apart from Harry Potter of course. I do enjoy reading new-to-me authors, I have to admit most of them come from Euro Crime, either the International Dagger eligibles each year, or from books that get highlighted there.

I enjoyed the Herring Seller's Apprentice but I thought the joke had had its day in Ten Little Herrings.

I liked the Man from Beijing but Mankell isn't a new-to-me author so it did not make that particular list. Like you, I prefer other Scandinavians to Nesbo, he is too "ghoulish set-piece" for me, on balance. Very much agree on Simon Lelic.


Thanks for this, Maxine, and for the recommendations - Lelic and Miloszewski came from you.

All reviewing is subjective and these sort of lists particularly so. It is not just the book, it is about when you read it and where you read it. I read Library of Shadows mostly on flights in and out of Copenhagen - would I have enjoyed it as much if i was sitting at home? Or would the 'magic' have annoyed me. Possibly so. I read Ten Little Herrings over half a dozen train journeys after giving a series of quite challenging lectures, and appreciated something light and English. Would I have enjoyed Red Wolf as much if I didn't feel I know Annika quite well and wanted to catch up with an old 'colleague'? Perhaps I would have sniped more readily at Marklund's occasional clumsiness if I hadn't been smiling in recognition at the trivial details of her domestic life?

One way of assessing new writers is to ask whether one would read another novel by them; perhaps another, more rigorous test would be, which of these books can I envisage reading again?

I can easily see myself starting the Martin Beck series all over again (and would love to read one of the books Per Wahlöö wrote on his own). I am not sure I will return to any of the novels I mentioned here... but I am pretty sure my favourite read of 2010 (revealed soon!) will make that list.


Looking forward to seeing the winner! Glenn at his blog International Noir Fiction has reviewed one or two of the Wahloo standalones in the past few months.

Karen Russell

I have "Library" and "Redbreast" in my TBR pile so am glad you recommend them. I also had "Secret Speech" checked out from the library but returned it unread after reading your comments, echoed by another blogger I respect, given the other great books on my desk.

It sounds like you like "Darkest Room" more as time goes on -- I read Theorin's "Echoes" at your recommendation and liked it more!


Thanks, Karen - I have Fundraising the Dead on my TBR pile at your recommendation.

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