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Murder at the Savoy (Martin Beck #6)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,483 ratings  ·  97 reviews
When Viktor Palmgren, a powerful industrialist, is shot during an after-dinner speech, the repercussions - both on the international money markets and on the residents of the small coastal town of Malmö - are widespread. Chief Inspector Martin Beck is called in to help catch a killer nobody, not even the victim, was able to identify. He begins a systemic search for the fri ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published 2007 by HarperPerennial (first published 1970)
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Viktor Palmgren died at seven-thirty-three on Thursday evening. As recently as half an hour before the official declaration of death, the doctors involved in his case said that his constitution was strong and the much-discussed general condition not so serious.
On the whole, the only thing wrong with him was that he had a bullet in his head.

Those Swedes! Their reputation as dour, gloomy, manic-depressive only serves to hide a wicked sense of humour, a deadpan delivery that hits you usuall
Aug 31, 2012 Brad rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pinko-Swedes
All six forewords for all six Martin Beck books I've read (in order) have made much of the authors' Marxist backgrounds. I can't remember who wrote what and what they wrote exactly, but most of them are quick to warn readers of Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö politics, then -- most times -- they are just as quick to let us know that those politics rarely intrude on on their writing, so we readers shouldn't have any problem enjoying their mysteries.

The writers of the forewords talk a lot about thei
The husband and wife team of political activists turned mystery writers, Sjowall & Wahloo, really crank up the social commentary in this sixth chapter in their The Story of a Crime series featuring Martin Beck. It's noticeable because there's very little in the way of crime or police procedural writing and more discussion on the failings of Swedish society in the late 1960's; this time the spoiling of nature by commerce, the government approval of an "illegal" arms trade, the inferior qualit ...more
I have tremendously enjoyed reading the books in this series. Up until now. I have to say that this sixth entry in the ten-book series left me scratching my head as to why they even bothered. It seemed as though the authors were simply phoning it in and were not really engaged by the story they were telling.

The "mystery" took a back seat to Sjowall's and Wahloo's exploration of Swedish society and all that (they felt) was wrong with it back in the 1960s when they were writing. Reading about the
Book six. A high profile businessman, Viktor Palmgren, who is shot to death while addressing colleagues at a dinner in the Savoy Hotel in Malmö. It is unclear whether the non-descript killer's motive was political (anti-capitalism), commercial or criminal. Martin Beck is dispatched from Stockholm to run the investigation and works again with Per Mansson, with whom he has worked in previous novels. Ava Torell, former girlfriend of a murdered detective, makes an important contribution to the crime ...more
I know that Sjowall and Wahloo pioneered the Swedish procedural, and I know, as well, that pioneers often work within a framework that's much more limited than what we are used to. As such, it's not hard to imagine that these mysteries were ground-breaking at the time they came out. They depict a society growing anxious about its own safety, about the efficacy of its police, and about the trust-worthiness of its own home-grown businesses and elite classes. The clash between classes is more appar ...more
Nancy Oakes
In the city of Malmo, which lies across the Baltic from the coast of Denmark, a group of people are having dinner together at the Savoy hotel. A man enters the dining room and shoots one of them, a wealthy industrialist who promptly falls into a plate of mashed potatoes that surround a fish casserole. The shooter leaves through a window and he's gone. With very little clues as to the killer's identity, the police begin to focus on the dead man, Victor Palmgren, and his associates. Things become ...more
I've been going through this series and had read the first five. Reviews of this one had been a little dodgy, so (impatient as I often am these days) I skipped ahead to #7 and was thoroughly disappointed - finding it the weakest of all. So that one sat on my TBR for quite awhile.

That was a mistake. This is an almost flawless police procedural and one of the best in the series. I could quibble about one or two points (and deduct half a point), but it would constitute a spoiler, so I'll just give
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Maria João Fernandes
"We maintain law and order here. This isn't Stockholm."

"Murder at the Savoy", o sexto livro da série do Martin Beck, mantém o mesmo estilo de narrativa sarcástico, perspicaz e introspectivo que os volumes anteriores.

É Verão e os habitantes de Estocolmo mantêm as suas rotinas sob o sol excessivamente quente que se faz sentir. O número de crimes na cidade aumentou e a violência parece ser despoletada pelas temperaturas elevadas. Apesar disso, Martin Beck está, como quase sempre, constipado!

Roderick Hart
This is the sixth book in the Martin Beck series, and the murder in question is that of a businessman, Viktor Palmgren, who is addressing colleagues at a dinner in the Savoy Hotel, Malmö. The murder has the appearance of a professional hit, so the emphasis at first is on whether the murder is political or commercial. Two detectives are mainly involved, Per Månsson, the local man, and Martin Beck, drafted in from Stockholm. They have worked together before and get on well. Two other detectives ar ...more
Ben Thurley
Murder at the Savoy begins with a striking scene –a man dining in a restaurant is shot in the head, but continues to speak, even with a bullet lodged in his skull. Elements of the precise and blackly comic description of the crime signal concerns around class and status which will become important in the novel:
The bullet struck the speaker just behind the left ear, and he fell forward on to the table, his left cheek in the crenellated mashed potatoes around an exquisite fish casserole a la Frans
Ruth Ann
This book was published in 1971 so it is obviously dated with police interviews being recorded on spools of tape, police surveillance of subjects interrupted with having to leave the scene to phone in hourly reports, and nearly everyone smoking cigarettes. There is also a gratuitous sex episode but it is after all taking place in Sweden. The police are portrayed as bumbling idiots although there are a handful of exceptions. There are a number of what we would now call politically incorrect refer ...more
Allan MacDonell
The Stockholm homicide dicks, and their Norwegian counterparts, are more torpid and in greater need of Paxil or Wellbutrin or Prozac intervention than ever in Murder at the Savoy, the sixth number in Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s ten-novel Story of Crime. The inconsequential investigations precipitated by the one-shot slaying at the center of Savoy peter out during Scandinavia’s long, hot summer weeks. The days are leaden and sweat-laden, and everyone with any self-motivation is off on vacation i ...more
My first Martin Beck mystery. Will I need my passport to be able to read future novels? The Beck novels helped introduce the Scandinavian policeman to the American audience. I find the Norse detective more intriguing than the American gumshoe. The authors used the Beck books to showcase but also disect Swedish society which is an interesting subject in itself. Will certainly read more of the Beck stories.
Martin Beck #3 (The Man on the Balcony) was one of the bleakest books I've read, both in its grim ending and in Beck's grim personal life. This one, #6, sees Beck's life looking up a little, finally, but the resolution of the murder is almost as bleak. Sjowall and Wahloo have a way of setting up what seems to be an exciting movie-like thriller mystery and gradually deflating it into a sad glimpse into a more real, less exciting, and infinitely sadder world. I think this book went along quicker t ...more
Chiara aka la viandante dei libri
Omicidio sorprendente
La dinamica dell'omicidio e la modalità di fuga dell'assassino è altamente improbabile. Da leggere con un sorriso scettico e disincantato per alcune ingenuità. Ciò che rende eccezionale questo libro è la critica alle politiche lavorative e alle diseguaglianze, ancor oggi attuali. Incredibile!
Somewhere between three and four stars, I think. I am still struggling with the idea of a Communist critique of the welfare state and a nationalised police force which is allegedly behind these novels. The wicked capitalist, and the effects of what he & his corporation have done, is clear, and in a sense leads to his downfall in this book (although the downtrodden worker is the one who will end up in prison, while others continue to profit). I like the overall picture of members of the polic ...more
Martin Beck is a Swedish police investigator, and he is the protagonist in ten crime novels written between 1965 & 1975. This story is set in 1969, and it is as compelling today as it was then. The translation is excellent. Beck is investigating the assassination of a crooked and ruthless business executive. His skills are old-fashioned police techniques, primarily an acute sense of observation. The husband & wife authors skillfully marbled into the plot some bittersweet humor, and an un ...more
Bättre än jag hade räknat med. Jag har i hela mitt liv försökt undvika att se Beck filmer (något som inte alltid har varit så lätt) Så när jag insåg att det fanns en Beck-roman på läslistan i Litteraturvetenskap kan jag inte påstå att jag var särskilt taggad att läsa den.
Men den var faktiskt helt ok, lite irriterande med miljoner olika poliser och lika många vittnen att hålla reda på och när det sedan slutar på det sättet kan man ju fråga sig om det värt att etablera alla olika karaktärerna
Another beautifully paced police procedural from the respected writers Sjowall & Wahloo. Murder at the Savoy is a investigation with political inferences and sensitive to Swedish relations oversees that Beck is sent from Stockholm to lead the team of detectives in Malmo.
Reflecting the growing social divisions without ever promoting a political agenda the story demonstrates a multitude of criminal behaviour including the unfortunate demise of a leading industrialist.
In the process the story d
The sixth book by the duo of Sjowall and Wahloo, is at times reminiscent of an episode of American T.V. favourite, "Columbo".
It feels this way, because it features the upper echelons of Swedish society, rather than the lower-class drug-dealers, drink-abusers and sex-criminals. It never does manage to veer totally away from this world however, as high-class prostitution plays a role, and the solution to the crime is not without a connection to the lower-class neighbourhoods.

Here we find an assasi
I think I know now what I love so much about the Martin Beck mystery series by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahlöö. The pace is slow, the writing is clear, and the main characters are worthy and thoughtful. There is humor, the sort of bumbling slapstick inspired by a not-too-bright police force overworked and underpaid. There is sarcasm and cynicism, all of it deserved, however, and served in small doses. There is also a point of view that is heroically on the side of the common man, with all his failure ...more
Steve Dennie
Murder at the Savoy is the sixth book (of 10 total) in the Martin Beck series, by Swedes Maj Sjowal and Per Wahloo. The series has ten books in all, written from 1965-1975. While Martin Beck is the main character, he’s not a dominant lead; most of the books scatter the story among an ensemble cast.

Murder at the Savoy begins with a man walking into a dinner gathering and shooting, in the head, a powerful Swedish industrialist named Viktor Palmgren. He then escapes through a window.

The assassinati
A naked woman was dredged up from the bottom of Sweden's beautiful Lake Vattern one July day. Where had she come from? How had she got there? And why? . . . a rash of brutal muggings and child sex-murders with the elusive mugger perhaps the only person in Stockholm to have seen the murderer . . . the search for a hard-drinking well-known Swedish journalist in Budapest, who has vanished without a trace . . . eight people were shot to death in a Stockholm bus, with one of the dead being an ambitio ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Murder at the Savoy, byMaj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö, B-plus, Narrated by Tom Weiner, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

This is number 6 in the Martin Beck series. These books are wonderful for so many reasons. First, although written in the 1960’s, there is very little that is dated by time. Second, all the policemen are eccentric characters, and Martin Beck doesn’t even really stand out as the major figure in these books. The books have a very understated irony which is rich.
My first taste of the Martin Beck series was pleasurable. The writing is understated and ironical. The use of policing as a means to reflect on the state of society also gets a star from me, for a policeman always sees those sides of a city's life that are non-existent for most people or are conveniently shoved under the carpet of respectability by others.

Though it's set in 1960s Sweden, it could be true of any society today. I also like that though it's a Martin Beck novel, Beck is not a larger
Long before Steig Larsson, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo and all the other great Scandinavian mystery writers, the husband & wife authors Per Wahloo and Mag Sjowall wrote a compelling series of novels in the late 1960s and early '70s with detective Martin Beck as their protagonist. Without question, they forged the template for the Nordic noir to follow. With their leftist leanings as the underpinning of their plotlines, they told their stories of a broken society and a government helpless to do ...more
May 26, 2010 Sandie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandie by: Sylvia
Shelves: mystery
Scandinavian mysteries are all the rage now, but this series from the 1970s much tamer than the more contemporary ones. I am thinking of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when I write this. It was interesting to me because of the Swedish setting and customs. There is some humor among the policemen on the case.
Victor Palmgren, a powerful Swedish industrialist is shot during an after dinner speech a the Hotel Savoy in Malmo. When the detective Martin Beck looks into his background he finds an inte
This might be one of the funniest books I've ever read.

That might seem strange seeing as the title in English is the gruesome and somewhat Christe-like "Murder at the Savoy". The original Swedish title is much funnier: "Police, police, potato-mash", which is a word play on the children rhyme "police police potato-pig" (police/pig, polis/gris, obviously rhymes better in Swedish). This title ties into a fantastic scene where the higher ranking officer Gunvald Larsson gives a fantastic speech comp
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Maj Sjöwall is a Swedish author and translator. She is best known for the collaborative work with her partner Per Wahlöö on a series of ten novels about the exploits of Martin Beck, a police detective in Stockholm. In 1971, the fourth of these books, The Laughing Policeman (a translation of Den skrattande polisen, originally published in 1968) won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America ...more
More about Maj Sjöwall...
Roseanna (Martin Beck #1) The Laughing Policeman (Martin Beck #4) The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (Martin Beck #2) The Man on the Balcony (Martin Beck, #3) The Locked Room (Martin Beck #8)

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