Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where Roses Never Die (Varg Veum, #18)” as Want to Read:
Where Roses Never Die (Varg Veum, #18)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where Roses Never Die

(Varg Veum #18)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  880 ratings  ·  128 reviews
September 1977. Mette Misvær, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiration date for the sta ...more
Paperback, 285 pages
Published August 15th 2016 by Orenda Books (first published 2012)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where Roses Never Die, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Where Roses Never Die

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  880 ratings  ·  128 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Where Roses Never Die (Varg Veum, #18)
Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orenda
Suspenseful, intriguing and chilling - words that come instantly to mind when describing this gripping book - I thoroughly enjoyed "Where Roses Never Die" the 18th instalment in the Norwegian series featuring private investigator Varg Veum. This series has been around for many, many years and is obviously very successful to get to book number 18! Quite easily read as a standalone too, as this was my first venture into the series, I had no problems grasping Varg's history and with individual stor ...more
Varg Veum is back with a cold case that has strange ties to the present. It’s been almost 25 years since 3 year old Mette Misvaer went missing from her yard. With the statute of limitations looming, her mother Maja asks Veum to take one final crack at finding the truth.
It would be a welcome paycheque but before he signs on, Veum will need to make a few changes to his lifestyle. In the 3 years since his partner died, his only relationship has been with a bottle. If he can put the Aquavit back on
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Last year, I met Varg Veum. He was in the wonderful Nordic We Shall Inherit the Wind. Time has passed. Varg is back in When Roses Never Die. It is like the return of an old friend.

The Varg Veum series is written by Gunnar Staalesen, translated into English by Don Bartlett.

Varg Veum, the self titled lone wolf, is a bit of a mess. We last saw him in 1999, when his long term girlfriend was dying. It is now three years later. Varg is in need of a kick up the backside. He is a barely functioning alco
Renee (itsbooktalk)
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
slower paced mystery with flawed but very likable coming soon!
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Averse as I am to gushing, with some authors it’s difficult to remain completely objective when you have genuinely loved every single book that they have ever produced. Such is my problem- but a nice problem- with the venerable Mr Staalesen, and Where Roses Never Die, which merely compounds my adoration of this series to date.

As there is a deliciously dark twist in this book, I will not tarry long on the plot, but needless to say Staalesen once again employs his tactic of making the reader belie
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
September 1977. Mette Misvaer, a three-year-old girl disappears without a trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette's mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened ...more
Crime by the Book
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm somewhere between 3 - 3.5 stars on this one! I'm still processing my thoughts on it.... back soon with a little review :) ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Where Roses Never Die – Another Nordic Masterpiece

Gunnar Staalesen’s storytelling never fails to grip the reader and with his Private Investigator Varg Veum we have the ultimate defective detective. Staalesen’s stories and setting never fail to impress and his descriptive prose is crisp and clear like the air over the Fjords.

The story is set in 2002 when he is asked to investigate a case that is nearly 25 years old and not far from reaching Norway’s statute of limitations for any charges to be
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Where Roses Never Die is a crime thriller that had me hooked from the start.

Veum is an alcoholic that is struggling to function. When the mother of a girl who went missing years before comes in it gives Veum a purpose in life.

I really liked Veum, he is battling his own demons but he is someone that you want to cheer on and see him do well for himself. There are quite a few books out already featuring the character which I’m not quite hundred per cent if this is part of a series or a stand alone
Sharah McConville
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won 'Where Roses Never Die' by Gunnar Staalesen through Goodreads Giveaways. This is #18 in the Varg Veum series translated by Don Bartlett. It's the first book I've read in this Nordic Crime series about private investigator Veum and it was a great story. ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nearly twenty-five years ago toddler Mette Misvaer disappeared from the sandpit in which she'd been happily playing. Although the police have never officially closed the case, it's safe to say it's no longer active; besides, almost all of the cops who were involved in the case have since retired, so there's no one left with a personal interest in it. Accordingly, with the crime's statute of limitations about to expire, Mette's mother comes to PI Varg Veum and asks him to investigate the disappea ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
PI Varg Veum solves a 25 year old case of a missing girl. Much was concealed over the years to allow this to happen with a bit of wife swapping and young children observing the results and getting ideas of their own. This was a very difficult mystery to solve and thus more rewarding as the solution was probed and brought to light.
Varg earns his own well deserved sense of satisfaction at the end with a resolution to remain sober despite his own losses. Aquavit remains untouched.
I have the 19th b
Rachel Hall
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Gunnar Staalesen, the godfather of Nordic Noir, is on exemplary form with his eighteenth novel in the Varg Veum series and our protagonist is as dogged as ever and his social conscience just as much in evidence. The death of his long time partner Karin three years ago is still very much an open wound for Veum, and his descent into a state of alcohol fuelled morass is threatening to overwhelm him. Living from one bottle of aquavit to the next, "on the longest and darkest marathon of my life", it
Joanne Robertson
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you had asked me this time last year if I was a fan of Scandinavian crime fiction or Nordic noir then I would have responded with a "hell no!" even though I really liked tv shows such as The Killing and Wallender. But 2016 has opened my eyes to great examples of this genre that I would have kicked myself for missing out on otherwise, one of them being Where Roses Never Die. I am rather late to the party for this one though as 2017 will mark 40 years since this series began! Thankfully I don't ...more
Ken Fredette
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gunnar Staalesen did an outstanding job in his latest translated book in English called Where Roses Never Die. Varg Veum seem to go after all the right people to get answers. He solved a jewel robbery when the police didn't have any clues while working on a 25 year old kidnapping. Things seem to go his way even when he was confronted by thugs as he was on the phone with a policeman. Never ending mishaps. Its a good book to curl up with and I highly recommend it.

Having had 2 strokes, nothing stay
Meggy Chocolate'n'Waffles
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it

Sometimes, all you need is a good one whodunit in the form of a cold case and an investigation done the good old way.

The title attracted me first. Where Roses Never Die; poetic, tragic, and beautiful. Then the cover made me quiver with its cold colors. The mix definitely catches the eye and intrigues.

That's what the book is about: an intrigue. Poor Mette disappeared from a sandpit decades ago and as the case is about to get closed for good, her mother needs answers. PI are usually interesti

I profess I love Nordic thrillers, so was very excited to “accidentally” discover this series when scrolling through monthly deals on Amazon – and what could be more intriguing than an old cold case nobody has ever been able to solve? Even though I entered the series at #18 I had no problem at all connecting with the characters or following the story. Initially, PI Varg Veum appeared like your stereotypical flawed detective – a loner who drinks too much and struggles with his demons. I found out ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Great story. The story picks up a couple of years after the last novel. Varg Veum is recovering - and drinking too much. When a mother comes into his PI office to have him find out what happened to her daughter who went missing 25 years earlier. The time limit is almost up and she wants one last chance to find out what happened.
As Varg begins his investigation, coincidences seem to pop up. And Varg begins to ask questions that some people don;t want to answer. The mother is heartbroken and has n
Actual rating 4.5*

Where Roses Never Die is the 16th Varg Veum novel but this is the first I’ve read – in fact it’s the first proper Scandi-crime novel I’ve read! I know some people who are currently giving me a virtual slap for that comment! But you'll be pleased to know I'm sold! I've got a few Scandi-crime books sat patiently waiting on my kindle so I'll try not to put off reading them for too long.

I loved seeing the Norwegian letters ø and å scattered through the novel. Admittedly I have no
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
I'm not sure how I feel about this. When I started this, I thought this was a stand alone book but it's apparently #18 in the series. There were some things I didn't like and had hopes this would be a promising start but now there's a part of me that wonders if these are in the 18th installment, what must the other books be like? XD ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I didn't listen to it on audible. As a translated novel, the names of the characters are unusual and plentiful, so it is hard to keep track of all the characters. The narrator mumbles a bit as well. As for the story, it is as slow-paced as the 25-year-old mystery they are trying to solve. ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From the start of this story I could not get away from the feeling that I have read other novels where other authors have deal with this scenario: little girl goes missing from outside the house where she is playing while mother is keeping half an eye on her.

The cold case that Varg Veum tackles revealed little about the child's disappearance during the original investigation, apart from the fact that the investigators felt there was something about the community that they weren't quite getting.
Stacy GeekRemixALot
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-thriller
This book was middle of the road for me. There were parts of it I really enjoyed, but there were also parts where I found myself struggling to pay attention. I listened to this on Audible, and during one part a lot of characters are introduced in a very short period of time, and I very quickly lost track of who everyone was and how they related to each other. Perhaps if I had been reading it, it might have been easier? Story-wise the book is solid, though the protagonist isn't nearly as well-dev ...more
Renita D'Silva
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was okay, which is the very definition of Goodreads' two stars. Isn't that lucky? ...more
Jeremy Megraw
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on Crime Fiction Lover:

It’s been three years since private eye Bergen PI Varg Veum tragically lost his girlfriend in We Shall Inherit the Wind. In the 19th book in the series – which began back in 1977 – the detective is seen wandering around the town, soul-searching from the bottom of a bottle of aquavit, unaware that a bold jewelry heist is going down nearby. Now a functional drunk, Veum is not aware of much these days, other than his own inner torment. Down on his luck and s
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As you may be aware, I have a habit at the moment of coming to a series several books in. I tend to start with book two or (heaven forbid!) book six. I think this book and it’s beleaguered lead, PI Varg Veum, takes the biscuit though. Gunnar Staalesen has been writing about Veum since 1977! Granted, only a handful of his novels have been translated from their original Norwegian to English, but I intend to hunt down every single one of them!

It’s 1977 and a young girl is snatched whilst playing in
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Having heard of Gunnar’s first book, We Shall Inherit The Wind, but not having gotten around to read it I jumped at the chance to read Where Roses Never Die as it sounded brilliant, and I was not disappointed!!!

The book begins with Veum meeting Mette’s mother 25 years after her daughter’s disappearance. She implores him to take a look into the case before the statute of limitations is up on the investigation. What ensues is a spellbinding narrative that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go.


That was not the ending I was expecting. Wow. However, I found the ending to be rather rushed through. The conclusion kind of came out of left field, how did Veum know what happened so quickly?! Where did he get the idea from?! Then the book just, ended. It was over. Hence the reason for me giving four stars opposed to five.

The book in its entirety was pretty good. I definitely enjoyed it. I would lump this in with “police procedurals” only because Veum, the main character, is a private investig
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Where Roses Never Die is an excellent, satisfying slice of Scandi-crime. Varg Veum has been around for a long time, but although this book is well on into the series, there was no problem reading it without knowing any of Varg's background. He put me in mind of Inspector Rebus with his determination to solve the crime. In this book, he is investigating a cold case involving a missing child before the 25 year statute of limitations is reached. Staalesen has written a well-paced book which I was c ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add/update details 3 11 Jan 04, 2017 11:08AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Winterkill (Dark Iceland #6)
  • Winter Grave (Embla Nyström, #2)
  • Jakthundene (William Wisting, #8)
  • Dregs (William Wisting, #6)
  • The Courier
  • The Lowering Days
  • Broadway
  • Victim 2117 (Department Q, #8)
  • Blackout (Dark Iceland #3)
  • Daughter from the Dark
  • Echoes from the Dead (The Öland Quartet #1)
  • Call Me Princess (Louise Rick #2)
  • Hunting Game (Embla Nyström, #1)
  • Rupture (Dark Iceland #4)
  • Cataractes
  • A Strange Kind of Comfort
  • Gallows Rock (Children's House #4)
  • Knock Knock (Ewert Grens, #9)
See similar books…
Gunnar Staalesen is a Norwegian writer. Staalesen has a cand.philol degree from Universitetet i Bergen and he has worked at Den Nationale Scene, the main theater in Bergen.

Other books in the series

Varg Veum (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Das Haus mit der grünen Tür (Varg Veum, #1)
  • Yours Until Death (Varg Veum, #2)
  • Tornerose sov i hundre år (Varg Veum, #3)
  • Kvinnen i kjøleskapet (Varg Veum, #4)
  • At Night All Wolves Are Grey (Varg Veum, #5)
  • Der Hexenring. Varg Veum Ermittelt  (Varg Veum, #6)
  • Black Sheep (Varg Veum, #7)
  • Anges Dechus (Varg Veum, #8)
  • Bitre Blomster (Varg Veum, #9)
  • Begravde Hunder Biter Ikke (Varg Veum, #10)

Related Articles

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
136 likes · 21 comments