Scandinavian Mysteries discussion

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Jar City = Journey To Iceland

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message 1: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) I thoroughly enjoy the works of Arnaldur Indriðason and will read every book he ever writes. I am currently enjoying Operation Napoleon.

Tonight I watched 'Jar City' on Netflix. I can 'feel' these books on a whole new level now and think I will re-read everything. I have a whole new sense of Iceland. It is next on my list of new destinations.


message 2: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments We read his books prior to a two week vacation to Iceland. It is an amazing place. Like every national park jammed together in one place.


message 3: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments Wow, we went to Iceland last summer as well and while being there I wanted to read something connected with this place but at the same time an easy-read, as obviously after driving a whole day, it's hard to focus on something more involving. Anyway, I've bought The draining lake by A. Indridason. I've heard very positive comments on his books so I had a go at it. And... honestly I was a bit disappointed. The story itself was fine, but it lacked some darkness, austerity. The severe of the country itself was not enough for me. Specially that I am - I would say not humbly:p - quite acquainted with Scandinavian literature and its background. Nevertheless, I'm considering another try with his books, just to see if maybe this one was not particularly attractive for me. Maybe you have some suggestions?


message 4: by Grant (last edited Nov 01, 2010 07:39PM) (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) I am not objective when it comes to the works of Arnaldur Indriðason!!! :-) He is easily one of my favorite Scandinavian authors. I'd urge you to try another one.

I am presently reading Operation Napoleon and very much enjoying it. It isn't one of the 'Erlendur' books however although he has a cameo!!!

I'm fairly new to this genre and still discovering new authors. I'm happy to see that I have a lot of reading ahead of me and a cold, dark Canadian winter in which to do it! :-)


message 5: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments To be honest, I'm a big fan of Scandinavian literature (specially, thrillers, mysteries). That's why I was a bit disappointed. Nevertheless, I should have another go at his work. Maybe the one that you are reading at the moment, maybe I didn't get convinced by Erlendur's character. Anyway, I strongly recommend to delve into the subject. If I may suggest something - unless you have already read this one - Smilla's Sense of Snow is my absolute favourite!

Canadian winter sounds serious. I was wondering if maybe you could recommend some Canadian authors of mysteries (although I guess this is not the best group for it :p). It's a complete terra incognita for me.


message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill (jillbert) | 1 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I agree about The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indrioason. It lacked intrique and certainly suspense. I have read all his books except his new one and I sure suggest you try all the others. Oh and ho..."

And I "third" the comments about The Draining Lake. I loved the series until I was midway through TDL and then I closed the book and returned it to the library and don't think I'll continue. So disappointed!


message 7: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Cannot find Operation Napoleon? Suggestions?


message 8: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments found two copies from an Amazon bookseller. Oct 2010 publishing date. (Operation Napoleon by Indriason)


message 9: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments Daga wrote: "Canadian winter sounds serious. I was wondering if maybe you could recommend some Canadian authors of mysteries (although I guess this is not the best group for it."

Not that it is very Canadian, but about half of Kathy Reichs "Bones" books take place in Canada. But other than the occassional French they seem very American. But that could be because I am here in South Canada (aka Minnesota).


message 10: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments The Draining Lake was my wife's favorite oddly enough. I like the Erlundur well enough but I favor Mankell (and Nesbo) overall for my Nordic Noir.

If you really want a feel for Iceland, in a non mystery, then you got to read Haldor Laxness. Independent People or World Light is where I would start.


message 11: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments David wrote: If you really want a feel for Iceland, in a non mystery, then you got to read Haldor Laxness. Independent People or World Light is where I would start.

I've read The Iceland's bell and The Christianity under the Glacier by Laxness. Indeed, it's very Icelandic, very rough, which I like actually. From the mysteries or maybe rather thriller I enjoyed Yrsa Sigurdardottir's Last Rituals.

David wrote:I favor Mankell (and Nesbo) overall for my Nordic Noir
I still haven't understood the phenomenon of Mankell. Maybe again the one I read was not the best one, nevertheless, I find it hard to force myself and give him another try. But from Swedish classic (sic!) I prefer Hakan Nesser - simple, but well written stories.


message 12: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments Mankell is one of those authors people love or hate, not a lot inbetween. I first heard of him through Sarah Weinman's great mystery blog and she basically said the same thing you did (she didn't like him even though she tried). I saw his books at my library and just loved it.

His recent book, the Man from Bejing, is not part of the Walander series so can be read alone if you are looking for another attempt.

Last Rituals was good but unfortunately I haven't seen any other works at my library for the author.

I read Nesser here and there but haven't made a real effort to nail down the backlist. I have 8 authors right now I am really plowing through and I should put Nesser in the mix when I get a few of the others done.


message 13: by Joan (new)

Joan Tanyà (marcuse) | 2 comments Have you ever read Norwegian writer Karim fossum? In my opinion, she is one of the best thriller authors.


message 14: by Grant (new)

Grant (grantsommerfeld) Daga suggested Smilla's Sense of Snow and I'll make that title my next Scandinavian read!!! Thank you Daga!!

I'm afraid I have no suggestions for Canadian mysteries as I have never read one!!!! I know. That's very bad.

I like Mankell and have read the Man From Bejing. I plan to read the entire Wallander set as well.

I tend towards Scandinavian and Russian authors and like books set in both of those locations. In fact, I read of lot of Indriðason works while I was in Moscow in this February.

Yes I went to Moscow in February! I have a strange relationship with winter. :-)


message 15: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Smilla's Sense of Snow is absolutely fantastic getting close to one of the best. Now how to get to Greenland. Thanks for the suggestion.


message 16: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments Elizabeth wrote: Smilla's Sense of Snow is absolutely fantastic getting close to one of the best
Totally agree, VERY close to absolutely the best.
And getting to Greenland is easy. You take Greenlandair from Copenhagen and... after 4,5 h you're there. Just beware, because you may not want to come back ;)


message 17: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Smilla's Sense of Snow. After all these years I now know for sure what a narwhal is. I will now start my research on Greenland.


message 18: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments You can get to Greenland via Iceland too


message 19: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments David wrote: You can get to Greenland via Iceland too Yes, you can, though to the Eastern part. But still you are right :p


message 20: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments Elizabeth wrote:I will now start my research on Greenland
If I may suggest something - Vikings : The North Atlantic Saga - it's a good start into the subject when it comes to the history of colonisation, the life on the island and so on. The book gives a very broad overview of Vikings in general, which helps to understand them as a people and the times they were living in. Plus many pictures, maps, suggestions for further reading :p


message 21: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments Hehehehehehehe, I think we all have the same problem. There is always a shortage of time. Nevertheless, I comfort myself that I'm not able to remember all the info anyway, so I'm trying to be selective (picky at times :p).
Elizabeth wrote:My Soul To Take by Yrsa Siigurdardottir. A good Read? I've read only Last Rituals but it was good, I enjoyed it.


message 22: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Picking up Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga tomorrow. Thanks for the advice. The Inuits were a large makeup of Wrangell, Alaska when my husband was stationed there. Interesting to find out about the long walk to Greenland. Anxious to find out more about Yrsa Silgurdradottir too if anyone knows about My Soul To Take. Have not heard about very many women authors from Iceland.


message 23: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments I will be receiving My Soul To Take from my library system this weekend


message 24: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments If I remember her biography from book one she is also quite an accomplished engineer as well as an author.


message 25: by Elizabeth (last edited Nov 15, 2010 02:32AM) (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Thanks Daga, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga is a great research book. It seems the Inuits and Danes did not mix alot which surprised me. When you read about the travels of Eric the Red and all it seems they travelled as we do down I-5. Last Rituals is on order. Many of my friends are Danes, Swedes, and all and they are a strong can do it all people. The books we are reading by Peter Hoeg, Yrsa,Indriason, seem to demonstrate that extremely intelligent strong character and resolve. Comments wanted if your fascinated too..


message 26: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Why is Peter Hoeg controversial in his own country. Are any of his other books as good as Smilla's Sense of Snow?


message 27: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Reading "My Soul To Take" Fascinating!

Question again, other Peter Hoeg books that are good reads?

"Smillas's Sense of Snow" I have passed it on to friends and they are in love with this book as I am.


message 28: by David (new)

David Peters | 47 comments I just started Three Seconds by Roslund & Hellstrom that I got from the Giveaway page.


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Three Seconds looks to be an outstanding read from the reviews. And more new Scandinavian authors !
Anxious to hear your review.


message 30: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Smilla's Sense of Snow is on Netflix. Going to try it.


message 31: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Yrsa"s My Soul To Keep is pretty haunted!!! Comments?


message 32: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Excuse me "My Soul To Take" by Yrsa is beyond haunted and paints a tragic image of Iceland. Hope "Last Rituals" is better


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

What do you mean by saying that My soul to Take paints a tragic picture of Iceland? I didn't find it particularly tragic - no more so than any other crime fiction anyway. There were individual tragedies, in particular the family at the heart of the historical mystery thread but to me (as an outsider) that didn't scream 'All Iceland is tragic'. Every place has those kind of stories. As for the haunting I thought it was well-handled - some people believed, some did not - especially Thora - and in the end it was fairly even.


message 34: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Yes you are right. I finished the book and totally changed my mind. I think it was a wonderful book.
I had in my mind a rather untouched Iceland. I have read all but 1 of Indriason's books and they certainly portray reality. I am planning a trip to Iceland in the Summer. I have already listed my current city as Reyavik and and will change my name to YRSA.Am onto Last Rituals.
Thank you for pointing out my errors in judgement.


message 35: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments If you know of other Icelandic authors that I might not know would love suggestions.


message 36: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments David wrote: "I will be receiving My Soul To Take from my library system this weekend"

I ended up loving My Soul to Take but took me awhile to get there. Hope you enjoy it.


message 37: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments starting tonight on "Last Rituals".


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm glad you enjoyed My Soul to Take after all Elizabeth, I thought it was a little better than Last Rituals. There's a third one in the series called Ashes to Dust which I haven't gotten hold of yet but looks interesting too.

Do you follow Yrsa's blog? She is one of seven crime writers who share blogging duties at Murder is Everywhere and I think her post comes out every Wednesday - she talks a lot about Iceland in general as well as writing and her sense of humour that you see in the books also comes out in her posts.


message 39: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Thanks for the info about Yrsa' blog.

I stopped "Last Rituals" and went right to Anne Holt's "What is Mine". I'm well into it and what a riveting book.


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanjoseph) | 26 comments Daga wrote: "Hehehehehehehe, I think we all have the same problem. There is always a shortage of time. Nevertheless, I comfort myself that I'm not able to remember all the info anyway, so I'm trying to be selec..."

Yes, My Soul to Take is "a good read", if you like detectives who act like sex-crazed Bobbsey Twins.


message 41: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Am going to buy Vikings: The North Atlantic
Saga. It is such a excellent research book. And my understanding of the North Atlantic countires and people is so enhanced. Thank you again Daga


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanjoseph) | 26 comments Bernadette wrote: "I'm glad you enjoyed My Soul to Take after all Elizabeth, I thought it was a little better than Last Rituals. There's a third one in the series called Ashes to Dust which I haven't gotten hold of y..."

Thanks for suggesting this interesting blog!


message 43: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanjoseph) | 26 comments Elizabeth wrote: "found two copies from an Amazon bookseller. Oct 2010 publishing date. (Operation Napoleon by Indriason)"

Operation Napoleon is or will be available on the Kindle; as of now there is no price.


message 44: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 129 comments Found one more Anne Holt mystery What Never Happened.

After this the library does not carry anymore in my area.

Who has read this? Comments?


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