English Translations of Scandinavian/Nordic Mysteries & Thrillers discussion

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message 1: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (last edited Feb 18, 2020 08:23AM) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
Just chose an author and you'll go to his or her Goodreads site.



Anthony Adeane ****
Chris Angus **
Guðlaugur Arason
Desmond Bagley ****
Cory Barclay **
Dave Bartell **
Quentin Bates *, ****
Cameron Bell ?
Gudbergur Bergsson
Bergsveinn Birgisson
William Bisiker
Stella Blómkvist
Michael Booth ****
Steinar Bragi
Nancy Marie Brown **
Jesse Byock
Ann Cassin **
R.J. Corgan **
Simon Cox ****
Jackson Crawford **
Michael Crichton **
Sarah Dahl
George Webbe Dasent
Vilborg Davíðsdóttir
Colin Dunne ****
Kristín Eiríksdóttir
þórarinn Eldjárn
Gyrdir Eliasson
Aaron Elkins **
Solveig Eggerz*
Jerry Farmer **
Richard Fidler Australia
Neil Gaiman **
Kári Gíslason
Jón Gnarr
Thorarinn Gunnarsson
Vigdís Grímsdóttir
Böðvar Guðmundsson
Einar Már Guðmundsson
Ólafur Gunnarsson
Helgi Gunnlaugsson
A. M. Halvorssen
Adrian Harvey ****
Hallgrímur Helgason
Heidi Herman **
Dagmar Vala Hjorleifsdottir
Tim Hodkinson ****
Gígur Hrafnsson
Victor Hugo France
Arnaldur Indriðason
Helgi Ingólfsson
Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson
Svava Jakobsdóttir
Ragnar Jónasson
Ævar Örn Jósepsson
Hannah Kent (Australian)
Snorri Kristjansson
Gerdur Kristny
Bjørn Larssen Dutch
Halldór Laxness
Caroline Lea Jersey
Adam LeBor ****
Tim Leach ****
Gregg Loomis **
Bruce MacBain **
Andri Snaer Magnason
Stefán Máni
David Mark ****
Norah McClintock Canada
The Medieval Murderers
Sara Moss Australia
Sarah Moss ****
Grant Nicol * (New Zealand) now lives in Finland
Óttar M. Norðfjörð
Aileen Nowatzki
Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir
Bragi Ólafsson
Olaf Olafsson Now living in N.Y.
Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson
Sólveig Pálsdóttir
Páll Kristinn Pálsson
Sigurjón Pálsson
Laurie Perez **
Mizz Shirley Peterson **
Nick Petrie **
Judy Quinn
Raule *****
Martin Regal
Michael Ridpath *, ****
Katie Aiken Ritter **
Cédric H. Roserens ***
Sif Sigmarsdóttir
Alda Sigmundsdóttir
Frida A. Sigurdardottir
Lilja Sigurðardóttir
Ragna Sigurðardóttir
Steinunn Sigurdardóttir
Yrsa Sigurðardóttir
Ófeigur Sigurðsson
Ronald Simonar * (also under Sweden)
Sjón
Rebecca Solnit **
Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Snorri Sturluson
Christina Sunley **
arni thorarinsson
Peter K Tyson
Óskar Hrafn Þorvaldsson
Jules Verne France
Thor Vilhjálmsson
Mary Jane Walker New Zealand
Edward Weinman
Zelda White
Sara Winokur **
Brain Wood
Peter Wooton

* member
** U.S.A.
*** Switzerland
**** United Kingdom
***** Spain
? unknown


message 2: by Junying (new)

Junying | 267 comments I have read Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir a couple of years ago, and have My Soul To Take on my reading list :)


message 3: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
I've read My Soul To Take and Last Rituals, she's left the love interest out of the second book.


message 4: by Junying (new)

Junying | 267 comments My husband has been reading My Soul To Take and he's been complaining that it takes forever to get to the point - he's only finishing it because someone recommended to him and lent the book to him:).

Kenneth, do you think I should skip it? There is a huge list and I want to read only good ones if possible :) I'm already lagging behind with an ever-increasing list.


message 5: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
I wouldn't skip it, I have about 150 books to do. Which book is the next one to read? I guess I'll let Bookswap decide.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Michael Ridpath writes some books that are also set in Iceland, he's English I think but has spent time in the country. The first book, Where the Shadows Lie was good


message 7: by Junying (new)

Junying | 267 comments Thanks, Kenneth. Guess I'll just plod along with my books, come what may :)

Thanks, Bernadette, for pointing out more books to include in the TBR:)


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 53 comments Junying wrote: "My husband has been reading My Soul To Take and he's been complaining that it takes forever to get to the point - he's only finishing it because someone recommended to him and lent the book to him:..."

I understand exactly where your husband is coming from Junying. It was enjoyable enough I guess. Not a classic, but it kept me absorbed and entertained ( I find her books quite lighthearted)


message 9: by Dave (new)

Dave | 113 comments I've almost made it through all of Indridason's Erlendur series. Reading Hypothermia now and then all that's left is Outrage, which I'm a little less excited about as apparently it mostly involves Elinborg with only a brief appearance by Erlendur.

I noticed with the previous book Arctic Chill that the translation felt a little clunky. After looking it up I saw that Bernard Scudder who translated all his previous books, had a heart attack and died half way through translation and that it was picked up by Victoria Cribb who has also gone on to translate his newer books. While she obviously does a better job than I could, I don't feel like the books flow nearly as well as they did when Bernard was handling the translation. Just an observation.


message 10: by Fizzycola (new)

Fizzycola | 164 comments An interesting detail about the usage of names in Iceland:

"Remember: Icelanders are always referred to by their given name, not by their surname which is never used alone.
Trying to find someone in the icelandic telephone catalog? It´s ordered by the given names!"

I found out this in the hard way: I was trying to find books by Yrsa Sigurdadottir in my local library... didn't find any. I had to ask a librarian, and oh yes! They are under "Y" as in Yrsa, not under "S" as in Sigurdadottir!


message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna (aetm) | 231 comments Odd, Fizzycola.
Here where I sort books we sort authors by last name, or by second/last last name if multiples. So Alexander McCall Smith goes under Smith, Gabriel Garcia Marquez under Marquez, the De La Rocha stuff goes under Rocha, more or less so. Except Le Carre is as Le...
But when we get some Icelandic stuff it goes as the mainstream stuff. So that Yrsa stuff would be under Sigurdadottir and Arnaldur would be under Indridason...
Umlaut and accents cease to make a difference so -a- gets all the a, ä, à, á, ã, å etc.
But only in Finnish... go V and W together in the phone book. :)


message 12: by Fizzycola (new)

Fizzycola | 164 comments Yep, that's the way I thought it was...

But Icelanders don't consider those -sons and -dottirs as last names, they are just information of your parentage. I guess our library system respects the Icelandic tradition when sorting Icelandic names.


message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna (aetm) | 231 comments Maybe they assume everyone knows enough of the Icelandic naming and other traditions?
I noticed when I read a book from Indridason, the English versions have always a page that explain the naming conventions and why e.g. Marion whatshis/hernamewasagain is without specifying a gender. But I think this or last year I read a book by him that I found in Finnish, and those details weren't there. As if all the peculiarities about Iceland and everything Icelandic were common knowledge so they didn't have to be mentioned specifically. I'm not really more familiar than knowing the -dottir or -son thing for the last names, but nothing else what comes to anything Icelandic, excluding what I've read in the previous Icelandic books.


message 14: by Fizzycola (last edited Oct 02, 2011 12:20PM) (new)

Fizzycola | 164 comments Not everyone here knows all those details. But librarians are supposed to know! I did know they don't use last names in Iceland but didn't think our libraries followed the rule.

Oh - and I'm reading Silence of the Grave
by Arnaldur Indriðason in Finnish and it does have a short explanation of the usage of names in Iceland.


message 15: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
We already have 2 Olafur's.


message 16: by Fizzycola (new)

Fizzycola | 164 comments I just finished Silence of the Grave and I'm totally hooked.

What a book! The story is heartbreaking, the violence is heartbreaking, the life of Erlandur is heartbreaking. It's all heartbreaking and I loved it. I'm speechless.


message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura | 47 comments Just finished Voices. Keeping up with the Erlandur series and on to Draining Lake. Loved Silence of the Grave.


message 18: by Junying (new)

Junying | 267 comments I'm reading Jar City, set in Iceland, and I just did a blog on Iceland. I'd love to share it here with you - if you have never been and would like to go, do take a look - there are some fab pictures and a short video we made. http://www.junyingkirk.com/?p=1106. Enjoy!


message 19: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
I better not let my wife see your pictures or we'll be up there before you know it....:-)


message 20: by Junying (new)

Junying | 267 comments Kenneth wrote: "I better not let my wife see your pictures or we'll be up there before you know it....:-)"

Kenneth, glad to hear that my pictures are tempting :)

I did enjoy Jar City and did a short review on GR. Will definitely read more of his books :)


message 21: by weaverannie (new)

weaverannie | 9 comments Yesterday the kindle daily deal was The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning by the icelandic author Hallgrimur Helgason. I bought it and plan to read it soon.
The Icelandic surnames are what we in Holland call 'parentals' i don't know if that is a correct English word. It means that boys add the name of one of the parents, followed by 'son' (helgason=son of Helga, etc) and girls have 'dottir' in their names, meaning daughter (Olafsdottir=daudhter of Olaf)
The population of Iceland is small enough to know who is meant by this combination. It was the custom here in Europe as well, until population grew and more specific naming was needed.
But probably you knew all this already?


message 22: by Lori (new)

Lori (goodreadscomlorik) | 24 comments I have read all of (I think) Arnaldur Indridason's Erlendur series - and a few others by him. The only one I didn't enjoy was Operation Napoleon. He is one of my favourite crime fiction authors. I must start reading the others now.... Thanks for the list.


message 23: by Carolyn (last edited Apr 11, 2012 06:33PM) (new)

Carolyn | 3 comments Other books worth reading are "Angels of the Universe" by Einar Mar Gudmundsson (made into a brilliant film, starring the wonderful Ingvar E Sigurdsson), "The Swan" by Gudbergur Bergsson, and of course all the Halldor Laxness books you can find. A new book by Stefan Mani, called "The Ship" is interesting for those who like action/adventure. I think it is only published (in English) in Australia and New Zealand at present.


message 24: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
Thanks Carolyn, always happy to add people.


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael Ridpath | 22 comments "Flatey Enigma" by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson is pretty good. I think it's only available from Amazon Crossing, possibly only on Kindle. It's set on the island of Flatey off Iceland in 1960, a backward part of a backward country, at that time. It's a sort of gentle literary novel with a murder shoved in there at the beginning. And through it all runs the Flatey Enigma, a puzzle based on the Flatey Book, a real medieval collection of sagas. Some people might find it slow, but I enjoyed it. A good leisurely read.


message 26: by Lili (new)

Lili | 64 comments To add to the list of Authors from Iceland.

Ronald Simonar is an Icelandic author living in Sweden, writer of Asgard Park, I thought it a terrific book.


message 27: by Quentin (new)

Quentin (graskeggur) | 38 comments The Flatey Enigma is available in paperback as well. Two more of Viktor Arnar's books will be published in English this year and next, 'House of Evidence' and 'Daybreak'.


message 28: by Catherine (last edited Jan 21, 2013 05:00PM) (new)

Catherine | 6 comments I have recently added(to my tbr list) a couple of Icelandic authors...can't think who they are off the top of my head...but I found them purely by accident...whilst meandering in Barnes & Noble(a very dangerous place for me to be)!!! :)

the books I found were parts of mystery series..which I now have to find the first books from! :) AAAGGHHHHHH!!!! :)


message 29: by Ken, Moderator (U.S.A.) (last edited Jan 21, 2013 07:58PM) (new)

Ken Fredette (klfredette) | 2897 comments Mod
Easy enough just go to the authors above and click on them to see what they've written. I've checked and all the Icelandic authors do work. Good luck. Arnaldur Indriðason, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, Quentin Bates (English)*, and Michael Ridpath (English)* are current authors with series.


message 30: by Sharon, Moderator (Netherlands) (last edited Dec 02, 2013 04:25PM) (new)

Sharon | 2279 comments Mod
Interesting details of real world Iceland for those of us reading novels about the place....
http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/iceland-p...

The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 2, 2013 4:54PM EST
LONDON -- Police in Iceland say they have shot dead a gunman -- the first time armed police have shot and killed someone in the nation.
Police said officers were called to an apartment in the Reykjavik suburb of Arbaer early Monday when a man fired a shotgun from inside the flat.
Two policemen, who were not armed, were shot when trying to enter the gunman's apartment. A special armed unit then entered and fired at the man, who was rushed to the hospital, where he died.
Iceland, which has a tiny population of around 320,000, has a low crime rate and gun violence is extremely rare. Its regular police force does not carry firearms.
Haraldur Johannessen, National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, said Monday's incident was unprecedented.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/iceland-p...


message 31: by Michael (new)

Michael Ridpath | 22 comments Sharon wrote: "Interesting details of real world Iceland for those of us reading novels about the place....
http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/iceland-p...

The Ass..."


I think 2 people have been shot by the Icelandic police in my books so far.


message 32: by Sharon, Moderator (Netherlands) (new)

Sharon | 2279 comments Mod
http://qz.com/351821/for-generations-...

First time I read about this in a novel I was amazed but it seems it is a common practice.


message 33: by Michael (new)

Michael Ridpath | 22 comments Tough lot, the Icelanders. Maybe that's why.


message 34: by Fizzycola (new)

Fizzycola | 164 comments Sharon wrote: "http://qz.com/351821/for-generations-...

First time I read about this in a novel I was amazed but it seems it is a ..."


Well, that's no news to me. We do it here in Finland, too. My three kids have napped outdoors every day since they were two weeks old. -15C was the upper limit for outdoors napping.


message 35: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast | 99 comments Wow and I thought the Brits were tough. I was shocked how little protection clothes British children wore, even when I was in wolly jumpers and boots. Of course now with my own two British teenagers, who think it uncool to the extreme to put warm clothes on, I am used to it.


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 354 comments Think with us Brits it's more of a case that we're pretty stupid at times. Generally teenagers and people out pub/bar crawling. It's still weird if commonplace seeing people on a night out shivering to death in winter clad as if they are on a Greek island in summer.


message 37: by Darren (new)

Darren | 1 comments Snorri Sturluson?

I know there are axe murders in there (a lot of them), but noir?


message 38: by Sharon, Moderator (Netherlands) (new)

Sharon | 2279 comments Mod
http://gayiceland.is/2016/lesbian-exp...
The crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir made Icelandic history with her latest novel “The Trap” (Gildran). The main protagonist is a lesbian cocaine smuggler called Sonja, by no means your average heroine in a crime novel – or any novel, for that matter. The story of Sonja was an instant hit and the film rights have already been sold to Hollywood. Lilja has just handed in the manuscript of the sequel and she feels it is important to have queer protagonists in novels and films, maybe the most important issue in the fight for equal rights for queer people.


message 39: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast | 99 comments Sharon wrote: "http://gayiceland.is/2016/lesbian-exp...
The crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir made Icelandic history with her latest novel “The Trap” (Gildran). The main protagonist is a lesbian cocaine smug..."


Sounds very interesting. Funny how once again it is up to the Scandinavians to have lesbian or gay detectives or heroine. The other one which springs to mind is Anne Holt's Hannah Williamson.


message 40: by Icewineanne (new)

Icewineanne | 156 comments Gisela wrote: "Sharon wrote: "http://gayiceland.is/2016/lesbian-exp...
The crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir made Icelandic history with her latest novel “The Trap” (Gildran). The main protagonist is a lesbi..."


You might enjoy UK author, Mari Hannah's Kate Daniels' series, where her detective is a lesbian. She writes a terrific story.


message 41: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast | 99 comments Icewineanne wrote: "Gisela wrote: "Sharon wrote: "http://gayiceland.is/2016/lesbian-exp...
The crime writer Lilja Sigurðardóttir made Icelandic history with her latest novel “The Trap” (Gildran). The main protago..."


Thanks already have her on my to-read list.


message 42: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (mmerose) | 2 comments Scotland's Val McDermid has had lesbian detectives since 1987 with her first Lindsay Gordon book, Report for Murder. Canada's Ian Hamilton has Ava Lee, a forensic accountant who tracks money for "Uncle" and is gay. The US has Elizabeth Hand whose Cass Neary is bi-sexual.

I think perhaps Val McDermid was first or at least the first in English.


message 43: by Jack (last edited Mar 28, 2017 06:54AM) (new)

Jack Davis (jackwilldavis) | 2 comments I've recently discovered Ragnar Jonasson's Snowblind series and I'm seriously hooked. I'm on the third book and it's only been a few days since I started the first!

Can't wait to dive into some of the other recommendations on here! I've also added Iceland to my travelling wishlist (although hopefully there will be less murder if I go there!)


Barbara Purington | 32 comments Murder rate is very, very low, like .01 percent. Reading Iceland mystery and crime inspired me to drag husband and son there August 2015. I loved it and we're going back again in June on a stopover. Check out FB group Iceland for Photograpers for incredible photos. Aurora Borealis have been over the top since February, just stupendous, other worldly. Enjoy.


message 45: by Sharon, Moderator (Netherlands) (new)

Sharon | 2279 comments Mod
On to the next in the series, Rupture, Dark Iceland #4, Ragnar Jónasson (Goodreads Author), Quentin Bates (Goodreads Author)(Translator)..... Dark must refer to the climate as they are nice reads with lots of twists quite along the Agatha Christie model.


message 46: by Jack (last edited Mar 28, 2017 06:58AM) (new)

Jack Davis (jackwilldavis) | 2 comments That's a relief Barbara, nothing stopping me now :) There are some really striking shots of the country, Iceland definitely has atmosphere!

I'll be diving into Rupture tonight when I get home Sharon, I've felt like a kid in a candy shop having these on hand but now I'll have to wait for the rest of the English editions to be published!


Barbara Purington | 32 comments Keep looking at Iceland for Photographers. Everyday there are amazing photos. Aurora still going strong! Have a wonderful trip!


Wendy (Lassinthelibrary) (lassinthelibrary) | 1 comments Sharon wrote: "On to the next in the series, Rupture, Dark Iceland #4, Ragnar Jónasson (Goodreads Author), Quentin Bates (Goodreads Author)(Translator)..... Dark must refer to the climate as they are nice reads w..."

I just came to say how much I love Ragnar Jonasson's books!!! Seriously!!! I even stalk him on instagram!


message 49: by Vikki (new)

Vikki (silverstarz) | 4 comments I read my first book by Ragnar Jonasson earlier this month, Snowblind. I really enjoyed it and definitely want to read more in this series. A few days ago I finished Why Did You Like by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. I've read all her books (at least translated into English) and am looking forward to The Reckoning in May. I've also read some of the Erlendur series by Arnaldur Indridason. I didn't realise there were so many more Icelandic authors... I must check out some more of them.


message 50: by Catherine (new)

Catherine | 6 comments I have a few of these authors on my to read list...but who knows when I'll get to them!!! My list ia ridiculously long.....anyone is welcome to check it out. But be forewarned.....bring breadcrumbs...or you may never return!!! lol


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