Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

British author Quentin Bates spent a decade in Iceland as a young man, working variously as a netmaker, factory hand, and trawlerman. Returning to England, he became a journalist for a nautical trade mag, but never lost his love for Iceland. Now mystery readers can enjoy the country along with Bates in his Officer Gunnhildur novels, the second of which, Cold Comfort, is just out in the U.S.

Frozen Assets, Bates’s first book featuring Officer Gunnhildur “Gunna” Gisladottir–a single mother of three children–won critical acclaim on this side of the Atlantic. Booklist noted of this work: “Fans of Arnaldur Indridason’s Reykjavík mysteries will want to add Bates to their reading lists.” Similarly, Publishers Weekly wrote: “[A] crackling fiction debut … palpable authenticity.” (more…)

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British author Michael Ridpath left the high stakes life of a bond trader in the city of London to write thrillers for a living. He naturally turned to high finance thrillers first, penning eight of them before beginning a new series set in Iceland. The series features Magnus Jonson, who is Icelandic but was bought up in the United States and joined the Boston police. Now he has returned to his native land where he is on loan to the Icelandic Police Force as a detective and recruit trainer in U.S. policing methods.

The London Times noted of his first title in the series, Where the Shadows Lie: “A clever blend of murder mystery, myth and up-to-the-minute mayhem … Whether you’re a fan of orcs, Gimli and Legolas or Elmore Leonard and The Sopranos, there’s something in this quixotic, atmospheric alternative thriller for you.” Further praise came from the Literary Review: “This is a good story set in a fascinating place and spiced with some sharp observation.”

In its American edition, just out, Booklist gave the novel a starred review, terming it “exotic and compelling, a first-class mystery,” and Publishers Weekly noted that “Ridpath smoothly melds history, legend, and a police procedural in this first of a crime series set in Iceland.” (more…)

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Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, Icelandic crime novelist, joins us today on Scene of the Crime. The author of numerous children’s books, Yrsa has also written a popular crime series featuring lawyer and single mother of two, Thóra Gudmundsdóttir. Of the five that have been poublished in her native country, two have thus far appeared in English translation, Last Rituals and My Soul to Take. The third, Ashes to Dust, appears this summer in English.

Yrsa’s books have won critical acclaim not only in Iceland, but also abroad. Publishers Weekly finds her work “engaging,” and further states that the author “keeps readers guessing.” Similarly, the London Observer calls her work “both frightening and funny – a terrific trick if you can pull it off.”

Welcome, Yrsa, to Scene of the Crime. (more…)

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