Scandinavian: I became ‘addicted’ to Scandinavian detective novels in the 1990s, and have gradually developed this from being a dilettante into something more serious. I read all in English translation. My first impetus was when I was staying “pri Užniku” in Sele, when Monika Olip (my thanks to her: Buhonaj!) recommended Henning Mankell to me.
I have now read over 50 different authors from (alphabetically) Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden — in some cases, out of a sense of obligation: I think I owe this to my (few) readers, since I have undertaken to write comments and short reviews of most of them, and even (pretentiously) give them “grades”. I rely almost exclusively on the Edmonton Public Library system, which has extensive holdings in fiction and has a very reliable system of making reservations.
Other: I also read crime novels set outside Scandinavia, if they are not too long and if they have a good ‘sense of place’. I prefer ones that are set in places I know personally or places that I enjoy learning about. Since indulging in this form of escapism, I have learned a great deal about Norfolk, Derbyshire, Northumberland, the Shetlands and the Hebrides.
I always look forward, in particular, to the crime novels of Fred Vargas.
With my African connection, I have looked in vain for good African detective novels written since Elspeth Huxley’s “Murder at Government House”, 1937 (!), and only found consistency in Kwei Quartey, from whose stories I have learned a great deal about Ghana, see this review on “Crimepieces”.
I have four “pages”:
My Criteria for inclusion;
A List of authors, both those assessed and those not considered, and the “grades” that I have assigned;
My Comments and Short Reviews; and
A Log of the months and years since 2015 when I wrote my comments, so that repeat readers of these pages can ‘keep up’. Those written before 2016 are undated.