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Give me a Danish pastry!

Christopher Tayler: Nordic crime fiction, 17 August 2006

The Priest of Evil 
by Matti-Yrjänä Joensuu, translated by David Hackston.
Arcadia, 352 pp., £11.99, May 2006, 1 900850 93 1
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Roseanna 
by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, translated by Lois Roth.
Harper Perennial, 288 pp., £6.99, August 2006, 0 00 723283 7
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Borkmann’s Point 
by Håkan Nesser, translated by Laurie Thompson.
Macmillan, 321 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 333 98984 8
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The Redbreast 
by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 520 pp., £11.99, September 2006, 9781843432173
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Voices 
by Arnaldur Indridason, translated by Bernard Scudder.
Harvill Secker, 313 pp., £12.99, August 2006, 1 84655 033 5
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... hero of a ten-novel cycle of skilfully plotted, atmospheric police procedurals by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, published between 1965 and 1975. They were written, Sjöwall said, ‘to show the reader that under the official image of welfare-state Sweden there was another layer where poverty, criminality and brutality existed’. They also aimed to ...

Gangsters in Hats

Richard Mayne, 17 May 1984

Essays on Detective Fiction 
edited by Bernard Benstock.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £20, February 1984, 0 333 32195 2
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Dashiell Hammett: A Life at the Edge 
by William Nolan.
Arthur Barker, 276 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 213 16886 3
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The Life of Dashiell Hammett 
by Diane Johnson.
Chatto, 344 pp., £12.95, January 1984, 9780701127664
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Hellman in Hollywood 
by Bernard Dick.
Associated University Presses, 183 pp., £14.95, September 1983, 0 8386 3140 1
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... Lovesey, Nicholas Freeling, Simenon, Chandler and the husband-and-wife team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Only one of the essays seems really ambitious, and the effect, I’m afraid, is comic. Eric Mottram – an otherwise much respected old friend of mine – gets into full academic scuba-diving gear to paddle in the shallows of Ross Macdonald’s ...

Diary

James Lasdun: Police procedurals, 8 September 2011

... I’ve come to think of him as ‘The Laughing Policeman’, after the book in the Sjöwall/Wahlöö Martin Beck series, which I’ve lately been blazing through. Every week he brings in cops from different departments and agencies to show off their gear. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly, so I paid close attention to everything and came ...

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