http://crimescraps2.wordpress.comI complained recently about marketing stickers that were designed to cash in on the "Stieg Larsson phenomena".
But the main stream media and publishers won't let a good marketing ploy go without exploiting it to the full.
I can see it will not be long before we will have "Hamlet by William Shakespeare, people get murdered, it is set somewhere in Scandinavia, so if you liked Stieg Larsson you will enjoy this."
Or "Un Ballo in Maschera, by some Italian guy, but there is Swedish version about King Gustav, the something or other, so if you liked Stieg Larsson, and don't mind a bit of music you will love this".
My current rant was inspired by receiving Hakan Nesser's latest Van Veeteren book to be translated into English by Laurie Thompson, The Inspector and Silence.
On the front cover is the blurb:
'[Nesser] is being favourably compared with Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson.'
Why the brackets? Does Hakan Nesser need to be compared with anyone?
Would it not been more sensible to have marketed him on the cover as the writer who has won the Basta Svenska Kriminalroman three times, and been nominated for this prize a further seven times. You have to read the back flap and back cover to find out that he is not some new kid on the block.
Hakan Nesser's detective Van Veeteren has, like his creator, a sense of humour as do his team, something you don't find much of in Stieg Larsson, or Henning Mankell.
I would compare Hakan Nesser's style much more with Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo' Martin Beck series, but Larsson and Mankell are the current flavour of the month so up goes a sticker, or a blurb.
I suppose publishers and booksellers have to sell books, and if it encourages those people who have only heard of two Swedish crime fiction writers, to try the excellent Van Veeterens then perhaps I can put up with the marketing.
Basta Svenska Debut:
Hakan Nesser 1993
Stieg Larsson 2006
Henning Mankell 1991, 1995
Hakan Nesser 1994, 1996, 2007
Henning Mankell 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
Hakan Nesser 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 200, 2001, 2009
Nordic Glass Key:
Stieg Larsson 2006, 2008
Henning Mankell 1992
Hakan Nesser 2000
CWA Gold Dagger:
Henning Mankell 2001