Thursday, December 31, 2009


I wanted a positively themed post to end the year, and the decade, so here is a list of the best crime fiction I read during 2009 that had a location outside Europe, or the USA.
These would have been useful for Dorte's Global Reading Challenge 2010, but I have some more books already lined up for that pleasant task.

[thanks to Crimeficreader]

Each of these books spotlights razor sharp social, and political, commentary combined with a crime story that is just a bit different from the usual fare.

Venturing onto the subject of real life crime, the Honeytones played at Dartmoor Prison this year, and were very well received by what could be called a captive audience.

My best wishes to everyone for a very happy and healthy 2010. Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


UPDATE: This blog has now moved to Crime Scraps Review where you can read all the old posts and a lot of new material.

The factors that make a TV series a success are varied, but many of the best crime series usually feature an ensemble cast of characters.

The Swedish Wallander series on BBC4 featured brilliant acting by Ola Rapace [as Stefan], Johanna Sallstrom [as Linda], Krister Henriksson [as Kurt Wallander] and Mats Bergman [as Nyberg] that kept you totally gripped throughout each episode.
I will say that watching the final episode was a gut wrenching experience in view of the subject matter and the subsequent tragic death of Johanna Sallstrom, but it was typical of this series that it dealt with unpleasant subjects in a realistic manner.

A new series of the British Wallanders, starring Kenneth Branagh, was advertised at the end of the program, and the trailer promptly emphasised why the British series lacked the veracity of the Swedish version.
Branagh so dominates the screen that the rest of the cast were, in that first series, mere appendices to his personality and acting ability.
In the Swedish series there was a balance to the cast and the performances, which was distinctly lacking in the Branagh version. I hope the second series will be an improvement, and I won't keep thinking about Henry V every time Branagh speaks.


This year has been full of what Harold Macmillan would call 'events, my dear boy, events'.
One of life's pleasant events occurred yesterday when two very kind fellow bloggers gave me awards.

The pressure is now on to keep producing some interesting posts in 2010, such as 2009's :

The interviews with Rebecca Cantrell and Philip Kerr.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Not exactly Santa, but my daughter and granddaughter, both voracious readers and definitely experts in book selection.
They used their considerable brain power to deal with the problem that I have every translated crime book ever written accumulated in an enormous pile in my cupboard sized study, by selecting two American crime books.

The Way Home: George Pelecanos
Black Water Rising: Attica Locke

An excellent choice was made by each, well done girls!
One of these will be useful for Dorte's Global Reading Challenge.

Our Christmas Eve was enlivened by the road and pavement outside turning into a skating rink after fresh rain had fallen onto very cold ground and frozen hard. For one second I thought our neighbours had been drinking, then I realised they were sliding around and trying to stay on their feet. They shouted a warning to us and then we warned vehicles that our road was extremely dangerous. I was concerned as we had our family's three cars parked in a row, and one skid by a passing vehicle could have been disastrous.

On Christmas Day we were able communicate via Skype [plus video!] with my son and his beautiful girlfriend, who were in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Skype is an absolutely incredible technology that still leaves me astonished. Perhaps the next great advance will be an acceptable mobile phone signal in the Tiverton region of Devon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Wednesday, December 23, 2009


A dinner party on the Swedish island of Gotland goes drastically wrong when Helena Hillerstrom's jealous boyfriend Per objected to her dancing with handsome single man Kristian. Per smacks Helena who scratches him, and then Per punches Kristian. The party is definitely over.
The next morning Helena goes for a walk on the beach with her dog, and both her and the dog are later found hacked to death.
Inspector Anders Knutas, a solid family man, will lead the police team, while Johan Berg a TV journalist will carry out his own independent investigation. When Frida, a second attractive woman is brutally murdered in a similar fashion, the people of Gotland begin to panic and worry as to their safety and to the reduced holiday trade. There are some people on the island with secrets to hide.

Unseen is a solid police procedural with Inspector Anders Knutas, who is happily married with twins Nils and Petra, leading an investigative team much in the manner of Sjowall and Wahloo's Martin Beck, and Henning Mankel's Wallander. We learn a lot about Gotland and its traditions, as well as the importance to the Swedes of Midsummer, not surprising in a country with such long winter nights. There are some fine descriptions of the geography of the island, and the smartly designed and furnished houses of the prosperous young people.

The most interesting of the police team are Karin Jacobsson, who Knutas is perhaps a little in love with, despite his happy home life, and Martin Kihkgard, a prolific eater, who one suspects was sent from Stockholm to provide some light relief to the dark tale.
The clever variation in the normal police procedural theme is the additional presence of TV journalist Johan Berg conducting his own enquiries, and also creating personal turmoil in the mind of Helena's best friend Emma.
Emma is beautiful, distressed by the loss of her childhood friend, and incidentally has a husband Olle and two young children, but this does not stop the selfish Johan from pursuing her.
The antics and cogitations of this couple play a large part in the novel. I suppose this is what is called 'femikrimi', and I have to admit it fitted into the story well without slowing the plot narrative in any way.
But I did not like the character of Johan at all, and it is a compliment to the author and the brilliant translator Tiina Nunnally that he inspired such antipathy.
The technique of interspersing passages of the serial killer's past and his thoughts worked well and eventually gave us a clue to the murderer's motives.
I thought the police were a bit slow on the uptake, but that too was credible in a holiday resort where very little serious crime occurred.
I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more about Mari Jungstedt's characters. I think I might shout 'Don't do it Emma' as I read.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas and pleasant New Year holiday.
With some people not returning to work until 4 January 2010, I thought that I would set one of my little quizzes to keep you amused, and to provide an excuse to get away from the TV, and the relatives, for a while.
There will be top quality book prizes for the best three entrants so get your thinking caps on.
An easy one to start.

1] Who said 'Send him to gaol, and you make him a goal bird for life. Besides it is the season of forgiveness.'

2] Which crime writer, and which actor in a crime series, are never odd or even?

3] How would a minister of religion, a word puzzle, a type of code and an aperture be useful in a murder investigation?

4] A famous crime novel begins with the following sentence. Fill in the gaps and name the novel.

'Some women give birth to ______ , some go to bed with them, and some ______ them.'

5] Grace Kelly starred in the film Rear Window, and Catherine Deneuve starred in the film Mississippi Mermaid [ la Sirene du Mississippi]. What is the connection between these two films, apart from having two very beautiful women as the stars?

6] What is the link between a bird of the Icteridae family with yellow and black plumage, metal drawn out to be thin and flexible, and three roses and a bottle of cognac?

7] What is the nominal connection between the discoverer of the secret of life, an Italian navigator, a transcontinental expedition leader, and an English seaside town? And who were their colleagues?

8] Name a crime writer who was born in Malaya in 1907, and a crime writer who lives in Thailand?

9] What sort of cooperation might mysteriously involve a lonely American jockey, Royal cousins, single colloquial nightwear, and a Gallic pseudonym?

10] Who are these ladies?

a) Dulcie Duveen
b) Mary Marston
c) Ellen Gjelten
d) Nancy Neele
e) Cynthia Murdoch

Best of luck and please send your answers to by the closing date Wednesday 6 January [midnight GMT].

Monday, December 21, 2009


My contribution to this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet meme at Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise is L for Leif. Leif Davidsen.

Leif Davidsen, born in 1950 is a Danish journalist, and author of a number of best selling political thrillers. He spent 25 years at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation as a radio and TV correspondent, specialising in Eastern and Central European affairs, and has been stationed in both Moscow and Spain.

His books that readily available in English:

Lime's Photograph [winner of the Nordic Glass Key in 1999]
The Woman From Bratislava

The Serbian Dane was written way back in 1996 and is very relevant today because of the issues it raises about freedom of speech and the action totalitarian states are prepared to take against dissidents. The story concerns Sara Santanda, an Iranian author with a fatwa and price on her head, who is invited by the Danish newspaper Politiken to visit Copenhagen. The Iranians through their Russian mafia contacts hire an assassin Vuk to kill the 'infidel bitch'......

The Sardine Deception was Davidsen's first novel written in 1984 and was translated into English by the now famous translators Tiina Nunnaly and Steven Murray and published by their own appropriately named Fjord Press of Seattle. I was privileged to receive my copy as a gift from the translators on a very wet Wednesday in May just before Crime Fest 2009.

Poul Jensen, a Danish house husband is married to glamorous TV journalist Charlotte Dansbourg, who is a very modern woman traveling the world in search of stories. When Poul learns that Charlotte has been killed in an ETA [an armed Basque nationalist and separatist group] bombing of a bar in San Sebastian he travels to Spain to collect her body.....

I enjoyed both these exciting books, and have the other two on my to be read in 2010 list.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Giving books as a gift is always tricky especially when your significant other has seemingly almost every book ever published, but I think any crime fiction aficionado would love the books I have selected as potential stocking fillers.

Talking About Detective Fiction by P.D.James is a discussion of the genre which ranges from the 19th century origins to TV's Prime Suspect. At a mere 157 pages it is hardly a comprehensive study, but it has a certain charm in that the reader will feel that Baroness James is naturally much more at home in the cosy villages of England than with the genre's later developments.
One aspect that might concern the modern reader is that the book is very Anglo-American in its viewpoint. There is only the very briefest mention of the explosion of crime fiction writing in Sweden and other non-English speaking countries, with only two authors being mentioned by name; Henning Mankell and Georges Simenon.

'Our planet has always been a dangerous, violent and mysterious habitation for humankind and we are all adept at creating those pleasures and comforts, large and small, sometimes dangerous and destructive, which offer at least temporary relief from the inevitable tensions and anxieties of contemporary life. A love of detective fiction is certainly among the least harmful.'

The Lineup, The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell The Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler, is a wonderful series of astute character sketches that offer interesting insights into writing detective fiction.
So far I have read only the first six out of the twenty one biographical essays, but these have been as good as one would expect from a star studded lineup of Ken Bruen, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Connolly, Robert Crais and Jeffrey Deaver.
This is definitely a collection that should not be missed, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the essays, and learning more about that very personal relationship between a writer and their detective.

Perhaps one day someone will publish a collection of biographical sketches by Jo Nesbo, Fred Vargas, Karin Fossum, Mari Jungstedt, Marek Krajewski, Gunnar Staalesen, Andrea Camilleri, Henning Mankell, K.O.Dahl and other European authors discussing their detectives.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I have just finished reading John Lawton's Black Out earlier this morning, and I am still humming with the delightful thought that there are on my shelves three more Troy books to be read.

It is February 1944, and as the country waits for the opening of the Second Front a ragged stump of a human arm is found by boys playing on a bomb site in Stepney. When Polish pathologist Kolankiewicz identifies the body as that of a German, from a cufflink with a Munich hallmark, and informs Frederick Troy about another German found the previous year on Tower beach, with a bullet hole in his cheek, Troy realises he is on the trail of a serial killer. But a very unusual serial killer with some powerful connections.

'Forty-five automatic? There's a Colt forty-five automatic that's a standard issue American-forces weapon.'
'Yes-but the black market these days. I know a pub in Mill Hill where you could buy a Howitzer over the counter.' Kolanciewicz gestured at the cafe window. 'Most of your colonial cousins would sell you any thing from a pair of nylons to a half- track. You need a second-hand Flying Fortress? Try the Railwayman's Arms in Mill Hill.
And the money they get they spend monopolising the buttered scones of Olde England!'

If you thought you had read everything on the theme of the serial killer this superb police procedural gives it a new twist, and keeps you guessing the outcome until the very end.
On top of the excellent plot with a few surprises John Lawton gives the reader an evocation of wartime London second to none, and a group of unforgettable characters. The clever reliable Constable Jack Wildeve, Kolanciewicz the mad Polish pathologist, the solid Superintendent Stanley Onions, Troy's eccentric scientist uncle Nikolai, the tall elegant Lady Diana Brack, and the short bubbly blonde American WAC Tosca all feature in a wonderful ensemble cast along with the hero Frederick Troy.

Troy is the younger son of a millionaire Russian emigre newspaper owner, who has become a dedicated policeman abandoning the vacuous lifestyle of many of his class to be an ordinary 'copper'.
His family connections gained him a special dispensation from the Met's height restriction, but his shortness never hampers his 'success' with women, and I wondered if this was one reason why I liked the Troy series so much.

Black Out is a wonderful read with an original plot, evocative atmosphere, and great characters it represents crime fiction at its very best. And it is quite fun as well.

'Gorgeous,' he said, inhaling from the jar. 'Pity we've nothing to eat with it.'
'We have,' she said out of sight.
'Such as?'
He turned. She had taken of her blouse and was unhooking her brassiere, unleashing a bosom of such magnificence as to stagger the beholder.
She grasped the jar and upended it over her torso.
'OK, baby. I'm yours. Sauce me!'

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My review of Aly Monroe's second book in her Peter Cotton series Washington Shadow has been posted on Euro Crime.
I really enjoyed reading this book, and not only because it featured an interestingly named patrolman. This was a infinitely superior book to Maze of Cadiz with much more happening, a lot of interesting characters, and an evocative atmosphere that reeked of diplomatic intrigue.
I shall be keeping an eye out for the next book in Aly Monroe's Peter Cotton series.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Is it my imagination or are these weekly challenges coming round quicker, and are they getting more difficult? I am posting a day earlier this week but it does seem as if it was only yesterday that I posted about John Lawton.

My contribution to this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet meme at Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise is K is for Krajewski. Marek Krajewski.

Marek Krajewski has written the Eberhard Mock series of books, featuring a very quirky detective and the German city of Breslau, which is now the Polish city of Wroclau. Marek is a lecturer in Classical Studies at the university, and the books are a homage to the city and its turbulent history.

Unfortunately so far only two of the Eberhard Mock have been translated into English by Danusia Stok. Click below for my reviews.

In a previous post I described Eberhard Mock, as an alcoholic, depressive, brutal wife-beating policeman, who is interested in the classics, astrology, chess and prostitutes, and who administers harsh justice without recourse to the legal system.

You could smell the beer, bratwurst, sex and blood in these books and Mock, the hero/anti-hero is so eccentric and so horrible that I do hope Quercus intend to publish the rest of the series.

You can read my interview with Marek Krajewski here part one and part two.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I could not find a book with a Christmas title for the meme at Mysteries in Paradise but the superb Bill James novel Roses Roses is set around Christmas, so I hope that counts.

Megan, the wife of Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur, is murdered in a station car park on her return from a shopping trip to London. Colin Harpur and Desmond Isles investigate the case by their own very different methods, while all the characters in the story are brilliantly unsavoury. The world of the police that Bill James depicts in the quirky Harpur and Isles series is probably more accurate than most people in the job would want to admit.

Isles invites his subordinate Garland to Christmas dinner.

'Francis do you want to attend, with companion of course, as long as he-she washes under the arms? You still hetero? I pry only so we can alternate gender placings at the table, on which Sarah's fussy.
I would have asked earlier but had to mull over at length whether I really wanted a thin-lipped arrogant prat like you present on such a goodly occasion. But obviously Harpur will be there, so why not another who's had my wife?
Christmas is hardly a time for mean spirits, surely.'

'Thanks so much , sir' Garland replied. 'It's very kind but i always go to my mother's.'
'How sweet,' Isles said.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I think that John Lawton's Troy series are brilliantly written books and am enjoying reading Blackout, the third book in the series set in 1944.
But I have noticed an error! I wondered if this was deliberate as surely someone as clever as John Lawton would not make such a simple mistake, or was it the editor?

Troy realised how odd this must be to a man of Onion's age. He had been born into another world . He was of an age with the novels of H.G.Wells and Jules Verne. He had been seven when two bicycle manufacturers took their dream down to Kittyhawk, South Carolina, and made it fly.

But I am being pedantic there is too much wit, wisdom and suspense in this novel to let such a simple geographical error spoil my enjoyment. Although Tarheels might be very annoyed.

'God, all that paperwork. You wouldn't think a German would be so hard to find. There's never one around when you want one.'
'If he was here in 1940, then he would almost certainly have been rounded up in that wave of detentions after the fall of Norway. He may even have been interned. That means fingerprints.'
'Well, he's hardly likely to have arrived here since, is he?'

'It's that possibility that worries me,' said Troy.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Last December Barbara of Scandinavian Crime Fiction was kind enough to give me an award for 'critical perspicacity'.
The definition of perspicacious is 'having a ready insight into and understanding of things'.
I wasn't sure I qualified then and a year later I am even less sure, but it did give me an opportunity to post about five vital ingredients and one pleasurable extra I would like to find in a crime fiction book.

1. A decent plot, and some interesting sub plots.
2. Entertainment and some humour amongst the horror of the crimes.
3. Memorable characters that I wanted to follow in future books.
4. To be educated and learn something.
5. To be made to think about society, and the world's problems.
6. Photographs of attractive female authors.

I would try in any review to point out whether or not the book in question meets those exacting standards. But there is also that quality of writing that makes a book a good read and draws the reader easily into the world the author has created. Some writers just have that ability, and some writers learn it over a period of time.

What makes a book a 'page turner' and therefore an enjoyable read, and what on the other hand makes a book seem forced, staged and unnatural and makes reading it hard work?
I have just started reading Black Out by John Lawton and the quality of the writing, the convincing dialogue and the evocative portrait of wartime London he creates are quite brilliant.

How should a book reviewer go about the task of reviewing a book:

A] Firstly read the book, because some reviewers apparently avoid this basic task, and just skim the book.

B] Give a brief plot summary without giving away to much to the reader.

I have read reviews [not by any of our gang on Friend Feed] that make it hardly worth while bothering to read the book. I have even read book covers and blurbs that tell you so much about the plot that reading the book is a bit of an anti-climax.

C] Say whether you liked reading the book or not.

Some people only review books they like, but I want to read critical reviews especially written by people whose opinions I value. A critical review is a public service to other readers and perhaps even to the book's author, who might take the criticism to heart and write a much better book next time round.

D] Give the reasons why you like, or dislike the book?

I like X's books because the publisher sends me free books, or I met X at Crime Fest and he or she treated me a steak dinner with three bottles of wine. That is at least an honest approach and possibly a bit of wishful thinking.
But I think that pointing out that the book has an inspirational character, such as Mr Geung in Colin Cotterill's books, or the wonderful humour in the books might be more convincing reasons for a potential reader.

Or for instance I dislike book Y because by inferring that the Gestapo are just like a normal police force, but with smarter leather coats, the author has created entirely the wrong atmosphere for a serious book.

E] I also like to include a quote from the book in order to give the reader a taste of the type of humour or style of narrative, but that can be tricky if the review is negative owing to copyright restrictions.

D] Give some information about the author especially if they are interesting, or look like Liza Marklund.

With struggling newspapers abandoning book reviews or relying on the five line synopsis, the blogosphere is filling the gap and providing people with the information and opinions they need to decide what to read.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Here is my contribution to this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet meme at Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise.

This meme is like a game of chess as you will have to think three or four moves [or letters] ahead, as it gets a bit tricky over the next few weeks.

My J is for John. John Lawton is author of the Troy novels, a series that he calls 'a social history of my time', and of mine too.

The series in chronological order:

Second Violin
Riptide [Bluffing Mr Churchill in the USA]
Old Flames
Blue Rondo [Flesh Wounds in the USA]
A Little White Death

I was encouraged to read John Lawton by Crimeficreader, whose excellent essay on the Troy series you can read here.
This was written some time before John Lawton went back in time to write Second Violin as a superb prequel.

I have only read the first two, Second Violin and Riptide, both were so good I decided to postpone reading the rest of the series, saving them to be enjoyed at a later date.

John Lawton is not a high profile author, and he seems to actively avoid publicity. Perhaps that is the reason why his work is not better known, because the books are definitely of the highest quality. He blends real life characters into a fictional story making it both credible, and at the same time capturing the atmosphere of wartime London. He also has the ability, which seems to escape some authors, to portray cockney characters without producing dialogue that sounds twee.
He grabs the reader and takes them with him on a roller coaster journey especially in Second Violin with its astonishingly brilliant descriptions of Kristallnacht, and the internment of aliens on the Isle of Man.

The novels which tell the story of Frederick and Rod Troy, sons of Russian emigre Alexi Troy, and a multitude of other interesting characters are full of humour, truthfulness, and have a refreshing lack of sentimentality. They are a little bit different from the average crime fiction novel, if there is such a thing, and are well worth reading if you want to be educated and even amused by the behaviour of human beings under incredible stress.

The last book in the series A Little White Death is set in 1963 at the time of the Christine Keeler /John Profumo scandal and on the back cover is the blurb, 'A Harley Street physician blows his brains out.'

My father had a small hardware shop in Chelsea during the 'swinging sixties', and that Harley Street physician was a good customer, so I feel a kind of connection to the Troy series.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


I am surprised to see so many Best Books of 2009 articles appearing in newspapers and online. Do people not read in December?
Even a book a week person would aim to read another four books in December so surely these assessments should be left until the very end of the year.

But here is a list, those translated crime fiction books that I am classifying as must reads for 2010:

The Snowman: Jo Nesbo
Hypothermia: Arnaldur Indridason
The Water's Edge: Karin Fossum
Affairs of State: Domique Manotti
Bad Fellas: Tonino Benacquista
The Stone Cutter : Camilla Lackberg
The Woman From Bratislava: Leif Davidsen
Poisonville: Massimo Carlotto with Marco Videtta
The Last Fix: K.O.Dahl
The Man From Beijing: Henning Mankell

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Characters with learning disabilities rarely appear in crime fiction and when they do it is usually as a suspect or a victim. I found it a breath of fresh air to come across Colin Cotterill's character of the morgue labourer, Mr Geung in The Coroner's Lunch.

Here Dr Siri deliberately misunderstands the obnoxious young Judge Haeng in a discussion about Mr Geung's future employment.

'I believe it is time for you to get rid of the moron.'

'The moron?' Siri shuddered. 'Oh, I don't know. I know he has his off days, but I don't think that is enough reason to kick Director Suk out of his job.'......................

'Director....? Goodness, no, Siri. I'm talking about the retard you have as a morgue labourer. I'm prepared to pay a full salary for that position now.'

'I'm so pleased. Mr Geung will be delighted when I tell him he can have a living wage.'
'Pay attention. I'm telling you to get rid of him and hire a normal person.'

'I can't get rid of him. He's the only one there who knows what to do.' .............

.....Judge Haeng, Mr Geung has a mild strain of Down Syndrome.
'He's constantly reminding me of procedures I've forgotten, and where things are stored. He has an amazing memory, and my nurse Dtui and I love him very much.'

This discussion of Mr Geung's qualities and abilities resonated with me as my younger son Jake, who has Down's syndrome, works part time in a cafe. A few weeks ago I thanked the lady who owns the business for looking after him, and her reply was 'he looks after us, and is better than the others.'

As far as his 'amazing memory' is concerned when he went off to residential college we took the opportunity to sort out the various forty seven Star Trek videotapes he had bought over a number of years. These had been purchased on forty seven different trips to W.H Smith or HMV where Jake spent about 20 minutes each time studying the boxes before announcing which one he would buy.
As we sorted through the videotapes, whose covers looked identical to us, we realised with utter astonishment that there were no duplicates. Jake had somehow managed to read or recognise and remember which episodes he had purchased already, and not buy that videotape again. Experts would say that memory feat was impossible for someone with Down's syndrome, and so would I if I had not witnessed it myself.
We moved on to buy DVDs but Jake is the only one who can operate the DVD machine!
I am looking forward to reading more about Mr Geung, Dr Siri and Nurse Dtui but at you can follow the further adventures of Jake and his friends on their visit to Dartmoor Prison.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Here is my contribution to this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet meme at Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise.

I has to be for Indridason.

Arnaldur Indridason, the Icelandic writer, whose series of exceptional police procedurals has brought far more fictional crime to that small island nation than has ever occurred in real life.

Arnaldur Indridason, as of 2009, has written ten books featuring his enigmatic detective Erlendur of which only six have been translated into English. Bernard Scudder, the translator of the first four books sadly died in 2007, and Arctic Chill was finished by Victoria Cribb, who has since translated Hypothermia, which I haven't read yet.

I read The Silence of the Grave [winner of the CWA Gold Dagger] and Jar City back before the start of Crime Scraps, both had won the Nordic Glass Key in successive years 2002 and 2003, and at the time Indridason was the only writer to have won the award twice.
Since then of course Stieg Larsson has won in 2006 and 2008.

Indridason's Erlendur, Sigurdur Oli and Elinborg make a interesting trio of detectives. The tragedies in Erlendur's past and his present day problems play a big part in his determination to resolve cases and bring closure and justice to victim's families.

[Thanks to Ali Karim for the photograph of Arnaldur Indridason and Peter Rozovsky]