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


Blogger Philip Amos said...

I view this list with some frustration, Norman, for I am wholly with you with regard to five, and the other five I haven't read. Indeed, four of those authors I've never read, my local library system not having obeyed my orders to purchase their books, he said, sighing deeply, resigned but puzzled. That leaves the fifth, Camilla Lackberg, she of the earlier Ice Princess, which I did read, and in that case I shall keep to the pledge I made at the time to read another book by Ms L after I've chewed glass, snogged Cherie Blair, lobbied to get James Patterson the Golden Dagger, voted Conservative/Labour/UKIP/BNP..., and started listening to tapes of Norwegian black metal on a continuous loop. Notwithstanding that small divergence of opinion, Norman, you are ever of unerring good taste and judgement and an ambulatory illustration of the word 'mensch'. This is true.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

I am not sure which of those horrible fates is worse snogging Cherie or chewing glass!

I have listed Ms Lackberg for two reasons. Firstly, if my memory does not fail me, The Stone Cutter was recommended by Steven Murray as the best Lackberg he had translated. Secondly it will give me an opportunity to post a photo of Ms Lackberg in a bubble bath. Strange to say photos of Agatha Christie in a bubble bath were not required to sell her books.

Thank you very much for the almost deserved 'mensch', but it is the I have 'unerring good.... judgement' part of your compliment, about which I am having considerable doubts.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I've often wondered about these "Best of" lists showing up in November and early December. I never post my own until after January 1 because one year I finished reading one of the books that made the cut on December 31!

4:01 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

My point exactly Cathy. I am reading two crime fiction related books [and one non fiction] at the same time at the moment, and one is quite outstanding although I am not certain it will make the cut it will rate a special mention at the end of the year.

6:08 AM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

Hey Dr. Robinson, I do recommend The Stonecutter (3 words only because of Harper's cover design). Camilla actually surprised me with this one and made me say 'Wow!' We were fortunate enough to meet her at the Copenhagen book fair last month and had a pleasant and informative chat. In person she's much more 'down home' than her publicity photos might suggest. She revealed to me that she has a photo of herself as a babe being held in the arms of... wait for it... Ingrid Bergman! She had an island off the coast of Fjällbacka and used to come there every summer. She would also throw a big party for the locals every year. There's a statue of her in the main square, renamed Ingrid Bergman Square in her honor. Camilla is now the #1-selling crime fiction author in Sweden, having taken over Stieg Larsson's place. Young mums in particular love her stuff!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

BTW, what's the Icelandic title of Hypothermia? Wondering if it's the same as Arctic Chill in the States, which is Vetrarborgin in Icelandic.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Reg at least my memory is not failing.
Your Wow! is good enough for me.

And Hypothermia was first published in Iceland as Hardskafi.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Reg / Steve said...

I think several of Arnaldur's books are not yet translated to English; Sweden has the same ones out.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Think they may call them "best of" lists because they're embarrassed about calling them "Christmas-shopping-to-boost-our-circulation' lists?
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

9:54 PM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

I have read no 1, 3 and 6, and you really have something to look forward to. Läckberg is not my favourite either, but I agree with Reg that this one is her best plot so far.

10:21 AM  

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