Luckily we had our first copy of holiday newspaper Hallandsposten waiting with the spiders in the letterbox when we arrived. I almost forgot to order it, but a very late email to the paper sorted our supply for the next few weeks. It’s small and local and mentions more lawnmower thefts than international wars, but it’s the very local-ness of the paper I like. I always find something relevant, and I always hope it won’t be in the obituaries.
Anyway, the first morning’s paper offered a double page spread of crime. There’s a piece on Dennis Lehane, and something on Robert Ludlum. I’ve almost been tempted to try Jacqueline Winspear, and I’ve just found out Jo Nesbø is a man. Oops. I’d taken for granted Jo was a woman…
Crime Queens are female, however, and there is a piece on the Agatha Christie of Sweden, Maria Lang. As the reporter says, you only have to have published a couple of crime novels and people will call you queen of crime. But I quite agree that Maria Lang is the one and only Crime Queen around here. I used to love her books, about handsome policeman Christer Wijk, set in fictional Skoga. Maria Lang wrote a novel a year, for about forty years, until her death in 1991.
Maria Lang used to ask people’s permission before murdering anyone in their house, and she felt that one murder was enough, two was acceptable, and three would be one too many. Nicely old-fashioned. I’ll have to see if I can manage to re-read some of them.