Tag Archives: Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

Candied Crime

Long before reading this short e-collection of short stories I had admired Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen for her witty title, Candied Crime. It’s so obvious, but I would just never have been able to come up with it myself.

Candied Crime consists of 13 short stories which are truly short. But the question is whether they count as separate stories, since many of them clearly belong together, so it’s more like short chapters of a short novel.

Written in a deceptively sweet style, the reader follows the lives (and deaths) of the people in the small, quaint village of Knavesborough. As with St Mary Mead and Midsomer, a lot of bad goings-on go on in this small area. It’s as if every individual we meet early on, will go on to have their own little ‘incident,’ sooner or later.

Both story titles – such as A Nightly Burger – as well as characters’ names – Lapsang Souchong (the Chinese ambassador) and Lipton and Darjeeling – are amusing and quite unlikely.

As regular readers will know, Dorte is a Danish crime blogger, who very enthusiastically blogs in Danish and English, and writes her own crime fiction in English. You can tell these stories were written by a non-native speaker, but this only adds to the innocent charm of crime in cosy surroundings.

In fact, there is something chilling about this very cosiness. Give me the big, bad world any day. Those Knavesborough little old ladies are creepy.

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Working to rule

I will begin by quoting the very kind and caring comment made by the wonderful Dorte last week, ‘don’t go spoiling your blog readers. Remember you are the boss or they (we) will just begin to take you for granted.’ Tak, Dorte!

The alternative could be that you all go off reading some other blog. As the ever faithful Adèle Geras has said more than once, it is important to blog/publish every day. I don’t on my other blogs, and it shows. I need time off, but as one of my reasons is the almost total freeze of my right hand/fingers up to my shoulder, I can’t do a Blue Peter kind of time off. I don’t have it in me to write ‘here is one I made earlier’. That’s why the recent chat with Caroline Lawrence is going nowhere right now. I had expected it to be finished and published at least a week ago.

As the Retired Children’s Librarian said on the phone the other day, ‘can’t you use your other hand?’. My left hand sometimes does go on the mousepad for simple moves. But it takes longer and I haven’t got all day, you know.

Earlier this year I half considered a regular guest slot, but that also takes time and a lot of typing. I can probably run up a post myself in half the time it takes to invite someone else.

Any ideas?

I will continue to put something on here every day. For a while it might have to amount to no more than a token post. Referring to the heading for this post, I need a union. Except my boss is a hard woman, so it could be it would do no good.

Sjuk älg

Writing this, I just received an email telling me I need a ghost writer. True. But I look like a ghost already, and one is enough.

If you find yourself thinking that a photo or other silly note is just not good enough, may I suggest you try this, or this? And if you are Nicola Morgan I will only say that you could be writing another book, or something. Unless, you too, require a holiday/convalescence/ other poor excuse?

Achoo! (I know. Arms don’t sneeze. What do they do?)

Bookwitch bites #44

Let’s have some bites with a Scandinavian slant. Even if it’s just about me. (Isn’t it always?)

I’ve been working on the Tim Bowler interview (which will be with you very shortly), and it was nice to see I made the news on Tim’s website. He’s either very polite, or has got his priorities all muddled up.

Tim Bowler news

Something – and I don’t know what it was, but it certainly wasn’t the speed of my dial-up this week – had me surf round blogs and websites. Nice to find that some of my favourites make it into translation. Here are Marcus Sedgwick’s ‘Swordhand’ and Chris Priestley’s horror stories, Swedish style.

Marcus Sedgwick, De Som Går Igen

Chris Priestley, Onkel Montagues Spökhistorier

My Danish blogger friend Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen does not only blog in two languages, getting the English version correct, but she writes fiction as well. (I believe there might even be a paid day job somewhere and possibly household chores, too.) She has a small story collection available to buy online for those of you who are equipped with e-readers. That does not include me. I love the title, which is really witty: Candied Crime.

Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

Someone with a different kind of language issue is Rhys Bowen, the British crime writer transplanted to America. In her latest newsletter she told fans about breaking her wrist, which is delaying her next novel. Trying speech recognition software Rhys found it couldn’t quite deal with what she was hoping to write; ‘heir to the throne’ became ‘air to the thrown’ and ‘to let’ changed into what I always see it as when out and about and morphed into ‘toilet’.

Seeing as I mentioned e-readers just now, Rhys says she has a short ‘Molly’ story (The Amersham Rubies) coming out soon, to coincide with her next Molly novel. Free on Kindle. And how does that help me?