Why not sample Swedish crime?

Viveca Sten’s Sandhamn Murders—either as books or TV—make perfect påskekrim

Christine Foster Meloni
Washington, D.C.

book cover for "Still Waters" by Swedish novelist Viveca StenOf course, our focus here at The Norwegian American tends to be on Norwegian writers. But Norway’s Nordic neighbors are also producing some very interesting crime novels. Let’s focus on Sweden and one writer who is currently one of the most popular.

Viveca Sten has already sold more than 4 million copies of her wildly popular Sandhamn Murders series. Her novels have been made into a Swedish-language TV miniseries and probably for this reason Sten has also become popular in the United States and other places around the world.

At press time, the first six series of the Sandhamn TV show are available for viewing in the United States through MHz Choice (watch.mhzchoice.com). Each season has three or four episodes of varying lengths.

The books are also available to read in English as paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

SANDHAMN MURDERSIt is best to read/view these novels in the order they were written, which is as follows: 1) Still Waters, 2) Closed Circles, 3) Guiltless, 4) Tonight You’re Dead, 5) In the Heat of the Moment, and (6) In Harm’s Way.

Although readers are frequently disappointed with film adaptations of books, the TV series of Sten’s books is definitely worth seeing and perhaps even better than reading the books. Book lovers might want to read the books first and then enjoy the film series.

The setting is incredibly beautiful. Sandhamn (Swedish for “Sand Harbor”) is an idyllic spot, a tiny island in the Stockholm archipelago in central-eastern Sweden, approximately 30 miles east of Stockholm.

The protagonists are lawyer Nora Linde and police detective Thomas Andreasson, childhood friends who meet again after many years. They are immediately attracted to each other, but they try to maintain a more or less professional relationship as they work together informally to solve a series of murders on the island.

These crime novels are perfect Påskekrim.

Sten lives with her husband and three children in Stockholm, but her favorite place to write and vacation is, of course, on the island of Sandhamn.

This article originally appeared in the April 5, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Christine Foster Meloni

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at The George Washington University. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and international education. She was born in Minneapolis and currently lives in Washington, D.C. She values her Norwegian heritage.