Feed Your Swede Tooth

Swedish detective fiction has an icy edge: The cold, the darkness and the brooding populace biding time in the snow add something singular to the genre, something that could only come from the kind of mystery writer who’s spent too much time in the sauna. In fact, that hot, vaporous sensation runs through books like the best-selling Stieg Larsson’s enormously popular Lisbeth Salander trilogy: As steam rises, the plots run deep.

The late Larsson’s fine writing popularized the Swedish mystery here in America, but there are many others carrying on the tradition: Stockholm economist-turned-author Camilla Läckberg, for example, whose The Ice Princess, the first of a seven-book series set in the Swedish fishing village of Fjällbacka (Läckberg’s home town), was released in the U.S. a couple of years ago. It’s a solid story, featuring the team of biographer Erica Falck and detective Patrik Hedström, who investigate the death of a woman found frozen in her bathtub and fall in love along the way. Like we said, steam rises off the ice.

Läckberg will read from the paperback edition at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 East Colfax Avenue; if for no other reason, it’s worth getting a copy just to enjoy all those awesome umlauted Swedish names. For more information, call 303-322-7727 or go to www.tatteredcover.com.
Tue., March 29, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd