Favourite Nordic Crime Writers

March 1, 2016 | 2 comments


There’s no secret that my all-time go-to genre of choice is mystery/crime – specifically those set in any of the Nordic countries. I’m particularly fond of Scandinavian crime, and if I had to narrow it down further, Swedish crime wins every time. I’ve already made a list of top ten Swedish Crime writers (and it hasn’t changed) so today I’m giving you the top ten authors to read if you are in the mood for Nordic crime (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) and excluding Swedish authors:


1. Jussi Adler-Olsen. (Denmark) One of my recent discoveries is The Department Q series, starting with The Keeper of Lost Causes. It is about homicide detective Carl Mørck who has been assigned his own special department, which investigates cold cases and was set up so that the none of the other police staff have to deal with him.

2. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. (Iceland) Her series about Þóra Guðmundsdóttir, a lawyer with great investigative skills, is another favourite. The series consists of 6 books and I’m especially fond of Ashes to Dust.

3. Jo Nesbø. (Norway) I usually think of his series about detective Harry Hole as the Norwegian equivalent to the Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander. Hole is described as a loose cannon with few close friends and some unorthodox methods, but he is also a brilliant detective. The series consists of 10 books, starting with The Bat.

4. Jørgen Brekke. (Norway) His series about Odd Singsaker, a police inspector in Trondheim, starting with Where Monsters Dwell is another recent discovery.

5. Arnaldur Indriðason. (Iceland) His series about detective Erlendur Sveinsson and his colleagues Elínborg and Sigurður Óli got me started on Icelandic crime. I have read about half of the series, and my favourite book so far is The Draining Lake.

6. Karin Fossum. (Norway) Often described as the Norwegian queen of crime, her series about police inspector Konrad Sejer, starting with Eva’s Eye, is a must read.

7. Gretelise Holm. (Denmark) I’m not sure any of the books from her series about Journalist Karin Sommer, starting with Paranoia, have been translated to English yet. (But if they ever are, they need to be read right away.)

8. Michael Ridpath. Not technically a Nordic author, but his series Fire & Ice about homicide detective Magnus Jonson, is set in Iceland. I’ve only read the first book, Where the Shadows Lie, but I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

9. Quentin Bates. Also not technically a Nordic author, but his series about police sergeant Gunnhildur (Gunna) Gísladóttiris is set in the village of Hvalvík in Iceland. I’ve only read the first book in the series, Frozen Out, and although it wasn’t one of the best crime novels I’ve ever read, I’m intrigued enough to read the next book.

10. James Thompson. I barely read any books set in Finland, but the series about Kari Vaara, police chief in the town of Kittilä in Lapland, and later a homicide inspector in Helsinki, Finland is high up on my to-read list. The series consists of 5 books, starting with Snow Angels.

Have you read any of these, or which ones are your favourites that I should read?

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