11 February 2007

Another Kerstin Ekman

Dan Conrad wrote a little note about another Scandanavian mystery. The plot gets thicker. When I think about it I know that people write mysteries in other cultures. There were the Judge Dee mysteries in Tang Dynasty China, after all. We just don't see many of them in the U.S. So far this year, Dan has discovered two Scandanavian mystery writers. Maybe we should make it a quest for 2007 to find more mystery writers whose original works are not in English. (And maybe I should convert the special mysteries edition of Reading I did 10+ years ago to the blog.)

Here's what Dan wrote. You can write for the blog too. All it takes are some thoughts about what you've read.

Just thought I'd mention that having been "hooked" by Blackwater I got a copy of another Kerstin Ekman novel, Under the Snow.

Compared to Blackwater it is shorter, easier to read and not so oppressively bleak. Where Blackwater is rather a study in character and landscape with a murder mystery lurking in the background, Under the Snow is more a murder mystery with a study of how landscape affects character lurking in the background.

I enjoyed reading it, but it doesn't continue to lurk there in my mind (to haunt me) like Blackwater.

  • A discussion group guide for Under the Snow
  • In Margot Livesey's review of Ekman's Witch's Rings for the New York Times, she notes that
    "Under the Snow, which was first published in 1961, is among the earliest of Ekman's books. Admirably translated by Joan Tate, who also translated ''Blackwater,'' it is an engrossing (albeit slighter) novel in the same crime-novel genre..."
  • David Harrolsson's essay, The Novels of Kerstin Ekman from Parameter Magazine


EKitchener said...

Just discovered your blog through Planet Carleton. (I'm from the class of '74). Thanks for increasing my "must read" list even more! Speaking of mystery writers whose original works are not in English, are you familiar with Henning Mankell? I just discovered his books recently. There are seven titles in his Kurt Wallander series and now there's a spin-off series starring Kurt's daughter Linda.

Ken Wedding said...

Thanks for the Wallander suggestion. This is how we learn about new reading opportunities. I sent it on to Dan Conrad who first tempted me into reading Ekman.

By the way, the ReadingBlog's predecessor is still online at