Oddly-Specific Genres: Exploring the Fjord Side

Happy New Year and welcome to the first installment of our new monthly series, Oddly-Specific Genres!

Last year, we hosted the 2016 Library Challenge, which was pretty intense. This year, we decided to take a more relaxed approach and are instead inviting you to step into a new genre in 2017…or really 12 new genres, one per month. And we don’t want people to get bored so we’ve come up with sub-genres, or perhaps sub-sub-genres (what I have termed “oddly-specific genres”) to tempt you to take that plunge. The library will be displaying books in that month’s Oddly-Specific Genre each month, and I will be highlighting some here and on our Facebook page. Read along with us and let us know with your comments on the blog or on our Facebook page. Prizes will be in store for those in the Berryville area that conquer at least 10 of these this year!

As winter begins to take hold, there is no better way to start off than with an escape to the fjord side…yes, you guessed it, Scandinavian murder mysteries, aka Nordic Noir (which just happens to be one of my personal favorites.) I’ve talked about my love for Scandinavian fiction here before, but what I love about the books in this genre are their highly atmospheric settings and their psychological insight. Most of the authors I’ve read in this genre are skilled at combining police procedurals with thrillers, and even though these books can be fast-paced, they also tend to be more character-driven than a lot of other mysteries.

With that being said, let the Scandinavian crime spree commence!

Continue reading “Oddly-Specific Genres: Exploring the Fjord Side”

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Jussi Adler-Olsen’s The Keeper of Lost Causes (2007)

the-keeper-of-lost-causes

Copenhagen detective Carl Mørck has been having a bad year. After being shot at a crime scene with his two associates, he is back at work but relegated to a basement office with the dubious distinction of being head of a new cold case department that consists of him and an assistant who seems to have a tentative grasp of the Danish language. He regards the new assignment as a punishment and responds with remarkable apathy. That is, until his realization that he can’t really pretend to be busy “setting up his office” anymore makes him actually pick up his case files. He randomly decides on a missing person case–the disappearance five years earlier of a rising young politician, presumed to have accidentally fallen off a ferry–as the subject of his first investigation. At first, his interest in the case is cursory at best, but then he starts to note inconsistencies and develop questions about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance. . . .

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times on this blog (here and here), I really enjoy Scandinavian murder mysteries. For that reason, Carol Ann suggested this book to me a few months ago and highly recommended it. Most of my previous Scandinavian crime excursions have been Norwegian, but I’m glad I broadened my horizons, comparatively speaking, with this Danish mystery. Thanks for the great suggestion, Carol Ann!

Continue reading “Jussi Adler-Olsen’s The Keeper of Lost Causes (2007)”