Sunday Salon: Maj Sjowall and a lost fire engine

TSSbadge3 My latest Euro Crime review is The Fire Engine that Disappeared by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo. My review starts: At the risk of sounding overenthusiastic, here is another superb outing in the Martin Beck series. The first few chapters, which describe a stakeout in which Gunvald Larsson of the homicide squad is reluctantly involved, are brilliant. The authors capture so well the big picture and the minutiae of normal life that together create a tense, involving drama. Read on here.

Sjowall
Maj Sjowall – I think!

While on the subject of the Martin Beck series, I noticed a comment by Marco at Barbara Fister's blog Scandinavian Crime Fiction. Marco writes: "the recently concluded Festivaletteratura di Mantova (think Italy’s Hay-on-Wye) had a few panels on crime fiction,and one specifically dedicated to “The Masters of Scandinavian Murder”. Among the authors invited were Nesbo, Nesser, GW Persson, Maj Sjöwall and Anne Holt. Heres a Sjöwall interview,and here a brief overview of the crime events at the Festival with photos of Sjöwall and Persson. The interview doesn’t really break new ground,but there’s a humorous bit in which she says that, thanks to the recent crime fiction boom,you’ll be hard pressed to find a Swedish village lacking its very own fictional detective." Thanks, Marco! The festival, from the programme and list of authors who attended, looks really great. What a pity I don't read Italian so can't understand the reports.

I'm now half-way through the Martin Beck series. I'm savouring these excellent books, and thank Norman of Crime Scraps for introducing me to them. A full list, in chronological order, is here.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Maj Sjowall and a lost fire engine

  1. Yes, that is Maj Sjowall, looking at 73 a little different than in the photos with Per Wahloo I’ve seen of her. But then it is 42 years since the publication of Rosanna, the first and arguably the best of the Beck books. Hard to believe.

  2. Just as difficult to believe is that the tenth and last book in the series was published in English 31 years ago and yet they still seem so up to date.
    Of course I have not read all ten books and have been saving up the three unread ones on my TBR shelf as a special treat. It looks like I will have to read my eighth soon or Maxine will have overtaken me. ;0)

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