June is the beginning of the International Dagger eligibility period, and I’ve never known anything like the past five months for a plethora of brilliant books being published. If it carries on like this until next May (when the publication window closes) it is going to be an impossible task to select a shortlist of even a dozen books!
Of the list of 55 eligible titles (so far known) this year listed by Karen of Euro Crime (also at Goodreads when a cover image is available), I’ve read 20 (click on title to see my review):
Kjell Eriksson – The Princess of Burundi, tr. Ebbe Segerberg (Sweden, my review from 2007 is of the US edition)
Andrea Camilleri – The Track of Sand, tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Italy)
Arnaldur Indridason – Outrage, tr. Anna Yates (Iceland)
Camilla Lackberg – The Hidden Child, tr. Tiina Nunnally (Sweden)
Ernesto Mallo – Sweet Money, tr. Katherine Silver (Argentina)
Johan Theorin – The Quarry, tr. Marlaine Delargy (Sweden)
Jan Costin Wagner – The Winter of the Lions, tr. Anthea Bell (German, Finland setting)
Karin Fossum – The Caller, tr. Kyle Semmel (Norway)
Mons Kallentoft – Midwinter Sacrifice, tr. Neil Smith (@neiltranslator) (Sweden, review submitted to Euro Crime)
Anne Holt – Fear Not, tr. Marlaine Delargy (Norway)
Yrsa Sigurdardottir – The Day is Dark, tr. Philip Roughton (Iceland)
Asa Larsson – Until Thy Wrath be Past, tr. Laurie Thompson (Sweden)
Deon Meyer – Trackers, tr. K L Seegers (South Africa, language Afrikaans)
Hakan Nesser – The Unlucky Lottery, tr. Laurie Thompson (Sweden, review submitted to Euro Crime)
Marco Vichi – Death in August, tr. Stephen Sartarelli (Italy)
Jorn Lier Horst -Dregs, tr. Anne Bruce (Norway)
Thomas Enger – Burned, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Norway)
Sergios Gakas – Ashes, tr. Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife (Greece)
Claudia Pineiro – All Yours, tr. Miranda France (Argentina)
Stefan Tegenfalk – Anger Mode, tr David Evans (Sweden)
On my shelf, to read:
Gianrico Carofiglio – Temporary Perfections (Italy)
K O Dahl – Lethal Investments, tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Jo Nesbo – Headhunters tr. Don Bartlett (Norway)
Waiting to be acquired or to be published:
Roslund-Hellstrom – Cell 8 (Sweden)
Friis & Kaaberbol – The Boy in the Suitcase (Denmark)
Kjell Eriksson – The Hand that Trembles (Sweden)
Bernhard Jaumann – The Hour of the Jackal (Germany)
Kristina Ohlsson – Unwanted (Sweden)
Petros Markaris – Basic Shareholder (Greece)
Valerio Varesi – The Dark Valley (Italy)
Camilla Lackberg – The Drowning (Sweden)
Charlotte Link – The Other Child (German, UK setting)
Liza Marklund – Last Will (Sweden)
Jo Nesbo – The Bat Man (Norway)
Mari Jungstedt – The Dark Angel (Sweden)
Lars Kepler – The Executioner (Sweden) (not as keen as all that to read this one)
The geographical distribution of these novels is: Sweden 14, Norway 7, Iceland 2, Denmark 1, Finland 1 (German author/language) – that makes 25 Nordic – Italy 4, Argentina 2, Greece 2, Germany 2, South Africa 1. If I get through all these books and nothing else more attractive is published in the interim, I may read The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino, which would add 1 for Japan. (By the way, on this sample size of 2 for Germany, it is odd that one is set in Finland and the other in England.)
The strong Nordic bias to this selection is partly because I have not included historical or (I hope) “slasher”-type novels on my “desperately want to read” list, and partly because the list reflects what is being published for the first time in English translation in the UK between 1 June 2011 and 31 May 2012 – that is, the market.
Which of these are my front-runners? That’s a very hard one. Indridason, Theorin, Larsson, Horst, Meyer certainly, with Gakas, Holt, Mallo and Enger a shade behind. Or maybe Fossum. Or Pineiro…..help! One thing is for sure, that of the 20 I’ve read, I would not say any of them is a dud. I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of them tremendously, and hope to continue feeling this way about the rest of the eligible titles as I read them.
Other recent posts speculating on the 2012 Dagger can be read at The Game’s Afoot and Crime Scraps.
See all my posts on the International Dagger.
Official CWA International Dagger page, containing synopses and articles about the 2011 winner and shortlisted books, as well as archives about past years’ awards.
An excellent recap Maxine. I’m looking forward for the rest of your reviews.
Maxine – It’s true isn’t it? There’ve been some truly fine novels coming out this year, and it will be hard – very hard – to choose a winner or even a short list. Thank you for this excellent summary of your own reading this far, and I look forward to the rest of your reviews. Too many good books – too little time!!
Quite a list. Glad to see that none are duds. Have read just a few, 3, actually of your finished list. (sign) Will list many of these on my TBR pile and will hint to my many Santas what I’d like for the holidays.
Maxine,Yes it is a very good list this year ..I read many of them ,and my favourite-
so far is ‘Trackers’.
As for Friis and Kaaberbol-The Boy in the Suitcase.
This may not be eligible ,as although available on Kindle and via
Amazon,it is published in the USA -but not ,as far as I can see in UK.
Thanks, Simon. I know that Misterioso (Arne Dahl) is not eligible as a US edition but did not know that about Friis/Kaaberbol. As it looks very good from the reviews of it I’ve read so far (outside the UK), I imagine the judges will be quite pleased to have one fewer to agonise over!
The Boy in the Suitcase is one book I have been waiting for, based on the good reviews it’s gotten. It’s supposed to be available over here in November.
It’s fascinating how the Scandinavians are still churning out a lot of mysteries. I wonder which will catch on in the States.