påske / easter March 05 2013, 0 Comments
That is this year's påskekrim (Easter crime) book available in Norway. It features some of Norway's best-known crime novelists. One publishing company has been compiling påskekrim books for a few years now, but the tradition of påskekrim started 90 years ago as an elaborate April Fool's joke. Nordahl Grieg and Nils Lie wrote a story under the pseudonym Jonathan Jerv about a robbery on the Bergen train during the Easter holiday. Grieg's brother, who worked for a publishing company, helped get the story published as a book. It made quite a sensation. It was released as a "true story," and many people called the train station to check on loved ones who were supposed to have been on that train.
The rest is history.
Påskekrim isn't limited to crime novels. NRK, the national television network, airs several mystery series and crime shows, such as Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock. TINE, the national dairy company, even gets into the act with mysteries to solve on their milk cartons.
Norwegians will soon be decorating their homes with Easter eggs and little yellow chicks, and they'll get ready to head out to their hytte (cabin) or to go skiing ... or both. They'll have to stand in line and stock up on supplies for the 10-day break, because many of the stores will be closed over the holiday. So they'll want to make sure they have the latest påskekrim novel packed!
We don't have that kind of Easter tradition in the United States, but I like the idea of reading påskekrim novels, whether it's at Easter or all year round. I'm a big fan of Jo Nesbø, who happens to be from my husband's hometown, Molde. I've read most of his crime novels, and the kids and I have also read his Doctor Proctor books, which he wrote for his daughter. I highly recommend them all.
I have also enjoyed Anne Holt, Karin Fossum, Peter Høeg, Stieg Larsson and Anne B. Ragde. I've barely scratched the surface. I hope to read some Camilla Läckberg and Henning Mankell one of these days. So many great Scandinavian crime novelists out there, so little time.
If you want to be a little "Norwegian" this Easter and read a Scandinavian crime novel, here's a decent list of some of the authors. They don't all have books translated into English ... yet. Check them out, if you're interested.Jussi Adler-Olsen
Lars Kepler (Alexander and Alexandra Ahndoril)