There are not one but two new guides to European crime writing published this month. The first is Barry Forshaw's very readable guide to Scandinavian crime fiction: Death in a Cold Climate. I received a proof copy of this and it's one I keep dipping in to, and I particularly like the insights offered by the translators
The other book, which has just been brought to my attention, and which should be out in a few days is The Dragon Tattoo and Its Long Tail: The New Wave of European Crime Fiction in America by David Geherin.
Here are the covers and official blurbs:
Death in a Cold Climate is a celebration and analysis of Scandinavian crime fiction, one of the most successful literary genres. Barry Forshaw, the UK's principal expert on crime fiction, discusses books, films and TV adaptations, from Sjowall and Wahloo's influential Martin Beck series through Henning Mankell's Wallander to Stieg Larsson's demolition of the Swedish Social Democratic ideal in the publishing phenomenon The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In intelligent but accessible fashion, the book examines the massive commercial appeal of the field along with Nordic cultural differences from Iceland to Denmark. Including unique interview material with writers, publishers and translators, this is the perfect reader's guide to the hottest strand of crime fiction today, examined both as a literary form and as an index to the societies it reflects. Includes Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Hakan Nesser, Karin Fossum, Camilla Lackberg, Liza Marklund, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Arnaldur Indridason, Roslund & Hellstrom and many others.
The enormous popularity of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy has raised awareness of other contemporary European authors of crime fiction. As a result, several of these novelists now reach a receptive American audience, eager for fresh perspectives in the genre. This critical text offers an introduction to current European crime writing by exploring ten of the best new crime and mystery authors from Sweden (Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell), Norway (Karin Fossum and Jo Nesbo), Iceland (Arnaldur Indridason), Italy (Andrea Camilleri), France (Fred Vargas), Scotland (Denise Mina and Philip Kerr), and Ireland (Ken Bruen) who are reshaping the landscape of the modern crime novel.