Monday, May 14, 2012

Stockholm Text & Swedish Queens of Crime

I came across Stockholm Text after they made one of their titles, The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen, available on Netgalley and today I received a press release giving a bit more information about them:
As the only dedicated digital-first publisher in Scandinavia, Stockholm Text is set to publish 25 English language books for worldwide distribution in 2012. The first titles will be on sale as trade paperback and e-books on all leading platforms beginning May 15th.
Stockholm Text has attracted some of the most popular authors of the region, in genres ranging from bestselling fiction to edgy non-fiction. Among the books to be released this summer are four mystery novels, written by a few of Sweden’s true crime queens, including Mari Jungstedt and Carin Gerhardsen, both with millions of books sold in regional markets. But there are also prize-winning niche authors, with fan bases that extend throughout Europe and beyond.

“We will publish a number of bestsellers,” explains Claes Ericson, founder and publisher of Stockholm Text. “However, our ambition is also to present a variety of exceptional and so far untold stories from our corner of the world. We aim to find the best books, and to add value through quality translations and intelligent packaging.”

Stockholm Text will focus on North America because of the high interest in the mystery/thriller genre as well as the rapid growth of the e-book market, but the UK and Australia are also considered core markets with a high interest in Scandinavian literature.
“We know there is a ready market for these books,” says Claes Ericson, “and we know how to find these readers through social media as well as classic marketing and public relations. We are confident that once our books have been discovered, a loyal following will be the result.”

Available 5 June: The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen
In a short space of time, several bestial murders occur in central Stockholm. When criminal investigator Conny Sjöberg and the Hammarby police begin to suspect that there’s a link between the murders, Sjöberg goes completely cold. There is a killer out there whose motives are very personal, and who will not be deterred.

The Gingerbread House by Carin Gerhardsen is the first in the Hammarby series, thrillers with taut, suspenseful plots and unexpected twists and turns. This haunting novel explores schoolyard bullying among young children and the effect it has on them when people look the other way. Many of the scenes in this book are self-experienced and based on Gerhardsen’s own childhood. Urban settings and strong portraits of authentic characters are crafted in depth and detail, insuring the books will linger in the reader’s mind long after the finish.

The Gingerbread House is written in the same tradition as the Sjöwall / Wahlöö crime novels, and has been described as a book version of the tv series The Wire. It is not only published by the same publisher as Stieg Larsson’s The Millennium Trilogy, but by the same editorial team.

Available 29 May: Killer's Island by Anna Jansson
A myth from the Swedish island of Gotland about the White Sea-Lady has existed ever since Tjelvar, the first man on Gotland, lit a fire and the island rose out of the sea, said to be some 3,000 years ago. The story is told that a young woman who drowned on her wedding night has since tried to lure men down to the deadly underwater currents that tumble off the west coast.

The myth of the White Sea-Lady is conjured up one midsummer Gotland island morning, just before a nurse is found murdered in the pavilion on the Tempel Hill of Gorland, in the Botanic garden. She is dressed as a bride.

Detective Inspector Maria Wern is investigating the complex case, but it becomes clear that the police is also under observation. The killer seems omnipotent, able to taunt and provoke the police with a technical know-how that far exceeds their own. As the killer’s demonic plans are being contrived, Inspector Maria Wern realizes the threat that increases with every moment the killer goes undetected.

Available 15 May: The Dead of Summer by Mari Jungstedt (Euro Crime review)
The most isolated island in the Baltic Sea, Gotska Sandön, north of Gotland, serves as the setting for Mari Jungstedt’s perfect crime story. Praised for her intelligent plots, fast pace, and excruciating suspense, Jungstedt has in “The Dead of Summer” written one of her strongest novels.

At the starting-point for this spine tingling book, one of ten in the Anders Knutas series, we join assistant commissioner Karin Jacobsson on the case, leading the investigation as Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas is first away on vacation. Reporter Johan Berg keeps pace with the police team, while at the same time doing everything in his power to win back his big love, Emma Winarve.

Are we ever truly alone? Or, is there always someone watching, and waiting?

Considered “one of Scandinavia’s best crime writers” by The Times, Mari Jungstedt is one of Sweden’s most beloved authors, with more than two million copies of her books sold in Sweden alone.

Available 22 May: Death of a Carpet Dealer by Karin Wahlberg
The brutal murder of a Swedish carpet dealer on a business trip to Turkey is the start of a story about an unknown daughter, an exclusive carpet and – as always when Karin Wahlberg writes – the everyday life and dreams of the people we meet in her stories.

Death of a Carpet Dealeris one of the seven Karin Wahlberg books featuring Police Commissioner Claes Claesson and his wife Veronika Lundborg, doctor at Oskarshamn hospital. It is a traditional crime novel based on a concrete crime to be solved – no politics, no unrelated action, but lots of ordinary life around the characters.

Wahlberg herself is one of Sweden’s most renowned accoucheurs. Her highly literary reads have sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Find out more about Stockholm Text at their website and on Facebook and follow them on twitter: @StockholmText


Maxine Clarke said...

I'd be very keen to read these in translation (apart from Mari Jungstedt whom I've already read!), so I do hope we can get access to them in the UK.

Maxine Clarke said...

I received a tweet from Stockholm text today to say that the e-books will be available to UK readers ;-)

Robyn said...

Wow, sounds like my kind of books!!! I'm going to go check them out thanks! I am reading a really great book that I want to share. It is called, "Angels Gate", by Andrew J. Rafkin and Louis Pagano. Angels Gate is a true story of the Greatest heist ever, and it has never been told! It is the largest monetary heist in history

Lauren said...

I've read Wahlberg, Gerhardsen and Jansson in German (though Jansson is really hard to get hold of), and I can recommend all three. Not perfect, by any means, but good reading. I've certainly come across books that were technically better, but all three authors do something that is very important to me - produce highly likeable characters. With families, even. I can forgive a lot when I enjoy spending time with the people about whom I'm reading!

(The Maria Wern novels have been adapted for TV. Amusingly, the sidekick in season one is played by the same actor who played Irene Huss's husband...slightly confusing the first time I found the programme via channel-surfing.)

As a footnote, I wonder why so much more Nordic crime gets translated into German than English. It's not as if the market's that enormous compared to US+UK+AUS+NZ+CAN etc...Not that I'm complaining!