New Mysteries in Translation

The shadow district : a thriller

1961- author Arnaldur Indriðason

MYSTERY Arnaldur Indridason
Mystery

"A deeply compassionate story of old crimes and their consequences, The Shadow District is the first in a thrilling new series by internationally bestselling author Arnaldur Indridason. THE PAST In wartime Reykjavik, a young woman is found strangled in 'the shadow district', a rough and dangerous area of the city. An Icelandic detective and a member of the American military police are on the trail of a brutal killer. THE PRESENT A 90-year-old man is discovered dead on his bed, smothered with his own pillow. Konrad, a former detective now bored with retirement, finds newspaper cuttings reporting the WWII shadow district murder the dead man's home. It's a crime that Konrad remembers, having grown up in the same neighborhood. A MISSING LINK Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? Will Konrad's link to the past help him solve the case and finally lay the ghosts of WWII Reykjavik to rest?"--

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First in a series-- music to the ears of a mystery reader-- this book jumps between WWII and present day.
- Susan C

The pyramid of mud

Andrea Camilleri

MYSTERY Camiller Andrea
Mystery

On a gloomy morning in Vigàta, a call from Fazio rouses Inspector Montalbano from a nightmare. A man called Giugiù Nicotra has been found dead in the skeletal workings of a construction site--a place now entombed by a sea of mud from recent days of rain and floods. Shot in the back, he had fled into a water supply system tunnel. The investigation gets off to a slow start, but all the evidence points to the world of construction and public contracts, a world just as slimy and impenetrable as mud. As he wades through a world in which construction firms and public officials thrive, Montalbano is obsessed by one thought: that by going to die in the tunnel, Nicotra had been trying to communicate something.

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Most recent in a long series (not critical that you start at the beginning) featuring Inspector Montalbano, many red herrings and twists and turns.
- Susan C

The ninth grave : a Fabian Risk novel

Stefan Ahnhem

MYSTERY Ahnhem Stefan
Mystery

""An atmospheric and complicated saga of crimes that criss-cross the narrow strait between Sweden and Denmark ... great cop characters ... and some imaginatively grisly perps."--Sunday Times Would you kill for the one you love? That's the question that international bestseller Stefan Ahnhem's The Ninth Grave: A Fabian Risk Novel seeks to answer in this spine-tingling thriller set six months before the events in Victim Without a Face. On a cold winter evening, the Swedish minister of justice disappears without a trace from the short walk between the house of Parliament and his car. At the same time the wife of a famous Danish TV-star is found brutally murdered in her luxury home north of Copenhagen. Soon more bodies are discovered, all missing different body parts. As criminal investigator Fabian Risk and Danish counterpart Dunja Hougaard race to put the pieces together, they are dragged into a conspiracy worse than anyone could imagine."

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Police procedural involving a cannibalistic serial killer so not for the faint of heart. Alternates beteen police officials in Denmark and Sweden.
- Susan C

The girl who takes an eye for an eye

David Lagercrantz

FICTION Lagercra David
Mystery

Lisbeth Salander has been forged by a brutal childhood and horrific abuse. And repeated attempts on her life. The ink embedded in her skin is a constant reminder of her pledge to fight against the injustice she finds on every side. Confinement to the secure unit of a women's prison is intended as a punishment. Instead, Lisbeth finds herself in relative safety. Flodberga is a failing prison, effectively controlled by the inmates, and for a computer hacker of her exceptional gifts there are no boundaries. Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week - and receives a lead to follow for his pains, one that could provide an important expose for Millennium: Salander tells him to check out Leo Mannheimer, a seemingly reputable stockbroker from Stockholm, somehow connected to the long-ago death of a child psychologist - and to the psychiatric unit where Lisbeth was an involuntary patient as a child. Lisbeth knows she is coming closer to solving the mysteries of her early life; and even within the confines of the prison, she feels the deadly influence exerted by her twin sister. Salander will stand up for what she believes in. She will find out the truth. Whatever the cost.

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Latest in the Lisbeth Salander saga -- one of my favorites in the series.
- Susan C

After the fire

Henning Mankell

FICTION Mankell Henning
Fiction

"Fredrik Welin is a seventy-year-old former surgeon who retired in disgrace years ago. He has retreated to a Swedish archipelago, where he lives alone on an island. He swims in the sea every day, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. He is perfectly content to live out his days in quiet solitude. Until he wakes up one autumn evening to find his house on fire. Fredrik escapes just in time, wearing two left-footed boots. All that remains in the morning is a stinking ruin and evidence of arson. Fredrik cannot imagine why someone would do such a thing. The police are also stumped, and without another suspect, they begin to think Fredrik started the fire himself. Fredrik's peaceful, simple life has slipped away from him. Then, Lisa Modin, a local journalist who wants to write a story about the fire, comes into his life, and she awakens in him something that he thought was long dead. After the Fire is an intimate portrait of a recluse who is forced to open himself up to a world he'd left behind"--

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Another Swedish translation -- this one posthumously from the author of the Kurt Wallander series. Strictly speaking not a mystery, but there is plenty of suspense and some great characters.
- Susan C

The widows of Malabar Hill

Sujata Massey

MYSTERY Massey, Sujata
Mystery

"Introducing an extraordinary female lawyer-sleuth in a new historical series set in 1920s Bombay. Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father's law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a law degree from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women's legal rights. Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen is going through the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forfeit what their husband left them? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X--meaning she probably couldn't even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah--in strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts about the will were correct when tensions escalate to murder. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger."--

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Not a translation, but a very entertaining historical mystery set in 1920's Bombay. Main character is a female attorney -- the only one in Bombay.
- Susan C