Welcome to Torquil MacLeod Books

Thank you for visiting my website. I hope it gives you an idea of what I do and what I’m up to. As well as the latest news about my books, I do the occasional blog (see Blog/News – The Saga of the Next Book is the latest) when I think there might be something vaguely interesting to say, which, as my family are quick to point out, isn’t very often.

My staple output is Scandinavian crime fiction.  The Malmö Mysteries series now runs to nine full-length novels and a novella (A Malmö Midwinter).  They follow the life, loves and criminal times of Malmö police detective, Anita Sundström.  I’m currently working on the next Anita investigation, Myth in Malmö.  It is due to appear in November 2024.

I’ve also brought out a box set of the first three ebooks in the series under the title The Malmö Mysteries.

All the Malmö Mysteries are available in paperback and published by McNidder & Grace.  In America and Canada, readers can buy the paperbacks direct from McNidder & Grace’s distributor, Casemate. 




Tantor AudioBooks Publishing have already produced the first seven full-length novels.  Now they have recorded three new Malmö Mystery audio books.  Again, the stories are narrated by Marguerite Gavin.

A Malmö Midwinter will be released on June 25th

Mammon in Malmö will be released on July 16th

Mission in Malmö will be released on August 13th

The books can be pre-ordered 30 days before the release dates on several sites, including audiobooks.com, Barnes & Noble and Google Play.  They’ll make ideal summer listening.


And I’ve signed an agreement with Never Ever Productions, in Los Angeles, who are looking at the series’ potential for podcasts and TV.

I’ve also written Sweet Smell of Murder, a historical crime novel featuring a feckless hero, Jack Flyford, who couldn’t be further away from Anita Sundström.  Others are planned if Anita ever lets me have the time to write them.





Myth in Malmö.  On the peaceful summer residential allotments in Simrishamn, a dog is killed.  A few weeks later, so is one of the plot holders.  She is a woman who had access to many secrets that certain locals wouldn’t want to come to light.  As Anita Sundström’s team is brought in to investigate, the chief inspector also has to deal with the disappearance of a British archaeology student who has gone missing in Sweden while searching for an ex-colleague, who has also vanished.

The case, brought to her by her long-time, long-distance partner, Detective Kevin Ash, who has run into a dead end in the UK, seems to be linked to two separate archaeological digs – one in Skåne and the other in the famous Viking centre of Birka.  So, what has this all to do with a Scanian Viking who once fought in the Varangian Guard for a Byzantine emperor?  Anita Sundström needs to find out before another life is lost in the tenth Malmö Mystery.



When Netflix’s thriller series The Night Agent hit our screens recently, there was no hint it would have a dramatic impact on the MacLeod household.  But when an eagle-eyed cousin spotted a shot in which the hero walks into a hotel lobby and briefly peruses a bookstand, it had just that.  One of the books on the stand, in full view of the watching audience, was Missing in Malmö!  It might not have a starring role, but even some of the big Hollywood names started as extras!



After last year’s successful world premiere of the play Bothwell, Prisoner of Malmö, Front Row Theatre brought the production back this summer to an appropriate location – Glimminghus Castle in Skåne.  The story of the imprisoned Scottish lord once again starred Front Row Theatre’s founder, Fraser James MacLeod, and Rebecca Tenor.

For more information, visit: www.frontrowtheatre.se







Missing your Branston Pickle or Frank Cooper’s Marmalade or Yorkshire Tea?  Hankering after Walker’s Shortbread or a Cadbury Twirl?  And don’t get me started on the mighty Marmite.  These are reassuring commodities from home that ex-pat Brits usually do without after committing their lives to another country.  But not so those living in Malmö and southern Sweden, thanks to two entrepreneurs called Karren and Catherine.  Wander down to Englebrektsgatan and you’ll receive a warm welcome, and find all those everyday items that you’ve forgone in your new life, but secretly craved.  So successful has the formula been that Taste of Britain was voted Shop of the Year in the Malmö City Awards 2021.  You’ll also find it is the only shop in Sweden that you can buy the Malmö Mysteries.  My wife, Susan, and I found out for ourselves what a great welcome you receive from Karren and Catherine when we visited Taste of Britain .  We felt very honoured, as the Malmö Mysteries were displayed alongside biographies of the Queen, Prince Philip and Winston Churchill!

More information at www.tasteofbritain.se



I was born in Edinburgh and brought up in north east England.  My family hails from the Isle of Skye, where my Viking ancestors settled.  Hence the name Torquil, which is Scandinavian.

After a brief spell as a teacher in Worcestershire and a failed insurance salesman in the Midlands, I worked as a copywriter in advertising agencies in Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle; in 2000 I became a freelance writer. I live in north west England with my wife Susan. We have two sons and four grandchildren, spread evenly between Essex and southern Sweden.

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Malmö Mysteries

The Swedish Connection

I’ve been visiting Sweden regularly since 2000 as my elder son lives there. For a great deal of that time, his home has been in Malmö.  Through him I met a couple of police detectives, who have become firm friends. They helped to inspire me. Interestingly, both have worked out of the Ystad police station, which is where Henning Mankell set his popular Kurt Wallander novels.  Originally, Meet me in Malmö was based on an idea I had in 2001 for a film script – long before I realised that Sweden was a hotbed of crime fiction. Later, I decided to turn it into a novel.

The Turning Torso in Malmö

Having subsequently read a number of Scandinavian crime novels, in which the authors, of course, already assume their readers have a certain degree of local knowledge and cultural understanding, I thought it would be a different approach to introduce my Swedish detective, and Malmö itself, through the eyes of a British character – an outsider who sees Sweden from another perspective.


Book 1 Cover - Meet Me in Malmö

A British journalist is invited to Malmö to interview an old university friend who is now one of Sweden’s leading film directors.  When he discovers the director’s glamorous film star wife dead in her apartment, the Skåne County Police are called in to solve the high-profile case.

Among the investigating team is Inspector Anita Sundström, who soon finds the list of suspects growing.  As Anita battles to discover the answers amid the antagonism of some of her colleagues, she even begins to think that the person she is becoming attracted to could be the murderer.

Meet me in Malmö is the first Anita Sundström Malmö mystery.

This book can be bought on the following links:

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Book 2 Cover - Murder in MalmöA gunman is loose in Malmö and he’s targeting immigrants. The charismatic head of an advertising agency is found dead in his shower. Inspector Anita Sundström wants to be involved in the murder investigations, but she is being sidelined by her antagonistic boss. She is assigned to find a stolen painting by a once-fashionable artist, as well as being lumbered with a new trainee assistant. She also has a lot to do to restore her professional reputation after a deadly mix-up in a previous high-profile case.  Then another prominent Malmö businessman is found murdered and Sundström finds herself back in the action and facing new dangers in the second Anita Sundström Malmö mystery.

This book can be bought on the following links:

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Book 3 Cover - Missing in MalmöWhen a British heir hunter fails to return home after a trip to Malmö, Inspector Anita Sundström doesn’t want to get entangled in a simple missing persons case.  She shows a similar reluctance when her ex-husband begs her to find his girlfriend, who seems to have disappeared. But when the mysteries take a sinister turn, Sundström finds herself inextricably involved in both baffling affairs, one of which seems to be connected to a robbery that took place twenty years earlier.  As the cases begin to unravel, tragedy awaits the investigating team in the third Anita Sundström Malmö mystery.

This book can be bought on the following links:

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 MIDNIGHT cover (SMALL)When a woman is stabbed to death while jogging in Malmö’s main park, the Criminal  Investigation Squad need to discover who she is before the case can properly get under way. Soon they realise the victim had flown in from Switzerland, and with links to important people in the city, she wasn’t everything she seemed.

Meanwhile, enjoying the hot summer away from Malmö, Anita Sundström is on her annual leave and is showing Kevin Ash the sights of Skåne. Their holiday is interrupted by the apparent suicide of a respected, retired diplomat. After a further death, Anita finds herself unofficially investigating a case that has its roots in the 1917 chance meeting of a Malmö waiter with the world’s most famous revolutionary. All she knows is that the answers lie in Berlin.

Two investigations that begin and end at Midnight in Malmö – the fourth Inspector Anita Sundström mystery.

This book can be bought on the following links:



Layout 1Inspector Anita Sundström is called away from Christmas with her mother to help investigate a domestic death. Her initial relief at escaping a dull festive season soon fades when she and sidekick, Hakim Mirza, find themselves dealing with a difficult case involving the murder of an unloved father and disliked neighbour. Though suspects and motives abound, they are having difficulty identifying the murder weapon. Has the killing something to do with the victim’s past, or is the reason closer to home? It’s not the Christmas Anita was anticipating, nor the conclusion she was expecting.

This book can be bought on the following links:


menaceOn a late summer evening, the train from Malmö to Ystad is involved in a crash. The deaths at the scene seem straightforward until one of the bodies is identified as a well-known conman. It’s someone who had crossed swords with Chief Inspector Moberg in the past and he is keen to find out what the dead man was up to.  Before long it develops into a far more sinister investigation for Inspector Anita Sundström and the team at Skåne County Police. Yet Anita is finding it difficult to keep her mind focussed as a new Cold Case Group have reopened the first murder she was ever involved in.  Twenty-one years before, the young and eager Anita and her colleagues were sure of the murderer’s identity, but were unable to find the conclusive evidence for a conviction. Her nemesis, Alice Zetterberg, is heading up the cold case and is determined to prove Anita wrong. While watching helplessly on the sidelines, her own case takes an ominous turn with a brutal murder and a new menace on the streets of Malmö.

This book can be bought on the following links:

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When a leading Malmö entrepreneur turns up bound and gagged in a city-centre cemetery, the Skåne County Police have no obvious clues as to who is behind the kidnap. More complications arise when a second leading business figure is snatched and Inspector Anita Sundström and her colleagues are under pressure not only to find the victim, but also catch the gang.

The team is then further stretched with the murder of a malicious investigative journalist who has ruined the lives of many prominent Swedes. Unlike the kidnap case, there is no shortage of suspects. Both investigations are far from straightforward, and Anita’s professional life is about to become more turbulent with her nemesis, Alice Zetterberg, waiting in the wings.

Warring companies… fallen celebrities… and an adversary from a past case reappears on the scene as Anita Sundström tries to find the truth in the sixth full-length Malmö Mystery.

This book can be bought on the following links:

Shortly after Inspector Anita Sundström’s mother’s death, Anita is called to an apartment where an 80-year-old man with dementia has tried to kill his wife.  The case sparks off a renewed interest in the death of her father, who was lost in the 1994 MS Estonia ferry disaster.  It’s not long before she discovers that she’s stumbled into a tangled web of conspiracy theories surrounding the tragedy, and the unstable and violent dawn of a newly independent Estonia.

At the same time, Anita’s also involved in an investigation into the murder of a prominent member of Malmö’s Pakistani community.   When she’s sidelined by her nemesis, Alice Zetterberg, she becomes more determined to discover the reasons behind her father’s fate.   She soon finds herself entering very dangerous waters that sweep her to Tallin, Stockholm and Oxford in search of answers that will finally give her closure in the seventh of the best-selling series of Anita Sundström crime mysteries.

This book can be bought on the following links:

With a new commissioner wanting to make his mark, the Criminal Investigation Squad is under pressure when they are called in to solve the killing of a private investigator.   The nature of the victim’s work throws up some obvious suspects, yet not all is what it seems.  When another murder takes place, there seems to be a politically sensitive connection.

Anita Sundström, out of the force for a year after her resignation, is approached by a dying woman to track down a collection of paintings stolen from her family.  The paintings were looted by the Nazis in Budapest in 1944.  But needing the money, Anita takes on this seemingly impossible task.  As she heads off to Hungary, she has no idea of the dangers.

2006. Anita Sundström has only been with Chief Inspector Erik Moberg’s Criminal Investigation Squad for a year when they have to tackle the aftermath of an armed robbery at a cash handling facility in Malmö. The raid has left one security guard dead and there is no sign of the stolen millions.  Though the team make early progress, they soon become frustrated as the investigation stalls.  Then a murder with a possible connection to the audacious heist only raises more questions than answers.

In the present day, Anita is just finding her feet as chief inspector.  Her first big case is an old couple’s apparent suicide pact, but if it is murder as she suspects, there seems to be no motive or suspects.  Complicating her life further is the arrival of an FBI agent whose mission is to track down a Swede accused of a murder in Chicago.  As Anita Sunström’s ninth mystery unfolds, the past comes back to haunt her.


Anita’s Sweden



Malmö is Sweden’s third city and is in the bottom left-hand corner of the country, just across the water from Copenhagen.  Twenty years ago it meant that Malmö was out on a limb, a long way from the centre of government in Stockholm.  In 2000 the Öresund Bridge opened, linking Denmark with southern Sweden.  Since then Malmö has flourished and is now a modern, multicultural city.


Malmö first came to prominence when Hanseatic merchants came to exploit the high density of herring off the coast.  For a long period of time Malmö was part of Denmark – its second most important city – until1658 when it became Swedish again.  Later prosperity was based on shipbuilding and the famous Kockums yard.  Like most European shipbuilding centres, Malmö saw a decline in the 1970s.  Now it has reinvented itself as a dynamic international city, a centre of higher learning and cutting-edge technology.  The symbol of the city is no longer the Kockums crane – which is now in Korea – but Santiago Calatrava’s spectacular 54-storey Turning Torso.


Today’s Malmö has an attractive medieval centre, modern shops and numerous pleasant parks.  But, like all urban areas it has its problems.  Among its 300,000 inhabitants there are people from 170 nationalities, speaking 100 different languages.  This brings colour and diversity, but also tensions.  And, like all cities, Malmö has its fair share of crime.  And this is the world in which Inspector Anita Sundström operates.


To make the novels as authentic as possible I have chosen, where practical, to use real locations.  Here are some that you will come across during the stories:

Turning Torso

Turning Torso – Malmö’s most impressive landmark and scene of the climax in Meet me.


Roskildevägen Anita lives in an apartment block like this one.

PolishusThis is Malmö’s impressive police headquarters.

Värnhemstorget This square appears in Meet meMissing and Malice.

The Pickwick pub

The Pickwick pub – Anita’s favourite watering hole.

Öresund BridgeFamous landmark linking Sweden to Denmark that features at the end of Midwinter.

Lilla Torg. Popular meeting place

Lilla Torg – Malmö’s lively social centre which appears in a number of the books.

Pildammsparken in snow

Pildammsparken – Where Anita goes for her runs.  Features in a number of the books, particularly Midnight.

Malmo - Ribersborgs

Ribersborgs kallbadhus – Malmö’s historic open-air bathhouse featured in Midnight.


Möllevångstorget – Colourful square which saw dramatic events in Murder.

Vastra Hamnen

Västra Hamnen – The fast-growing urban area replacing the old docks.  Featured in Malice.

Triangeln station

Triangeln Station – Vast underground station that featured in Murder.



I know that a number of my readers turn to Google Earth to find out the locations mentioned in the books.  So, having shown some of the important places in Anita Sundström’s personal and professional life in Malmö, I thought I would take you out of the city.

Many of Anita’s investigations take her out into the countryside and towns of Skåne, the southernmost county of Sweden.  It’s also the area in which she spent her teenage years and where she went to school after her parents split up.

Outside the city of Malmö and the larger towns like Helsingborg, Trelleborg, Lund and Kristianstad, the landscape is a patchwork of gentle rolling farmland, woodland and lakes.  The coastline features miles of sandy beaches broken up by charming fishing villages and pretty seaside towns.  And there are enough castles and manor houses to satisfy the most demanding history buff.  The food’s great, too!

Lilla Vik – Anita’s favourite beach, where she finds peace in her more stressful moments.

Simrishamn – The small harbour town where Anita spent her teenage years after her parents’ divorce, and where she met Karin Munk in Murder.

Simrishamn – It was here that Anita became reluctantly reacquainted with her old Police Academy rival, Alice Zetterberg, in Midnight.

Scanian farmhouse – This is similar to the one belonging to artist Pelle Munk in Murder.

Ystad – The town where Graeme Todd was last seen in Missing and home of Malice murder suspect, Folke Allinger.

Knäbäckshusen – The small village where the six students spent the summer of 1995 in Menace.

Helsingborg – Ferry port and location of the Offesson Coffee empire in Malice.

Skårby –  Also in Malice, this is the church where Anita and the team staked out a ransom drop.

Hyllie – Featured in Menace, the railway station where Danny Foster was nearly killed.

Stenshuvud – The hill that juts out into the Baltic and where, in Midnight, Anita and Kevin found themselves in danger.

Sjöbo – The baroque Gästifvaregård where Pontus Brodd persuaded Klara Wallen to have lunch after interviewing Pastor Kroon in Midnight.


Historical Crime


Georgian Misadventures

Jack Flyford is a new character who stumbles on to the stage in the fading years of the reign of George II.  It is a fertile period in which to set a series.  The early Georgian period was a time of huge change and one we might recognise ourselves.  It was the first great consumer age: fashion was at the forefront, satirists and writers were mocking the politicians of the day, actors and musicians were becoming stellar celebrities, extraordinary new buildings were springing up everywhere, crime was rife – and our soldiers were spread around the globe in numerous areas of conflict.  It’s in this extraordinary world that the likeable yet vain, gullible and cowardly Flyford has to sink or swim.  It’s usually the former.



Historical Crime - Sweet Smell of Murder


Young actor Jack Flyford, whose two priorities are sex and survival, finds himself in the affluent Newcastle of 1757 after fleeing Edinburgh to escape a raging, cuckolded cleric. In a Georgian Britain dangerously involved in a global war with France, Jack thinks he has found sanctuary on Tyneside, where he is taken in by the unpopular manager of the local theatre after spinning a mythical yarn about his close “friendship” with the great thespian, David Garrick.

Within days, he finds himself caught between the town’s two rival theatre managers (each backed by different commercial interests), but discovers solace in the arms of his employer’s daughter, Bessie, who has a penchant for men wearing military wigs in bed. Things soon go wrong. Facing banishment from Newcastle, his fortunes sink further when his employer is found murdered. Though his first instinct is to make a bolt for it, Bessie uses her feminine wiles to persuade a reluctant Jack to track down the perpetrator.

In his bungling attempts to find the killer, Jack is plunged into a world of blackmail, power struggles, hired ruffians, suspicious lawmen and unscrupulous spies – and is constantly haunted by his Garrick lie. Could the very fate of Britain lie in his quivering hands? The whole experience is the sort of nightmare from which the feckless Flyford would normally run a mile, but life isn’t that simple.

This book can be bought on the following links:

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man-in-shop-coverWhile trying to make a living as a struggling actor, Calum MacLeod found himself doing a wide variety of jobs. One that became more regular than the others was working in a DVD rental shop. Now these are a thing of the past, but while they were still clinging on, the customers provided moments of relief during long shifts. Calum started gathering these mini conversations for the amusement of his friends and family. Now you can enjoy the funny encounters over the counter in this collection.



Last summer saw a new venture with the world premiere of the play Bothwell, Prisoner of Malmö.  The production was mounted by Front Row Theatre, an English language theatre company operating in southern Sweden.   James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell, was the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots.  His turbulent life saw him spending five years as a prisoner in Malmöhus, Malmö then being part of Denmark. 

Bothwell’s imprisonment was mentioned in my first book, Meet me in Malmö, when Anita Sundström is told the story by Scottish journalist, Ewan Strachan.  It seemed like a good subject for a play, and the project became quite a family collaboration.  Though I had the initial idea, the majority of the research was carried out by my wife and editor, Susan.  She ended up writing most of the play and then worked closely with our son Fraser, founder of Front Row Theatre, on the dramatisation.  Bothwell was quite an extraordinary character.  In his relatively short lifetime, he fought in several battles, was imprisoned numerous times and was involved in a string of daring escapades.  He also had many romantic attachments.  But all the while, he was steadfast in his loyalty to his country and his queen.  This is a tale of power and intrigue, love and murder, greed and disenchantment, involving many of the greatest historical figures of the age.

The play is set in Bothwell’s cell in 1569 and starred Fraser James MacLeod and Rebecca Tenor.  The world premiere took place in Scala, Ystad on 8th August with further performances in Malmö.  

For more information, visit: www.frontrowtheatre.se

Contact Me

If you would like to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.





I highly recommend a visit to Malmö, particularly in the summer when the parks are at their best.  The Malmö Festival takes place every August when the city is given over to free live music.  The easiest way to reach Malmö is to fly to Copenhagen and take a train over the Öresund Bridge – it takes about twenty minutes.


Visiting Malmö:  www.malmo.com


Visiting Sweden:  www.visitsweden.com


The Pickwick Pub:  http://www.malmborgen.nu/pickwick-pub.aspx




Other links

Paperback publisher: www.mcnidderandgrace.com

Ebook formatter and distributor: www.ebookpartnership.com

Book cover designs: www.theroundhouse.co.uk

Photographer (Home page shot): www.sarahmphotography.co.uk

My BookBub page: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/torquil-macleod