A TALE OF MURDER AND MYSTERY

As we approach the festive season, there is a lot to look forward to – catching up with old friends, celebrating Christmas with our England-based family, and a new book in the offing.  Both the paperback and ebook of Mourning in Malmö are now out for pre-sale and will be available to read on January 3rd.  (The American paperback sometime in April)  The future is promising.  And it probably looked that way for a Hungarian man who unearthed a dramatic treasure.  The consequences were to turn out tragically different. I came across the story on our visit to Budapest in October.  We visited the National Museum of Hungary.  One of the exhibition areas had...

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THE MAN WHO SAVED THOUSANDS

Wherever I go there always seems to be a Swedish connection – or maybe because of my novels, I’m always subconsciously looking.  And it wasn’t difficult to find one on a very recent trip to the Hungarian capital, Budapest.  His name is immediate – there is a quay on the Danube named after him.  There’s also a street in Pest, a dedicated garden at the Great Synagogue and a memorial in Buda.  You can’t miss Raoul Wallenberg. In March 1944, the Nazis occupied Hungary after it looked like their client state was seeking peace with the advancing Russians.  They immediately started deporting huge numbers of rural Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.  The...

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FAREWELL TO LUGNADAL

Lugnadal in Swedish means a “calm valley”.  It’s also the name of the first Swedish house I stayed in back in 2000 on our first trip to the country.  After a storm-tossed trip by ferry from Newcastle to Gothenburg in mid-December across a belligerent North Sea, it was pitch black when we reached Lugnadal in the early hours of the morning.  It was a blessed relief after over 30 hours of weary travel by boat, train and car.  We awoke the next morning to a bright, crisp Skåne morning in what is an old farmhouse typical of the area – four connected sides around a central courtyard.  And it’s where my love affair with...

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WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL COPENHAGEN

Danny Kaye may have crooned about Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen in the 1952 movie, Hans Christian Andersen, but after our recent visit the Ws would stand for Wet and Windy.  And very cold.  Yet it is an undeniably attractive city with its impressive buildings, wide boulevards and cosmopolitan atmosphere.  For nearly twenty years we’ve been passing through Kastrup Airport on our way to Sweden across the Bridge.  Only on a couple of occasions have we made day-trips into the city itself.  Now that Anita Sundström needs to visit Copenhagen on a case she’s working on in the next Malmö Mystery – Mourning – I thought it might be an idea to spend some time there,...

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HERE’S TO A LESS CONFUSING 2019

Christmas is almost upon us and I hope that it will bring a bit of peace and sanity to the world.  I know I write about the chaos that murder can bring but it’s nothing to what is going on around us.  America is having its well-publicised problems, while the United Kingdom is no longer united as the politicians try and sort out the gigantic tangle that is Brexit.  And while we’ve had our eyes on other things, the Swedes still haven’t got a Prime Minister.  This extraordinary deadlock has been in place since the general election of September 9th.  I wrote about this impasse exactly three months ago.  Neither of the blocks (right...

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