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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IS SWEDEN SUFFERING FROM OUR WORLD VIEW?

Sweden seems to have suffered a lot of negative press over the last couple of years.  We heard president Trump telling America “look at what happened in Sweden last night!” having watched Fox News.  This was followed by the claim on radio from British right-wing politician, Nigel Farage, that Malmö was the “rape capital of Europe”.  Since then, there has been a huge amount of comment in the run-up to last week’s general election.  As I write, no government has been formed as the two main political groupings are only one seat apart – the last government (Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Left Party) have 144 seats; the four centre-right Alliance parties...

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HOT TOPICS IN SWEDEN

I’ve just returned from my second trip to Sweden this summer and both visits were marked by hot weather.  We’ve been lucky in that most of our summer visits to southern Sweden have coincided with reasonable weather, but this year has seen extremes.  In a country where 23C is a normal summer temperature, Sweden recorded the hottest July for two hundred years.   In a land dominated by forests, inevitable fires have followed as temperatures soared.  Amazingly, these fires stretched from the south to beyond the Arctic Circle.  According to officials, 25,000 hectares of forest have been burned.  Unable to cope with events that the country isn’t equipped to handle, Sweden turned to neighbours Norway...

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THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING EBOOKS

Sometimes you get an inkling that a trip isn’t going to go well right from the outset.  In our case, we missed our plane to Copenhagen (the nearest big airport to southern Sweden).  The M6 motorway, which is our route to Manchester Airport, saw three separate vehicle crashes with the inevitable hold-ups.  Our normal two-hour journey took five hours.  Needless to say our plane had long gone by the time we reached the airport. That was a hint of what was to come.  On our first morning in Ystad (a day later than planned) with my son and his family, I received an email from the company that distributes (not publishes) all my ebooks. ...

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VACATION v LOCATION

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, you will be aware of the importance locations play in my writings.  Where possible I visit the places I want to describe and often get fresh ideas from the locations themselves – where to put characters and introduce new ones; where scenes can be played out.  I know a number of my readers enjoy Googling the locations used in the books.  In fact, on any trip to Sweden I spend my time looking at places and seeing how I can utilise them.  Naturally, this can be annoying for my family when we visit them.  My mind drifts off when I should be paying them more attention!...

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