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What to read this week: New books by Alexander McCall Smith, Isabella Hammad and Aaron Bobrow-Strain

"The Department of Sensitive Crimes" by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon, April 2019) Photo Credit: Pantheon

THE DEPARTMENT OF SENSITIVE CRIMES, by Alexander McCall Smith. Depend on the author of the “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” and “44 Scotland Street” novels to make even a Nordic Noir mystery delightful. His new series, featuring detective Ulf Varg and his colleagues in the Sensitive Crimes Division, is set in Malmö, Sweden. (Pantheon, $24.95)

THE PARISIAN, by Isabella Hammad. This debut historical novel opens in 1914, as a young Arab student from the town of Nablus in Ottoman Palestine journeys to France to attend medical school. Midhat will return, dramatically changed, to live through an era of political and social change in the Middle East. (Grove, $27)

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF AIDA HERNANDEZ: A Border Story, by Aaron Bobrow-Strain. From the politically charged and radically depersonalized U.S.-Mexico border comes this individual story of one undocumented migrant who came to Arizona as a child, learned English and had a son — then found herself back in Mexico and desperate to reunite with him. (FSG, $28)

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