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Thrills from Scandinavian authors

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in the film

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander in the film adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Credit: Handout

You may have heard of a little series called “The Millennium Trilogy” — Stieg Larsson’s Swedish crime thriller that everyone was buzzing about this year. But Larsson, who died in 2004, is just one of Scandinavians-in-translation that Americans have taken a shine to.

After you’ve finished with the Girl who Rocked the Bookstore, check out some of the following.

Karin Alvtegen
She’s already known as the “Queen of Crime” in Sweden, and her books have won multiple awards. One critic even compared her to literary legend August Strindberg. Alvtegen was introduced to American audiences with “Missing” in 2008.

Karin Fossum
Karin Fossum is one of the pillars of the Norwegian crime-writing scene, and her writing has also won many awards, including the Los Angeles Times Books Prize in 2007 for “The Indian Bride.” Her main series centers around Inspector Konrad Sejer, but Fossum has also published two collections of poetry.

Lars Kepler
Lars Kepler is actually the pen name for Alexandra Coelh Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their debut, “The Hypnotist,” caused a major bidding war for the English translation rights, and will hit the American market next June. The first in a planned series centering on a triple homicide.

Camilla Lackberg
Originally trained as an economist, Camilla Lackberg, joined Sweden’s long list of murder mystery writers with the publication of “The Ice Princess” in 2003. She’s currently one of Sweden’s top-selling authors, and has published seven novels. She’s just starting to catch on stateside; the past year saw the American publication of two of her novels, with a third, “The Preacher,” to be available in May.

Asa Larsson
The prize-winning author is quite popular among both readers and fellow authors. Her series of novels follows the exploits of tax attorney (you read that correctly) Rebecka Martinsson, who aids the police in solving grisly murders.

Hakan Nesser
The Van Veeteren series of detective novels is set in a fictitious city called Maardam, located somewhere in Northern Europe. Nesser started writing in 1988, with more than 20 books to his name. His works started being translated to English in 2008 with “Mind’s Eye,” and his latest, “The Inspector and Silence,” coming out this spring.

What’s so special about Scandinavian crime fiction?
“There’s a combination of a certain amount of action-driven plot with quite a lot of introspection,” said Maggie Topkis, co-owner of Partners & Crime bookstore.

Catching up with Larsson’s trilogy
If you’ve been living under a rock, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is comprised of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”
The story centers around the uneasy partnership between journalist Mikael Blomkvist and private investigator Lisbeth Salander, as they solve various mysteries.

• The books were published posthumously after Larsson’s death in 2004.

• The Swedish versions came out in 2005, 2006 and 2007, respectively.

• The English translations hit bookstores in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

• Swedish film versions of all three have met with international acclaim.

• The U.S. film adaptation of “Dragon Tattoo” will hit theaters in Dec. 2011.

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