Presented to the Calgary Women’s Literary Club by Anne-Marie Duma,
November 17, 2020
Maj Sjowall (1935 – 2020) and Per Wahloo (1926 – 1975) are considered the creators of Nordic noir crime genre. Their ten-book series (The Martin Beck Mystery Series) are also known as the ‘The Story of Crime’.
The authors stated goals in 1966 were: “the basic idea is via one long novel of approximately three thousand pages divided into ten free-standing parts or books each of which has thirty chapters. These books also represent a cross-section of a society that possesses a specific structure and to analyze criminality as a social function as well as its relationship to both society and its various types of moral lifestyles that encompasses the society in questions”.
While these books are a police procedural series, solving the crime is less important than why the crime occurred. The authors wanted to present a critique of the Swedish welfare state as it was at that time, to demonstrate that it was not a panacea but a social experiment that failed a large part of society, especially the working class.
- The Man Who Went Up in Smoke
- The Man on the Balcony
- The Laughing Policeman
- The Fire Engine That Disappeared
- Murder at the Savoy
- The Abominable Man
- The Locked Room
- Cup Killer
- The Terrorists