Room Number 10, Gothenburg, Sweden

Swedish crime thrillers are very popular in the UK at the moment and their translation into English has opened up a new genre of crime writing in the English speaking world.

Swedish crime drama is colder, darker and a lot more graphic than most English novels of this type and I discovered a great many writers whilst practically living in my local bookstore in Stockholm. Infact a lot of my early vocabulary was along the lines of ‘blood’ ‘killed in her bed whilst she slept’ etc.

Well it’s a lot more interesting than a boring grammar book and believe me with the vivid mental images these books conjure, there is NO chance of forgetting words and new vocabulary.

No sticking post it notes on the fridge for me!

You may have heard of Camilla Lackberg and Stieg Larsson but one particular favourite of mine is Åke Edwardson. A book I have just reread is : Room Number 10. Straight away I remember I chose the book on the title alone. How simple and effective is that? What about the room? What’s in there? I wondered. It is part of the Detective Winters series of novels and I was keen to read more…

Room Number 10

A young woman is found hanged  in room number 10 of a hotel in Gothenburg. Detective Winters is called to the case. He soon realises that he’s been here before – eighteen years earlier to investigate his first case – the disappearance of another young woman. The case was never solved. Now, finding it strange that he finds himself back in the exact same room,  he has two cases on his mind and he wonders just what he missed the first time round…….

Åke Edwardson was previously a lecturer in journalism at the university in Gothenburg – and this city provides the back drop novels are set.

Only two of his many novels so far have been translated into English I believe, but I’m hoping he makes it to the English market soon as I think he is, as yet, an undiscovered treasure.

Pippi Longstocking, Sweden

Now some people may laugh, but I have a very particular way of teaching myself a language and that is to read children’s books. Not only does it have a relatively easy vocabulary at first (good when learning), I like to read the stories the children of that country have been brought up on. My fabourite childhood books have had a very huge impact on me as an adult so why not do the same in another language I thought? Beats reading the textbooks or grammar books anyday!

In Sweden, Pippi Longstocking is a lovely but cheeky little girl who lives in a house called Villa Villekulla with her monkey (Mr Nilsson) and her horse (Lilla Gubben or litle friend. There are no adults living with her and so her and her frinds have many lovely adventures.

Well I read her book, and I have to admit I read the other ones too and I visisted the house in Gotland and the museum in Djurgården in Stockholm. It made me laugh, smile to myself and discover parts and places in Sweden I may not have found had it not been for Pippi.

So thanks Pippi. A woman, or should I say a girl after my own heart.