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Swedish Inspector Erik Winter

Sail of Stone (Simon & Schuster, 3/13/2012) is the sixth book in Ake Edwardson’s series about Erik Winter, Chief Inspector of the Gothenburg police.   It concerns the disappearance of Axel Osvald, who supposedly went to Scotland to investigate the presumed death of his father during WWII.   When not on duty Winter is a jazz enthusiast and a gourmet cook, and the lover of a doctor named Angela.  Gothenburg (Goteborg), the second largest city in Sweden, is famous for its University and is the home of Volvo automobile manufacturing.  Edwardson’s perhaps unfair portrayal makes the city seem a dreary place; cold in winter, hot in summer, full of drunks and criminals.  Winter is a moody character in the best tradition of Nordic cops.  Edwardson has worked as a journalist and has taught at the University of Gothenburg.  His books are skillfully written, perceptive and suspenseful.

–posted  3/20/2012

Posted March/23/2012

Schmidt Steps Back

Those who saw the 2002 movie About Schmidt will always see Jack Nicholson as the disagreeable retired WASP attorney who goes off the rails when his daughter announces her impending marriage to a Jewish lawyer.  Though the movie is quite different from the novel, it managed to capture much of Louis Begley’s wry tone and poignant humor.   The second book in the series got decidedly mixed reviews.  Now the third, Schmidt Steps Back (Knopf, 3/2012) shows Schmidtie at 78 getting ready for a visit from an old love, the irresistible Alice Verplanck, widow of his former law partner .  Random House claims that this is the most “emotionally nuanced installment” of Begley’s trilogy.

–posted 3/11/2012

Posted March/11/2012

Heley’s Abbot Agency, clever cozy

False Report (Severn, 3/2012) is the sixth book in the Abbott Agency series by Veronica Heley.  Poor Bea Abbot, returned to London after burying her husband in New Zealand, has to take over the Abbott Agency, which specializes in supplying domestic help, especially in emergencies.  The young staff is too inexperienced to deal with crises, and her daughter-in-law is becoming more impossible everyday.   Nevertheless the personable and dauntless Bea manages to nurture or cajole her way through every problem, even when it comes to investigating  murders.  Ah, if real life were only like this!  That’s what keeps readers of clever cozies coming back for more.

–posted 3/4/2012

Posted March/4/2012

 
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