The Department of Sensitive Crimes
Alexander McCall Smith
The first book in Alexander McCall Smith’s new Detective Varg series . . .
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo introduced us to Scandi noir. Now, welcome to Alexander McCall Smith’s world of Scandi blanc, where mysteries abound and there is still so much for a Swedish detective to learn.
Ulf Varg works in Malmoe’s Department of Sensitive Crimes. Like all Scandinavian detectives, he has his issues. In this case, these include his unresolved feelings for his colleague Anna, his impatience over the seeming incompetence of his irritating colleague Blomquist and his concerns for the health of his hearing-impaired dog Martin, the only dog in Sweden (and possibly all Scandinavia) who can lip-read.
Soon, Ulf and his colleagues find themselves investigating an attack on a market trader, the disappearance of a handsome man who may not exist and a group of students whose relationships leave a great deal to be desired . . .
‘Wonderfully soothing and relaxing’ Telegraph
McCall Smith has a supreme talent for sketching truly likeable characters who are free to pontificate on all sorts of areas of interest . . . McCall Smith's humour is usually described as gentle, but readers familiar with the rhythm of his writing will find plenty here to make them snort * Scotsman * Alexander McCall Smith reached dizzying new heights of whimsy with his 'Scandi-blanc' experiment, The Department of Sensitive Crimes * The Scotsman (Scottish Books of 2019) * Wonderfully soothing and relaxing; the books do not make you sit on the edge of your seat but sink deeper into your chair * Telegraph, 'Best thrillers and crime fiction of 2019 so far' * Heaven is in the detail with this sort of escapist writing. It's like AA Milne meets Karl Ove Knausgaard. McCall Smith knows how to create a world full of sweet things and emotionally true moments and in this new series of "Scandi blanc" delivers exactly what his fans will be hoping for -- Melissa Katsoulis * Financial Times * Wonderfully soothing and relaxing . . . while McCall Smith's world may be a highly selective reshaping of the real one, he has the creative power to make it seem, in its quiet way, truer than truth . . . it left me with a warm glow that lasted through several news bulletins * Telegraph * While the crimes may be inconsequential, the conversations are fascinating . . . McCall's humour is usually described as gentle, but readers familiar with the rhythm of his writing will find plenty here to make them snort * Independent i * Unfailingly good company * Readers Digest * McCall Smith's continuing warm-heartedness makes Ulf such unfailingly good company * Reader's Digest *
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