Snow White Must Die


Brilliant Crime Novel

What a great first read this summer! Snow White Must Die is the first novel in a German series by Nele Neuhaus about police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein.

The story begins when a man in his thirties is realeased from prison after having served ten years for a murder of two young women whose bodies were never found. To return to a small town where something horrible happened and where everybody knows everybody is a recipe for disaster. But what really happened that evening ten years ago? When another girl disappears the witch-hunt begins…

Page Turner

Nele Neuhaus’s strength is the plot. There are so many twists and turns and that it quickly becomes a page turner. And she is very skilled in tying it all together. The characters are also great. There are plenty of people you can relate to, like, feel sorry for, and hate. Thankfully the “bad guys” never turn into bad guys a’ la Disney. Pettiness, greed, selfishness and jealousy go a long way.

Luckily I know German because I am seriously considering ordering the next novel in the series instead of waiting for the translation. The fact that my German is a bit rusty may be a good thing, because that means the novel will last longer.


Tell No Tales by Eva Dolan

tell no tales

Eva Dolan

This was my first encounter with British author Eva Dolan, whose first novel was Long Way Home. Tell No Tales is #2 in the series. (The 3rd novel is called After You Die.)

Politically Very Current

What hit me the most is how politically current it feels. Britain recently voted to exit the EU. Many Brexit supporters claim that the consequences of the free job market in Europe is that many, according to them, comes to the UK and “steal” their jobs. This novel is about guest workers in the city Peterborough, many from Poland but also other countries and the cultural and racial tensions that it brings.

Hate Crimes Unit

Zigic leads the Hate Crime Unit who is investigating several murders with a neo-Nazi overtone. Zigic, the feisty Ferreira and the rest of the team they also get a case where a man kills some guest workers in cold blood. Ferreira is convinced that a local politician leading a right-wing extremist party is behind the crimes, but it is difficult to get past his polished surface.

Far Away from Midsomer

If you want a crime novel á la Midsomer Murders, Sandhamn or Fjällbacka you have chosen the wrong one. There are dirty places, tough reality and tragic life stories. You get an insight into a world that is very much real and it shows how extremism can develop in different ways. There are no winners when hate takes hold. It is unpleasant and scarily close to reality, but also useful and exciting to read.


Interview with Emelie Schepp

EmelieS_nyPhoto: Helén Karlsson

Welcome to TheCrimeHouse Emelie!

A lot has happened since our last interview. You have gone from being a self-publisher to having a publisher, you have sold almost 500,000 novels and to 29 countries. The third novel in the series about prosecutor Jana Berzelius was recently published in Sweden. Congratulations on all of your successes! And now we have some questions…

What is the biggest difference between self-publishing and having a publisher?

When I was a self-publisher I had to find the right people who could help me with editing, printing, distribution, etc. Now that I have a publisher I have all experts under one roof which is a big plus. Since I like to have control from idea to finished book I am still as much involved in the process as before, and I will always be. I accepted the offer to belong to a traditional publisher because I saw the strength in combining my experience as an entrepreneur with Wahlström & Widstrand’s experience in the publishing industry. We are an excellent team and we work hard together to get my books read.

How has your life changed since you’ve achieved you success as an author?

I wrote Marked for Life in secret and in my spare time. No one except my husband, Henrik, knew that I was in front of the computer writing a book every evening. Today I have the privilege to be able to write fulltime. The mornings are holy. That is when I write the best. In the afternoons I read what I wrote in morning and make changes. Then I do all the other things that are needed: interviews, social media updates, planning attendances at festivals, events, book signings, etc. My life is very varies and contains a lot of travelling at the moment. It is fantastic to travel all around the world and meet my readers in different countries. I would never have been able to do that if I had given up on my dream of becoming an author. But I didn’t give up, instead I made my dream come true, and that’s what I’m most proud of.

What do you like the best/least about the character Jana Berzelius?

Jana Berzelius is a prosecutor with a complex past, which drives her to break the law. I think many readers are drawn to Jana’s person. She could probably exist in real life, but she is definitely balancing on the brink of what is possible. Her double-character makes her interesting to write about and that’s what I like the best about her. On one hand she is a successful prosecutor that does everything it takes to maintain law and order. On the other hand she does not hesitate to break laws and rules to protect her dark past. What I don’t really like about her is that she is not interested in other people and does nothing to hide it.

How many books have you planned to write in the series about Jana Berzelius?

As long as readers want to know more about Jana Berzelius and the other characters I will continue to write books about them.

What are your plans for the summer? Work or vacation?

Since my third novel was published recently I will work quite a bit this summer with book signings and events. I will attend Crime Time in Visby among other things. Since last year’s festival was such a success my expectations are very high this year. I look forward to meeting all crime fiction enthusiasts, colleagues and people in the business. Above all I look forward to meeting the readers, meeting them is one of my favorite things.

What will you read on the beach?

Crime fiction and biographies. I have already started collecting books for the summer and in addition to plenty of Swedish authors I will also get to know Jørn Lier Horst and Caroline Kepnes.

What questions would you ask yourself that no one has asked in an interview yet, and what would you respond?

You write about death, what’s your relationship with death?

I am scared to death of death, and suffer from incurable death anxiety.

What’s taboo for you?

Banana as a pizza topping.

Are you a morning or evening person?

Morning person. I love to get up disturbingly early, to my husband’s chagrin.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and good luck with future projects!

Note: This interview has been translated from Swedish.

Maria Wern #17


There is something special about authors that publish a novel every year. Anna Jansson has written a crime novel about Maria Wern every year since 2000. Part 17 (!) had a slow start and something worth noting is that a character in the book describes how important it is to catch the audience’s interest (the character describes a speech, but same thing goes for a novel).

I got through the slow beginning and after that the novel became really interesting, and the ending is much better. As usual it is a typical Wern-novel and you know what you are in for if you have read Jansson’s other novels in the series.

End of the World

The police on Gotland are preparing for the summer tourists while trying to minimize the spread of drugs on the island. Privately Maria Wern struggle with having a new bonus-son, and at work she leads the investigation of a brutal murder. Her husband is stuck on the mainland since all ships have been cancelled due to the weather, which is anything but normal with hurricane strong winds.

Is the end of the world near? Yes, at least if we are to believe a group of people on Gotland. An astronomical clock made by Christoffer Polhem has counted down since the 1700s and the family that owns it has long prepared for their survival. Now it seems like the end is near.


Original title in Swedish: Rädslans fångar

Interview with Märta Holmerin


Märta Holmerin, welcome to TheCrimeHouse!

How would you describe your novels for someone who have never heard about you?

I write suspenseful crime novels with a touch of humor and love and a modern 50s vibe. I focus on finding exciting environments and creating interesting characters. Human relationships and actions are as important as the plot and I like to mix in romance to see what happens.

In the novels we meet the former journalist Julia Nöjd, Chief Inspector Alexander Malmsten, and Julia’s aunt, the chainsmoking criminology professor Margareta Drake.

The second novel in the series about Alex and Julia takes place in a factory in Södertälje and is about power struggles, illusions and deadly mistakes. The first novel takes place on Gotland and is about misunderstandings, betrayals and hidden history. Right now I’m working on the third novel in the series, which also takes place in and around Södertälje.

What do you enjoy most about writing? Figuring out the plot, creating characters and settings, or something different?

I enjoy all of it, so it is difficult to say. But I really enjoy discovering new places and creating on the spot. For me the story begins with the place/environment. Maybe it has a certain smell, it is an exciting, dangerous or beautiful place, which gives me an idea. Often I see an event that has taken place there or a picture of a person. Something that makes me want to include the place in my novel.

Usually a character is also born then. And then the questions: Who? Why? Etc.

That’s probably the most fun that the characters come to life and start telling the story.

I am always curious about writers’ workplaces. What does it look like? Are you working at a desk, at cafees, or at the kitchen table? Is it organized or messy?

I mostly work at home, at my desk or the kitchen table. It is pretty messy, since I need a large area where I spread out the manuscript and post-it notes. When I do research I always carry a notebook so I can write down thoughts and ideas.

What advice do you have for our readers who are aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Both good and not so good novels, different genres, read whatever you feel like. I will read a good book several times – the first time I am just caught up and then I wonder how the writer did it. Then I read again. And again. Every time I reread the novel I will discover new ways to tell a story and learn more about the craft.

Write a lot. Not just now and then, but set aside time for writing, e.g. Saturday morning, or whatever suits you. After a while your brain will learn that it’s time to write at a certain day and time, and it becomes easier.

Set goals. It can be a certain amount of words per week or a date when you will have your first draft done.

When you have finished the manuscript, ask experienced readers close to you to read the manuscript. Ask for honest, constructive criticism that helps you find strengths and weaknesses so you can continue your work with the novel. If you don’t know anyone like that you can find an editor.

It takes a lot of will, commitment and time to finish a manuscript. Keep working!

Please list three novels you think our readers should read (in addition to your own).

What I read varies greatly – novels about relationships, thrillers, non-fiction, crime fiction (mainly traditional whodunits), so that is hard, but here goes:

Classic whodunit: ”And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie

Action and suspense: Lee Child’s novels about Jack Reacher, e.g. ”The Affair”

Psychological thriller: ”Misery” by Stephen King

A big thank you to Märta for answering our questions!


Note: This interview has been translated from Swedish. It was first published on Deckarhuset on February 22, 2016.


Girls, Girls, Girls


It seems like the key to a successful novel is to throw the word girl in the title (well, that and it being a well-written book with a good plot and great characters…).

Following the success of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium series starting with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, we have seen “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins”, “The Hanging Girl” by Jussi Adler-Olsen, and the list could go on and on… Do you think writers and/or publishers do this on purpose?

What difference does a title make?


I find it interesting that the Swedish originals in the Millenium series did not follow this formula. Directly translated “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” would have been “Men Who Hate Women” (Män som hatar kvinnor) and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” would have been “The Air Castle That Was Blown Up” (Luftslottet som sprängdes). The second novel “The Girl Who Played with Fire” is the only one where the original name was used (Flickan som lekte med elden). Do you think the novels would have been as successful internationally if they had not used the “girl-formula”?

The Secret Place by Tana French



The Secret Place is Tana French’s 5th novel about the Dublin Murder Squad. I like Tana French. She is a master at creating an uncomfortable feeling and skilled at creating exciting and complex characters. The detectives Stephen Moran and Antoinette Conway are no exceptions. Stephen is a young detective that takes every chance to advance his career and Antoinette has become somewhat of an ice queen to deal with the macho culture in the department.

Girls’ Boarding School

The novel circles around two cliques of teenage girls at an upper-class girls’ boarding school. A student from the neighboring boys’ boarding school is found murdered outside the girls’ school. The investigation is closed after a while, but then one of the girls comes to Stephen with a clue suggesting that someone from the girls’ school is involved. The girls have a bulletin board, The Secret Place, where secrets can be shared anonymously and someone posted a note saying “I know who did it.” Moran and Conway visit the school and start investigating the tangled web of secrets and intrigues. Two rivaling cliques soon become the focus of the investigation.

What is the deal with…

…intriguing/mean/confused teenage girls?  There must be something extra fascinating with the idea that a cute, young and seemingly innocent teenage girl also can be the opposite. Tana French digs deep into the teenage girls’ insecurities, friendships, envy, newly found hormones and expectations, and she does it well. It is just that I have read similar things before. It does not feel fresh. That is why I, despite the novel being well written and uncomfortable, still do not get hooked. Tana usually varies settings and themes, so I look forward to her next novel. Unfortunately she also tends to create new main characters, which is too bad, because I would have liked to follow these in coming novels as well.