The best mystery novels with a Nordic flair

Who am I?

I started writing stories when I was a kid and could hardly spell, and have done so ever since. I’ve been fascinated by crime fiction since I started watching the TV adaptations of Poirot with my grandfather as a child and later as a teenager. Subsequently, I also started reading Agatha Christie and writing my own crime fiction books! As I got older, I started reading Nordic Noir books, and this genre heavily influenced my first two books.

I wrote...

Murder In Lima

By Mats Vederhus,

Book cover of Murder In Lima

What is my book about?

Kurt Hammer ends up in Lima, Peru, to escape his demons and put an end to his alcoholism. The holiday soon takes a sinister turn, though, when Kurt witnesses the brutal murder of an old friend.

Facing the most difficult case of his life, can Kurt find the killer—and avoid succumbing to his demons?

The books I picked & why

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The Da Vinci Code

By Dan Brown,

Book cover of The Da Vinci Code

Why this book?

This one may be a bit of a cliché as far as thrillers go these days, but it’s one of the first thrillers I ever read, and Dan Brown has remained with me ever since. His prose may be lacking, but his plotting, characterization, and cliffhangers are next level! This is the perfect book for a cross-Atlantic flight or a lazy day at the beach!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

By Stieg Larsson,

Book cover of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Why this book?

Like Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson had a flare for characterization and locations. This book will take you across Stockholm, and I’d suggest you go there after you’ve read it if you haven’t been already. Lisbeth Salander is one of the greatest leading women in modern fiction. Full stop. This is a must-read and manages to combine a clever mystery with the pacing of a thriller. 

The Snowman

By Jo Nesbo, Don Bartlett (translator),

Book cover of The Snowman

Why this book?

Nesbø has become somewhat of a cliché in Norway, because of the staggering amount of books he sells. But this book showcases why he sells so many books—if you’re only going to read one book by Nesbø, read this one! It will take you across Oslo, and again has elements of both crime fiction/mystery and fiction. 

Murder on the Orient Express

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of Murder on the Orient Express

Why this book?

One does not put together a list like this without mentioning the Queen of Crime. Christie is the one who got me into crime fiction, and this is probably her best book. The location, the characters, the murder mystery, the plot—this book has everything! Plus, it’s a relatively short read for the weekend.

The Ice Princess

By Camilla Läckberg, Steven T. Murray (translator),

Book cover of The Ice Princess

Why this book?

This is Läckberg’s debut novel, where she showcased her new twist on the mystery genre: a murder that happens in the present day with ties to historical events in the past. Läckberg is in many ways Sweden’s Agatha Christie, as these books are as set in the sleepy village of Fjällbacka in coastal Sweden. In later years, Läckberg has proven that she can also write thrillers, and these books have indications of that as the pacing is ramped up somewhat towards the end. But this is mostly a cozy mystery, written by one of the best in the business.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in private investigators, the upper class, and murders?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about private investigators, the upper class, and murders.

Private Investigators Explore 98 books about private investigators
The Upper Class Explore 37 books about the upper class
Murders Explore 302 books about murders

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Grave Witch, Thirteen Hours, and Death at the Seaside if you like this list.