A major highlight of my recent literary tour of Scandinavia was a guided walk in Norway’s lovely city of Bergen, led by crime writer Gunnar Staalesen, who is an utterly charming and delightful man as well as a fantastic writer.
Gunnar showed us places associated with the murders his private investigator, the unusually named Varg Veum, has to solve, as well as introducing us to other Norwegian writers (the fascinating Amalie Skram, Ibsen, playwright Ludwig Holberg, etc). I love Gunnar’s novels and can strongly recommend them. Varg is an unhappy fellow who drinks too much aquavit (you can buy a Varg Veum Aquavit), but the novels include lots of contemporary issues, are extremely well written, and have a fabulous setting in Bergen. Try At Night All Wolves are Grey, Where Roses Never Die or The Consorts of Death. Gunnar’s novels have been translated into several languages, and have been filmed in Norway.
Near the Bergen waterfront stands a statue of Varg Veum, just outside the building where his fictional office is situated. What a compliment to a wonderful author! My photo shows me, Gunnar and Varg together. No corpses in sight, so two of us are smiling!
Have you read any of Gunnar Staalesen’s novels? If so, what’s your favourite? Let me know by leaving a comment.
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