Friday, April 7, 2023

PAASKEKRIM: Norway's Easter Crime Reading Wave!

I've posted about Paaskekrim before, but with the increased interest in Scandinavian crime,
especially the large number of Scandinavian authors available in English, I thought I would repost about Norway's Paaskekrim (Easter Crime)! It takes place Holy Thursday through Easter Monday and is a public holiday in Norway. It's a time when just about everyone in Norway reads crime novels. Bookstore displays are full of detective novels, television and radio stations run crime serials and newspapers publish special literary supplements.

This is a very peculiar national activity. Publishers in Norway actually time series of books known as "Easter-Thrillers"or PĂ„skekrim, and dates of publication are moved to Spring and released at this time when the sale of mysteries goes up 50%. TV stations, radio and newspapers follow suit by running detective series based on the works of famous crime novelists such as Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Simenon and Ruth Rendell. Many of the Norwegian crime series are rerun.


Why does Norway choose Easter to delve into crime solving?
According to one widely accepted theory, the tradition began in 1923 as the result of a marketing coup. Advertisements that resembled news items were published on the front pages of several newspapers, shocking readers who failed to grasp that it was a publicity stunt. This idea spread like wildfire among other publishing houses, and the crime novel became one of the few forms of entertainment available during the Easter break. Cafes, restaurants and movie theatres were closed during Easter, which was supposed to be a time of introspection and repentance. There was no radio, and of course no television either. But everyone could read, and so the Easter crime novel was born.

Some Norwegian Crime Writers
Jorgen Brekke 
Samuel Bjork
Camilla Bruce
Alex Dahl 
K.O. Dahl 
Thomas Enger 
Karin Fossum 
Vigdis Hjorth
Anne Holt 
Jorn Lier Horst 
Unni Lindell 
Jon Michelet 
Jo Nesbo 
Kjersti Sceen 
Gunnar Staalesen 
Agnes Ravatn 
Pernille Rygg 
Linn Ullman 

Great websites about Norwegian crime writers
Scandinavian Crime Fiction
Scandinavian Books
International Noir Fiction
Detectives without Borders
Euro Crime
There are 2 Scandinavian issues of Mystery Readers Journal 

Volume 30:4 (Winter 2014-15) Scandinavian Mysteries
Volume 23:3 (Fall 2007)  Scandinavian Mysteries

Hardcopy and PDF -- Reviews, articles and Author! Author! essays, many by and about Norwegian crime writers.

Subscribe to Mystery Readers Journal HERE.

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