Murder in Faraway Places

In many mystery novels, the setting is just as much a character as the sleuths. Enjoy these crime stories set in other countries. All of these titles are located in the Adult Mystery section of the Library unless otherwise noted. Titles in bold are available at other libraries; ask a librarian to obtain these titles.

Algeria Denmark Indonesia
Argentina Egypt Ireland
Australia Finland Israel
Austria France Italy
Belize Germany Jamaica
Bosnia and Hercegovina Ghana Japan
Botswana Ghana Laos
Brazil Haiti Netherlands
China Hungary Norway
Czech Republic Iceland Russia
Cuba India Spain
    Sweden

Algeria

Khadra, Yasmina. Double Blank. 2005.
#2 in the Inspector Llob series.
Not for the faint of heart, this “Algerian-noir” is the second in Khadra’s Inspector Llob series. Under the oppressive Algerian government, Llob investigates the violent death of an intellectual whose best-selling book criticized the regime.
Other titles in the series:
Morituri. 2003.
Autumn of the Phantoms. 2006.
Dead Man’s Share. 2009.

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Argentina

 
Mallo, Ernesto. Needle in a Hay Stack. 2010.
Responding to a report that two bodies were found in a riverbank, Superintendent Lascano of the Buenos Aires police is surprised to find three bodies. Set during military rule in Argentina, this dark and fast-paced mystery was written by a former member of the guerilla movement that opposed the dictatorship.
Sacheri, Eduardo. The Secret in Their Eyes. 2011.
Made into an Oscar-winning film, this novel is set during and after the “Dirty War” in Buenos Aires. Retired detective, Benjamin Chaparro, revisits the details of a decades-old rape and murder case as he attempts to write a book about the investigation.

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Australia

 
Maloney, Shane.Nice Try. 2000.
#3 in the Murray Whelan series.
Murray Whelan, advisor to the minister of culture in Melbourne, must help in his government’s bid to host the Summer Olympics. After a weight lifter is found to be using ram steroids and one of the triathletes is found dead, Murray is reluctantly (and hilariously) drawn in to investigate. Witty, fast paced, and filled with hilarious characters, this is the third mystery in the Murray Whelan series.
Other titles in the series:
The Brush Off. 1998.
Stiff
. 1999.
Big Ask. 2001.

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Austria

 
Tallis, Frank. Fatal Lies. 2009. Also available: CD
#3 in a series.
In this highly regarded third in Frank Tallis’ series set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, psychiatrist and student of Sigmund Freud, Dr. Max Liebermann is called in by his friend, Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt, to investigate the mysterious death at an Austrian military academy.
Other titles in the series:
A Death in Vienna. 2005.
Vienna Blood. 2007. Also available: CD
Vienna Secrets. 2010.
Vienna Twilight. 2010.

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Belize

 
Vasquez, Ian. In the Heat. 2008.
Aging heavyweight boxer, Miles Young is planning to retire when he gets caught up in helping a rich woman find her missing teenage daughter. Vasquez writes a compelling hard-boiled detective story set in his native country.

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Bosnia and Hercegovina

Fesperman, Dan. Lie in the Dark. 1999.
Homicide detective Vlado Petric investigates the murder of a prominent government official in war-torn Bosnia in this fast-paced police procedural.
Another title featuring Vlado Petric:
Small Boat of Great Sorrows. 2003.

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Botswana

McCall Smith, Alexander. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. 1998.
Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
#1 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.
This novel introduces the engaging and persistent Precious Ramotswe who opens the eponymous detective agency in Gabarone, Botswana. Con men, philandering husbands, missing children, and witch doctors are no match for Mma Ramotswe who charms, wheedles, and fools those who would waylay her in mission to “help people with problems in their lives.” The audiobooks are read by Lisette Lecat, whose delightful performance (and pronunciation of the Setswana words) is highly entertaining.
Other titles in the series:
Tears of the Giraffe. 2000.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
Morality for Beautiful Girls. 2001.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
The Kalahari Typing School for Men. 2002.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
The Full Cupboard of Life. 2003.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies. 2004.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
Blue Shoes and Happiness. 2006.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive. 2007.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
The Miracle at Speedy Motors. 2008.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. 2009.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
The Double Comfort Safari Club. 2010.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook, MP3
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party. 2011.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook, MP3
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection. 2012.
     Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, MP3
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon. 2013.
     Also available: Large Type, CD
Stanley, Michael. A Carrion Death. 2008.
#1 in the Detective Kubu series.
Unlike McCall Smith’s mystery series set in Botswana, the Detective Kubu mysteries are fast paced, forensic thrillers. In A Carrion Death, Detective Kubu of the Boswana Police is sent to investigate a partially eaten human body found in a game reserve. As he digs deeper, Kubu uncovers more dead bodies and realizes that there is more to these grisly crimes than meets the eye.
Other titles in the series:
The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu. 2009.
Death of the Mantis. 2011.
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Brazil

Gage, Leighton. Blood of the Wicked. 2008.
While investigating the murder of Bishop Antune, Brazilian police detective, Mario Silva becomes embroiled in local politics when he must also solve the disappearance of a local landowner’s son. The conflicts between landowners and the Landless Workers’ League run often turn violent, escalating the tension in this brutal mystery.
Other titles in the series:
Buried Strangers. 2009.
Dying Gasp. 2010.
Every Bitter Thing. 2010.
A Vine in the Blood. 2011.
Perfect Hatred. 2013.
García-Roza, Luiz Alfredo. The Silence of the Rain. 2002.
#1 in the Inspector Espinosa series.
Rio de Janeiro's notoriously corrupt police force and lack of forensic technology prove challenging for Inspector Espinosa in his investigation of the shooting death of a corporate executive and the subsequent disappearance of his secretary.
Other titles in the series:
December Heat. 2003.
Southwesterly Wind. 2004.
A Window in Copacabana. 2005.
Pursuit. 2006.
Blackout. 2008.
Alone in the Crowd. 2009.

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China

Robert van Gulik’s Judge Dee series, featuring a Tang Dynasty (7th century) traveling magistrate who encounters and solves puzzling murders, remains popular, though the author died in 1967. Van Gulik based his series on an old edition of Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee which featured traditional stories that had been handed down for three hundred years.
Selected itles in the series:
The Chinese Gold Murders. 1959.
The Chinese Bell Murders. 1960.
The Chinese Lake Murders. 1960.
The Chinese Nail Murders. 1961.
The Haunted Monastery. 1961. 
The Red Pavilion. 1961.
The Lacquer Screen. 1962.
The Monkey and the Tiger. 1965.
The Phantom of the Temple. 1965.
Murder in Canton. 1966.
Judge Dee at Work. 1967.
Poets and Murder. 1968.
Xiaolong Qiu’s Inspector Chen police procedural series is set in modern-day China.
Titles in the series:
Death of a Red Heroine. 2000.
A Loyal Character Dancer. 2002.
When Red is Black. 2004.
A Case of Two Cities. 2006.
Red Mandarin Dress. 2007.
The Mao Case. 2009.
Don’t Cry Tai Lake. 2012.
Enigma of China. 2013.
Chinese government agent Liu Hulan and her American husband investigate crimes in present-day China in Lisa See’s Liu Hulan series.
Titles in the series:
Flower Net. 1997. (Adult Fiction SEE).
The Interior. 1999. (Adult Fiction SEE).
Dragon Bones. 2003. (Adult Fiction SEE).
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Cuba

Blair, Peggy. The Beggar’s Opera. 2013.
Inspector Ricardo Ramirez has only 72 hours to secure an indictment against vacationing Canadian policeman, Mike Ellis, who has been implicated in a boy’s rape and death. Set in Havana, the first in a series, The Beggar’s Opera has many twists and turns to keep you guessing as well as rich description of life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
Padura, Leonardo. Adiós Hemingway. 2005.
When the bones of a man who was killed forty years ago are found at the Hemingway museum in Cuba, a former cop, Mario Conte, is asked to investigate. The mystery unfolds in chapters that alternate between the time of the murder and Conte’s current investigation. A Cuban noir vivid with the atmosphere of Hemingway’s Havana.
Other titles in the series:
Havana Red. 2005.
Havana Black. 2006.
Havana Blue. 2007.
Havana Gold. 2008.
Havana Fever. 2009.

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Czech Republic

Wishnia, Kenneth. The Fifth Servant. 2010.
Also available: Large Type
This fast-paced historical thriller begins with the body of a dead Christian girl found in a Jewish shop in Prague on the eve of Passover in 1592. A newly arrived shammes has three days to solve the crime and prevent violent retribution against the Jews who have been forced to live in a walled ghetto.

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Denmark

Mysteries set in Denmark may be found on our list of Scandinavian Sleuths.

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Egypt

Bilal, Parker. The Golden Scales. 2012. Also available: eBook
#1 in the Makana series
Makana, a former Sudanese police inspector, is now working as a private investigator in Cairo. His investigation into the disappearance of a star soccer player leads Makana through the dangerous and chaotic streets of the bustling city.
Other titles in the series:
Dogstar Rising. 2013.
Pearce, Michael. The Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet. 1988.
#1 in the Mamur Zapt series
Cairo Secret Police chief Gareth Owen contends with local insurgents, the turbulent multi-ethnic population of Cairo, and the varying demands of government and military bureaucrats in this eminently satisfying mystery, filled with the pungent flavor of pre-World War I Cairo.
Other titles in the series:
The Mamur Zapt and the Night of the Dog. 1991.
The Mamur Zapt and the Donkey-Vous. 1992.
The Mamur Zapt and the Men Behind. 1993.
The Mamur Zapt and the Girl in the Nile. 1994.
The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt. 1995.
The Camel of Destruction. 1996.
The Snake Catcher’s Daughter. 1997.
The Mingrelian Conspiracy. 1995.
The Fig Tree Murder. 1996.
The Last Cut. 1998.
The Death of an Effendi. 1999.
A Cold Touch of Ice. 2000.
The Face in the Cemetery. 2001.
The Point in the Market. 2005.
The Mark of the Pasha. 2008.
Peters, Elizabeth. Crocodile on the Sandbank. 1975.
Also available: eBook, eAudiobook
#1 in the Amelia Peabody series
Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series of historical mysteries are set in the world of archaeology and Egyptology in the first quarter of the 20th century.
Other titles in the series:
The Curse of the Pharaohs. 1981. Also available: eBook, eAudiobook
The Mummy Case. 1985. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
Lion in the Valley. 1986. Also available: Large Type, eAudiobook
The Deeds of the Disturber. 1988. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
The Last Camel Died at Noon. 1991. Also available: Large Type, eBook, eAudiobook
The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog. 1992. Also available: Large Type, eBook, eAudiobook
The Hippopotamus Pool. 1996. Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
Seeing a Large Cat. 1997. Also available: Large Type, CD, eBook, eAudiobook
The Ape Who Guards the Balance. 1998. Also available in Large Type, eAudiobook
The Falcon at the Portal. 1999. Also available: Large Type, eAudiobook
He Shall Thunder in the Sky. 2000. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
Lord of the Silent. 2001. Also available: Large Type, CD
The Golden One. 2002. Also available: Large Type
Children of the Storm. 2003. Also available: Large Type, CD
Guardian of the Horizon. 2004. Also available: Large Type, CD
The Serpent on the Crown. 2005. Also available: Large Type
Tomb of the Golden Bird. 2006. Also available: Large Type, CD
A River in the Sky. 2010. Also available: Large Type, CD, MP3

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Finland

Mysteries set in Finland may be found on our list of Scandinavian Sleuths.

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France

Black, Cara. Murder in the Sentier. 2002.
Also available: CD, eAudiobook
#3 in the Aimee Leduc Investigations series
On the same day that Jutta Hald (a convicted criminal from a 60s radical terrorist group and just released from prison) shows up with news from Aimee’s past, she is found murdered. A series of related killings leads Parisian detective Aimee Leduc to investigate the connections between these avowed radicals and her own long-lost mother. Set in the historic Sentier garment district of Paris, details are so vivid that the reader sees and smells the gritty streets. For Francophiles and fans of Simenon’s Maigret series.
Other titles in the series:
Murder in the Marais. 1999. Also available: eAudiobook
Murder in Belleville. 2000.
Murder in the Bastille. 2003.
Murder in Clichy. 2005. Also available: eAudiobook
Murder in Montmartre. 2006.
Murder on the Ile Saint-Louis. 2007. Also available: Large Type
Murder in the Rue de Paradis. 2008. Also available: Large Type, eAudiobook
Murder in the Latin Quarter. 2009. Also available: eAudiobook
Murder in the Palais Royal. 2010. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
Murder in Passy. 2011. Also available: Large Type, eAudiobook
Murder at the Lanterne Rouge. 2012. Also available: CD
Murder Below Montparnasse. 2013. Also available: CD
Izzo, Jean-Claude. Total Chaos. 2005.
Literary French thrillers follow Italian émigré Fabio Montale as he takes on the mob and French racial politics.
Other titles in the Marseilles Trilogy:
Chourmo. 2006.
Solea. 2007.
Janes, J. Robert. Dollmaker. 2002.
#6 in the Inspector Jean-Louis St.-Cyr & Hermann Kohler series
French Surete Insp. Jean-Louis St.-Cyr and Gestapo officer Hermann Kohler continue as reluctant partners in crime-solving, this time traveling to occupied Brittany to look into the murder of a detested townsman, for which a U-boat captain has been arrested. Byzantine plotting, but compelling period detail and intensely real portraits of wartime deprivation and the despair of a conquered people.
Other titles in the series:
Mirage. 1992.
Carousel. 1999.
Kaleidoscope. 2001.
Salamander. 1998.
Mannequin. 1994.
Stonekiller. 1995.
Sandman. 1997.
Gypsy. 1997.
Madrigal. 1999.
Beekeeper. 2001.
Flykiller. 2002.
Vargas, Fred. Have Mercy on Us All. 2003.
In an interesting juxtaposition of modernity with the Middle Ages, mysterious inverted “4s” are being painted on apartment doors across Paris, to the consternation of Police Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg. His sources indicate that these are talismans to ward off the Black Death, and when a series of strangulations begins and the media reveals that the victims show evidence of rat-flea bites and have had their limbs and tongues blackened, a general panic ensues. Is this the work of a madman or a calculating murderer? A page-turner that leaves the reader hoping for more adventures of the Commissaire.
Other titles in the series:
Seeking Whom He May Devour. 2004.
Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand. 2007.
This Night's Foul Work. 2008.
The Chalk Circle Man. 2009.
An Uncertain Place. 2011.
The Ghost Riders of Ordebec. 2013.

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Germany

 
Arjouni, Jakob. Kismet. 2010.
#4 in the Kemal Kayankaya series
The fourth in a series, Kismet is a hard-boiled detective novel that explores the ethnically diverse underbelly of contemporary Frankfurt. Wisecracking, tough-guy private investigator Kemal Kayankaya, a Turkish immigrant is only too-aware of tensions among the German, Turkish, and Albanian mafia dons and the plight of Balkan refugees.
Other titles in the series:
Happy Birthday, Turk! 2011.
More Beer. 2011. Also available: CD
One Man, One Murder. 2011. Also available: CD
Dold, Gaylord. The Last Man in Berlin. 2003.
Detective Inspector Harry Wulff, pro-Weimar and in love with a Jewish psychoanalyst, investigates the murders of transvestite prostitutes. The trail of the killer leads inexorably to the inner circle of Nazis, who have uses for twisted minds. Alive with the menace of 1930s Berlin.
Gregorio, Michael. Critique of Criminal Reason. 2006.
This fast-paced historical mystery set in 1804 focuses on several murders  that leave the rural Prussians fearful of a supernatural killer. It falls to young magistrate, Hanno Steffeniis to solve the mystery. For fans of Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters.
Other titles in the series:
Days of Atonement. 2007.
A Visible Darkness. 2009.
Unholy Awakening. 2010.
Savarin, Julian Jay. Winter and the General. 2003.
#3 in the Muller-Pappenheim series
A mystery thriller in the Len Deighton tradition, aristocratic, pony-tailed Berlin investigator, Jens Muller, and working-class-and-proud-of-it Sgt. Pappenheim work a case that harks back to the 1942 siege of Stalingrad, the victim with his throat cut turning out to be a former Nazi general, renowned for his cruelty and brutality in that battle.
Other titles in the series:
A Cold Rain in Berlin. 2002.
Romeo Summer. 2003.
A Hot Day in May. 2004.
Hunter’s Rain. 2004.
Summer of the Eagle. 2005.
Seasons of Change. 2005.
The Other Side of Eden. 2006.
Sunset and the Major. 2006.

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Ghana

Quartey, Kwei. Wife of the Gods. 2009. Also available: Large Type
Big city detective, Darko Dawson is sent to the country to solve the murder of a young AIDS worker. His investigation uncovers the complexity of the local traditional beliefs as well as clues to his own mother’s disappearance years before in the same village.
Other titles in the series:
Children of the Street. 2011.

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Greece

Corby, Gary. The Pericles Commission. 2010.
Bright and insightful Nicolaos, a sculptor’s son, finds himself working with rising politician, Pericles, to help solve the murder of a political reformer. Set in ancient Greece, this well-plotted noir includes a splash of humor and an entertaining introduction to life in ancient Athens.
Other titles in the series:
The Ionia Sanction. 2011. Also available: CD
Siger, Jeffrey. Target: Tinos. 2012.
Greek Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis doggedly tracks those responsible for the gruesome deaths on the Aegean island of Tinos. Siger presents both the day-to-day struggles of the Greeks on the island amidst the idyllic setting.
Other titles in the series:
Murder in Mykonos. 2009.
Assassins of Athens. 2010.
Prey on Patmos. 2011.
Myknos After Midnight. 2013.

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Haiti

Danticat, Edwidge, ed. Haiti Noir. 2011. (Adult Nonfiction 808.83872 H).
Eighteen writers contribute stories to this collection—all of which are set in or have a strong collection to Haiti.

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Hungary

Kondor, Vilmos. Budapest Noir. 2012.
Newspaper reporter, Zsigmond Gordon investigates the murder of a prostitute found in the wrong neighborhood in 1936 in this bleak and vividly written debut novel.

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Iceland

Indridason, Arnaldur. Jar City: A Reykjavík Thriller. 2005.
#1 in the Reykjavik Murders series
Murder cases taking place in Iceland purportedly easy to solve. Not so for seasoned detective Erlendur Sveinsson. An older man is found murdered in his flat, seemingly hit on the head with an ashtray. Genetics and heredity and the isolated locale make this a fascinating and suspenseful read.
Other titles in the series:
Silence of the Grave. 2005.
Voices. 2007.
The Draining Lake. 2008.
Arctic Chill. 2009.
Hypothermia. 2010. Also available: Large Type
Outrage. 2011. Also available: Large Type, CD
Black Skies. 2012.

Additional mysteries set in Iceland may be found on our list of Scandinavian Sleuths.

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India

Hall, Tarquin. The Case of the Missing Servant. 2009. Also available: Large Type, CD
Vish Puri is the self-proclaimed "Most Private Investigator" and confidentiality is certainly utmost in all of his cases. While in the course of an investigation, we learn much about the attitudes of modern-day Indians, who are at once steeped in their rich cultural history and also rushing into Westernized standards of living. Vish Puri can be quite pompous, like Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, but Tarquin portrays a complex man, proud of his successes, to be sure, but also fiercely committed to his purpose as a detective, to truth, to personal responsibility, and most of all to his family.
Other titles in the series:
The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing. 2010. Also available: Large Type, CD
The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken. 2012. Also available: CD
The Case of the Love Commandos. 2013.

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Indonesia

Flint, Shamini. A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul. 2011.
Singaporean detective, the bumbling Inspector Singh, investigates a murder that turns up amidst a terrorist bombing in Bali. The plot twists and turns through vivid descriptions of Balinese life. This is the second in the Inspector Singh mystery series set in various east Asian settings.

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Ireland

 
Bruen, Ken. The Guards. 2003.
Jack Taylor finds new purpose when a woman hires the ex-Irish police officer to find something.
Other titles in the series:
The Killing of the Tinkers. 2004.
The Magdalen Martyrs. 2005.
The Dramatist. 2006.
Priest. 2007.
Cross. 2008.
Sanctuary. 2008.
The Devil. 2008.
Headstone. 2008.
Gill, Bartholomew. Death in Dublin. 2003.
#16 of the Peter McGarr series.
Highly suspenseful police procedural follows Chief McGarr and his team as they race to recover precious manuscripts of Ireland’s Book of Kells, stolen from Dublin’s Trinity College Library and the “inside man” killed. Shunted aside by Gardai politics, McGarr (still grieving the murder of his wife two years earlier) perseveres on the trail of a group of anti-Christianity extremists calling themselves the New Druids. Insights into Irish religious history, plenty of political shenanigans, and hope for McGarr’s bruised heart: a very satisfying wrap-up to an exceptional series.
Other titles in the series:
McGarr and the Politician’s Wife. 1977.
McGarr and the Sienese Conspiracy. 1977.
McGarr on the Cliffs of Moher. 1978.
McGarr at the Dublin Horse Show. 1979.
McGarr and the P.M. of Belgrave Square. 1983.
McGarr and the Method of Descartes. 1984.
McGarr and the Legacy of a Woman Scorned. 1986.
The Death of a Joyce Scholar. 1989.
The Death of Love. 1992.
Death on a Cold, Wild River. 1993.
The Death of an Ardent Bibliophile. 1995.
Death of an Irish Sea Wolf. 1996.
The Death of an Irish Tinker. 1997.
The Death of an Irish Lover. 2000.
The Death of an Irish Sinner. 2001.
Hart, Erin. Haunted Ground. 2003. Also available: CD
JErin Hart’s Nora Gavin series features pathologist Nora Gavin and archaeologist colleague Cormac Macguire in a wonderful blend of gothic suspense, Irish culture and folklore, and beautifully written characters.
Other titles in the series:
Lake of Sorrows. 2004.
False Mermaid. 2010.
Nugent, Andrew. The Four Courts Murder. 2005.
Dublin Inspector Denis Lennon and Sgt. Molly Powers, the duo take on the case of an unpopular judge done to death in his chambers. Expertly plotted, full of Irish wit, sending up the corrupt and venal court system, and with a peek into the trade in stolen art; a very auspicious debut.
Other titles in the series:
Soul Murder. 2009.
Sansom, Ian. The Bad Book Affair. 2010.
Bookmobile librarian, Israel Armstrong, a self-proclaimed “North London Jewish vegetarian liberal freethinker,” must solve the mysterious disappearance of a teenage girl in a small town in Northern Ireland.
Earlier titles in the series:
The Case of the Missing Books. 2006.
Mr. Dixon Disappears. 2006.
The Book Stops Here. 2008.
 

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Israel

Gur, Batya. Bethlehem Road Murder. 2004.
#5 in the Michael Ohayon series
This book finds Chief Supt. Ohayon investigating the murder of a beautiful Yemenite Jew, living in an ethnically mixed neighborhood seething with Arab-Israeli and Ashkenazim-Mizrahim hostilities (European Jews vs. Jews from the Muslim world). Though some in the police readily lay blame on a Palestinian laborer, Ohayon delves deeper—the motive may’ve been the victim’s obsession with secrets from 1950s Israel that someone wants left buried, or the barely concealed racial hostility between (mostly black) Yemenites and (mostly white) Ashkenazim, or a more personal motive. Publishers Weekly compares Ohayon to P.D. James’ Adam Dalgleish, high praise indeed.
Other titles in the series
:
The Saturday Morning Murder. 1992.
Literary Murder. 1993.
Murder on a Kibbutz. 1994.
Murder Duet: A Musical Case. 1999.
Murder in Jerusalem. 2006.
Mishani, D.A. The Missing File. 2013.
Mishani’s debut novel features Israeli police inspector Abraham Abraham’s investigation of a missing teenager. Both the city of Holon and Inspector Abraham have seen better days. Told from the perspectives of Abraham and his main suspect, the teenager’s neighbor, this suspenseful novel reaches an unexpected conclusion and has surprises right up to the last page.
Rees, Matt. The Collaborator of Bethlehem. 2007.
#1 in the Omar Yussef series
Bethlehem schoolteacher, Omar Yussef, hesitantly investigates a crime for which a former student has been arrested. Written by Time magazine’s former Jerusalem bureau chief, this crime novel evokes the danger, idealism, and moral conflict inevitable in the politically fraught Middle East.
Other titles in the series
:
A Grave in Gaza. 2008.
The Samaritan’s Secret. 2009.
The Fourth Assassin. 2010.
Rosenberg, Robert. Crimes of the City. 1991.
Other titles in the Avram Cohen series:
An Accidental Murder. 1999
House of Guilt. 2000.

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Italy

Camilleri, Andrea. The Shape of Water. 2002. Also available: CD
#1 in the Salvo Montalbano series
A police procedural set in Sicily, this is the first Inspector Montalbano mystery, which are immensely popular in Europe. The scandalous circumstances of the death of a prominent politician (found in a car in an area frequented by hookers, his pants around his ankles…) arouse Montalbano's suspicions. Amidst poverty, cynicism and corruption, he unravels the complex threads of the. Montalbano, who Kirkus calls “a Latin re-creation of Philip Marlowe” is a worthy addition to the ranks of cynical and sardonic, wise and humane fictional Italian.
Other titles in the series:
The Terra-Cotta Dog. 2002. Also available: CD
The Snack Thief. 2003. Also available: CD
Voice of the Violin. 2003. Also available: CD
Excursion to Tindari. 2005.
The Smell of the Night. 2005.
Rounding the Mark. 2006.
The Patience of the Spider. 2007.
The Paper Moon. 2008. Also available: Large Type, CD
August Heat. 2009. Also available: CD
The Wings of the Sphinx. 2009. Also available: Large Type
The Track of Sand. 2010. Also available: Large Type
The Potter’s Field. 2011.
The Age of Doubt. 2012. Also available: eAudiobook
The Dance of the Seagull. 2012. Also available: CD
Treasure Hunt. 2013. Also available: CD
Dibdin, Michael. Blood Rain. 1999. Also available: CD
#7 in the Aurelio Zen series
Aurelio Zen, world-weary Rome detective and (so he thought) skillful combatant in the internecine struggles of Italy’s Interior Ministry, is sent to Sicily as punishment (in his view) for the successful resolution of two previous cases in Naples and the Piedmont. He is there to observe the operations of the Carabinieri’s anti-Mafia bureau (the DIA); his adopted daughter joins him there, having taken a job with the DIA. Soon Zen and Carla both are enmeshed in a deadly struggle between local crime bosses, corrupt DIA agents and power-grabbing politicians, ending in tragedy for both. This may be the best of the Zen series. For fans of police procedurals and of excellently told, literate stories with wit and the ability to astonish the reader.
Other titles in the series:
Ratking. 1989.
Vendetta. 1991.
Cabal. 1993.
Dead Lagoon. 1994.
Cosi Fan Tutti. 1997.
A Long Finish. 1998. Also available: CD
And Then You Die. 2002.
Medusa. 2004.
Back to Bologna. 2006.
End Games. 2007.
Kent, Christobel. The Drowning River. 2010.
Police detective turned private investigator Sandro Cellini is hired to determine why an aging holocaust survivor committed suicide (if at all). Meanwhile, a wealthy art student disappears, and Cellini is asked to follow her trail, which leads him deep into the art world of Florence.
Leon, Donna. Fatal Remedies. 1999. Also available: CDeAudiobook
#8 in the Guido Brunetti series
This is an excellent police procedural set in Venice featuring Police Commissario Guido Brunetti, a thoughtful, ethical and empathetic detective. Brunetti is blessed with a happy home life, but suffers to an equal degree from the lethargy and indifference if not outright corruption of Italian government officials. When a travel agency has its windows smashed in the middle of the night, Brunetti discovers to his dismay and surprise that it was done by his unapologetic wife! His personal and professional lives on a collision course, he must solve the related murder of the travel agency owner whose ties to sex tourism Paola sought to expose. In addition to loving depictions of Venice, we are treated to descriptions of the delicious meals Paola prepares for Brunetti, and his ruminations about the Latin and Greek classics he reads for pleasure.
Other titles in the series:
Death at La Fenice. 1992.
Death in a Strange Country. 1993.  
Dressed for Death. 1994. Also available: eAudiobook  
Death and Judgment. 1995. Also available: eAudiobook
Acqua Alta. 1996.
Quietly in Their Sleep. 1997.
A Noble Radiance. 1998. Also available: Large Type, CD
Friends in High Places. 2000.
A Sea of Troubles. 2001. Also available: CD, eAudiobook
Wilful Behavior. 2002. Also available: eAudiobook
Uniform Justice. 2003. Also available: eAudiobook
Doctored Evidence. 2004. Also available: eAudiobook
Blood from a Stone. 2005. Also available: CD, eAudiobook
Through a Glass, Darkly. 2006. Also available: CD, eAudiobook
Suffer the Little Children. 2007. Also available: CD, eAudiobook
The Girl of His Dreams. 2008. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
About Face. 2009. Also available: CD, eAudiobook
A Question of Belief. 2010. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
Drawing Conclusions. 2011. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
Beastly Things. 2012. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
Additional Italian mysteries:
Magdalen Nabb’s excellent Marshal Guarnaccia series, set in Florence:
Titles in the series:
Death of an Englishman. 1982.
Death of a Dutchman. 1983.
Death in Springtime: A Florentine Mystery. 1984.
Death in Autumn. 1984.
The Marshal and the Murderer. 1987.
The Marshal and the Madwoman. 1988.
The Marshal’s Own Case. 1990.
The Marshal Makes His Report. 1991.
The Marshal at the Villa Torrini. 1994.
The Monster of Florence. 1997.
Property of Blood. 2001.
Some Bitter Taste. 2002.
The Innocent. 2005.
Vita Nuova. 2008.
Also, Iain Pears’ humorous Jonathan Argyll series featuring art expert Argyll and his wife Flavia di Stefano investigating murder, theft and corruption in the Italian art world.
Titles in the series:
The Raphael Affair. 1990.
The Titian Committee. 1993.
The Bernini Bust. 1994.
The Last Judgement. 1996.
Giotto’s Hand. 1997. Also available: Large Type
Death and Restoration. 1996.
The Immaculate Deception. 2000. Also available: Large Type

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Jamaica

 
Fleming, Ian. Dr. No. 1958.
The inimitable James Bond faces assassins, beautiful women, and the deadly and deranged Dr. No while he investigates the disappearance of a team of secret service agents.
Morris, Bob. Jamaica Me Dead. 2005.
Former Miami linebacker Zack Chasteen is hired as a bodyguard Darcy Whitehall, the owner of several adult-themed resorts. The wisecracking football player must figure out who is making death threats—is it an insider or someone from a Jamaican political action group.

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Japan

Browne, Marshall. Rendezvous at Kamakura Inn. 2005.
After Tokyo detective Hideo Aoki’s 18-month investigation of a powerful and corrupt politician with ties to the Japanese mafia is cancelled by the powers that be, his team is devastated, as is he. Sent to a mountain inn to recuperate after the suicide of his wife, Aoki finds himself snowed in with a murderer whose victims seem to have connections to his previous investigation. Isolated by the storm, cell phones not working, Aoki has only his wits to rely on. Satisfyingly complex and vividly detailed in plot, atmosphere, setting and characters, this could be a lovely first of a series!
Furutani, Dale. Death at the Crossroads. 1998.
#1 in the Samurai series
Matsuyama Kaze is a ronin, a masterless samurai warrior, his former Lord and Lady having been slain by treachery in a battle for supremacy between daimyos (feudal Japanese provincial rulers). On a quest to find and rescue the abducted nine year-old daughter of his patrons, he finds himself in a small village where local officials, peasants and a cruel and callous overlord seek to learn who murdered the merchant whose body was discovered nearby. Lots of authentically described swordplay, merciless brutality (true to the place and time), and surprising humor ensue as Kaze is drawn into the investigation in spite of himself. His overriding characteristics are honor and compassion, even for the peasants who every layer of feudal Japanese society despise and maltreat. Never have I been sorrier to see a series end, and I cherish the hope that Furutani will return to the story of the wise, witty and brave Matsuyama Kaze.
Other titles in the series:
The Jade Palace Vendetta. 1999.
Kill the Shogun. 2000. Also available: Large Type
Rowland, Laura Joh. The Assassin’s Touch. 2005.
#10 in the Sano Ichiro series
This latest installment in Rowland’s 17th century samurai series finds Ichiro promoted to Shogun’s chamberlain, but soon resuming his role of investigator when the sudden death of a top spy is revealed to be the fourth recent mysterious death of a government official. The lethal assassin and the secret organization controlling him are soon pursuing Ichiro even as he struggles to unmask them, protect his ruler, learn how his wife is involved, and stay alive!
Other titles in the series:
Shin-Ju. 1994.
Bundori. 1996.
The Way of the Traitor. 1997.
The Concubine’s Tattoo. 1998.
The Samurai’s Wife. 2000.
Black Lotus. 2001.
The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria. 2002.
The Dragon King’s Palace. 2003.
The Perfumed Sleeve. 2004.
Red Chrysanthemum. 2006. Also available: Large Type
The Snow Empress. 2007. Also available: CD
The Fire Kimono. 2008. Also available: CD
The Cloud Pavilion. 2009. Also available: CD
Additional Japanese mysteries:
Lucia St. Clair Robson’s The Tokaido Road (1991) is a wonderful adventure with strong male and female protagonists, plenty of swordsmanship, a vividly-described setting in medieval Japan, and a beautiful love story. It is shelved in the Fiction section.
Another read-alike might be Lian Hearn’s Tales of the Otori series. This is a trilogy set in an alternate medieval Japan, with similar political intrigues, sharply detailed period and physical settings, romance, and samurai culture.
Titles in the series (all shelved in Fiction):
Across the Nightingale Floor. 2002.
Grass for His Pillow. 2003.
Brilliance of the Moon. 2004.
The Harsh Cry of the Heron. 2006.
Heaven's Net is Wide. 2007.
Sujata Massey’s Rei Shimura series, which follows the sleuthing Japanese-American antiques dealer in modern-day Japan:
Titles in the series:
The Salaryman’s Wife. 1997.
Zen Attitude. 1998.
The Flower Master. 1999.
The Floating Girl. 2000.
The Bride’s Kimono. 2001.
The Samurai’s Daughter. 2003.
The Pearl Diver. 2004.
The Typhoon Lover. 2005.
Girl in a Box. 2006.
Shimura Trouble. 2008.
Also try I. J. Parker’s Sugawara Akitada historical mystery series.
Titles in the series:
The Dragon Scroll. 2005. Also available: CD
Rashomon Gate. 2002.
Black Arrow. 2006. Also available: CD
Island of Exiles. 2007. Also available: CD
The Hell Screen. 2003.
The Convict's Sword. 2009.

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Laos

Cotterill, Colin. The Coroner's Lunch. 2004.
#1 in the Dr. Siri Paiboun series
Seventy-two year-old Dr. Siri Paiboun believed that when the Communist regime took over Laos, at long last retirement would be his. Think again, Dr. Paiboun. Not only did the Party insist he continue working, but they appointed him national coroner, a job he knew less about than the mildly retarded man and the ambitious, but untrained young woman assigned as his assistants. Emulating his favorite fictional detective, Jules Maigret, Dr. Paiboun soon discovers that when that fails, he sometimes has to resort to a little help from the “spirits.”
Other titles in the series:
Thirty-Three Teeth. 2005.
Disco for the Departed. 2006.
Anarchy and Old Dogs. 2007.
Curse of the Pogo Stick. 2008.

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Netherlands

There are two important mystery series that take place in the Netherlands. The first is A.C. Baantjer’s Inspector DeKok series, now up to the 34th in the series. Unfortunately, not all titles have been translated into English from the Dutch. With the huge popularity of the series in Europe, expect to see more re-issues and new translations. The following titles are currently available in the U.S.:
Titles in the series:
DeKok and the Somber Nude.
DeKok and the Sunday Strangler.
DeKok and the Corpse on Christmas Eve.
DeKok and the Dead Harlequin.
DeKok and the Sorrowing Tomcat.
DeKok and the Disillusioned Corpse.
DeKok and the Careful Killer.
DeKok and the Romantic Murder.
DeKok and the Dying Stroller.
DeKok and the Corpse at the Church Wall.
DeKok and the Dancing Death.
DeKok and the Naked Lady.
DeKok and the Brothers of the Easy Death.
DeKok and the Deadly Accord.
DeKok and Murder in Séance.
DeKok and Murder in Ecstasy.
DeKok and the Begging Death.
DeKok and the Geese of Death.
DeKok and Murder by Melody.
DeKok and the Death of a Clown.
DeKok and Variations on Murder.
DeKok and Murder by Installment.
DeKok and Murder on Blood Mountain.
DeKok and the Dead Lovers.
DeKok and the Mask of Death.
DeKok and the Corpse Return.
DeKok and the Murder in Bronze.
DeKok and the Deadly Warning.
DeKok and Murder in First Class.
DeKok and the Vendetta.
DeKok and Murder on the Menu.
DeKok and Murder Depicted.
DeKok and the Dance Macabre.
DeKok and the Disfiguring Death.
DeKok and the Devil's Conspiracy.
DeKok and the Duel at Night.
The other major Dutch series is Janwillem Van de Wetering’s Grijpstra & De Gier stories about two offbeat Amsterdam police detectives; these seem to have ceased around 1999.
Titles in the series:
Outsider in Amsterdam. 1975. Also available: Large Type
Tumbleweed. 1976. Also available: Large Type
The Corpse on the Dike. 1976.
Death of a Hawker. 1977.
The Japanese Corpse. 1977.
The Blond Baboon. 1978.
The Maine Massacre. 1979.
The Mind-Murders. 1981.
The Streetbird. 1983.
Hard Rain. 1986.
The Sergeant’s Cat and Other Stories. 1987.
Just a Corpse at Twilight. 1994. Also available: Cassette  
The Hollow-Eyed Angel. 1996.
The Perfidious Parrot. 1997.
The Amsterdam Cops. 1999.

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Norway

Karin Fossum. Don’t Look Back. 2002.
#1 in Inspector Sejer series
Psychological insight into each character (a la Ruth Rendell) is this author’s greatest strength,and here her quiet, hyper-observant widower detective, Inspector Konrad Sejer, delves beneath the placid surface of a mountain village, investigating the murder of a teenage girl. With very little evidence and no witnesses, Sejer and his assistant Jakob Skarre have to break through the villagers’ closed ranks against outsiders, probing old secrets and lies, finding plenty of skeletons in closets, peeling back layer after layer of deception until the shocking truth emerges.
Other titles in the series:
He Who Fears the Wolf. 2004.
When the Devil Holds the Candle. 2006.
The Indian Bride. 2005.
Black Seconds. 2007.
The Water's Edge. 2009.

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Russia

Akunin, Boris. The Winter Queen. 2003. Also available: CD
#1 in Erast Fandorin Mysteries series
Erast Fandorin is the most junior member of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police, so it's not too surprising that he's detailed to investigate an “open and shut case”, a very public suicide involving a young, wealthy student. Fandorin isn't satisfied with the obvious interpretation, however, and soon his inquiry leads him across Europe and into the center of a vast conspiracy. Excellent period detail, humor, good characters and intricate plotting make this a series that would appeal to Anne Perry fans.
Other titles in the series:
The Turkish Gambit. 2005. Also available: CD 
Murder on the Leviathan. 2004. Also available: CD 
Death of Achilles. 2006. Also available: CD
Special Assignments. 2007.  
Kaminsky, Stuart M. Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express. 2001.
#14 in the Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov series
Insp. Rostnikov is dispatched by his superiors at the Moscow Office of Special Investigation on the 6,000 mi. Trans-Siberian Express to retrieve a mysterious document from Czar Nicholas’ court due to be exchanged for cash somewhere en route. As with all of his assignments he is not told all that the higher-ups know, and is left to his usual skillful navigation through corrupt, dysfunctional post-Soviet Russian society. In the manner of police procedurals the world over, at least two other cases are being worked by Rostnikov’s team of detectives back in Moscow, and we enjoy renewing our acquaintance with Inspectors Karpo (“the Vampire”), Tkach (handsome and quick-witted, but with a small child and live-in mother creating stress at home), Zelach (a little slow but with surprising insights), and Iosef, Rostnikov’s son, in love with his detective partner Elena Timofeyeva. Rostnikov is one of the most endearing of fictional cops--a man of great wisdom, compassion and humor, who loves American jazz and detective stories. A superbly written entry in the series, and we can only hope it’s not the last.
Other titles in the series:
Death of a Dissident. 1991.
Black Knight in Red Square. 1984.
Red Chameleon. 1985.
A Fine Red Rain. 1987.
A Cold Red Sunrise. 1988.
The Man Who Walked Like a Bear. 1990.
Rostnikov’s Vacation. 1991.
Death of a Russian Priest. 1992. 
Hard Currency. 1995.
Blood and Rubles. 1996.
Tarnished Icons. 1997.
The Dog Who Bit a Policeman. 1998. Also available: Large Type
Fall of a Cosmonaut. 2000.
People Who Walk in Darkness. 2008. Also available: Large Type
Additional Russian mysteries:
Try Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko series, which includes:
Gorky Park. 1981. (Fiction SMI). Also available: Cassette
Polar Star. 1989. (Fiction SMI). Also available: Large Type, Cassette
Red Square. 1992. (Fiction SMI). Also available: Large Type, Cassette 
Havana Bay. 1999. (Fiction SMI). Also available: Large Type
Wolves Eat Dogs. 2004. (Fiction SMI). Also available: Large Type, CD
Stalin's Ghost. 2007. (Fiction SMI). Also available: CD

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Spain

Jeffries, Roderic. An Intriguing Murder. 2003.
#27 in the Inspector Alvarez series
Mallorca’s indolent, food and brandy-loving detective Inspector Enrique Alvarez here looks into the stabbing death of an expatriate British millionaire, whose playboy ways and possible bribery of local bureaucrats provide plenty of suspects.
Other titles in the series:
Mistakenly in Mallorca. 1974.
Two-Faced Death. 1976. 
Troubled Deaths. 1978.
Murder Begets Murder. 1979.
Just Desserts. 1980.
Unseemly End. 1982.
Deadly Petard. 1983.
Three and One Make Five. 1984.
Layers of Deceit. 1985.
Almost Murder. 1986.
Relatively Dangerous. 1987. Also available: Large Type
Death Trick. 1988.
Dead Clever. 1989.
Too Clever by Half. 1990.
Murder’s Long Memory. 1992.
A Fatal Fleece. 1992.
Murder Confounded. 1993.
Death Takes Time. 1994.
An Arcadian Death. 1996.
An Artistic Way to Go. 1997.
A Maze of Murders. 1998.
An Enigmatic Disappearance. 2000.
The Ambiguity of Murder. 2001.
Definitely Deceased. 2001.
An Artful Death. 2002.
Seeing is Deceiving. 2002.
An Air of Murder. 2003.
A Sunny Disappearance. 2005.
Murder Delayed. 2006.
Murder Needs Imagination. 2007.
An Instinctive Solution. 2008.
Sun, Sea and Murder. 2009.
Pawel, Rebecca. Death of a Nationalist. 2003.
#1 in the Carlos Tejada series
Set in Madrid immediately following the Spanish Civil War, this Edgar-Award winning first mystery explores the deep seated, continuing hatred between the Nationalists (Fascists) and the Republicans (Communists). Sergeant Carlos Tejeda Alonso y Leon is a member of the Guardia Civil responsible for keeping order in a violence-filled city, where atrocities and reprisals are rampant. He is sent to investigate the murder of his best friend, a Guardia comrade, certain that he has been killed by a Nationalist. As the investigation unfolds he is even surer that the guilty man is a wounded Republican in hiding, but an innate sense of justice forces him to pursue the whole truth. There are no good guys or bad guys in this novel and Tejada has a most unusual ally in solving the crime.
Other titles in the series:
Law of Return. 2004.
The Watcher in the Pine. 2005.
The Summer Snow. 2006.

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Sweden

Mankell, Henning. The Dogs of Riga. 2004. Also available: eAudiobook
#3 in the Inspector Kurt Wallander series
Chief Inspector Wallander, head of homicide in the provincial Swedish town of Ystad, investigates the murders of two men whose bodies have washed up on the coast. Various clues point to their Eastern Bloc origin, but as the affair turns into an international incident with Russian-Mafia connections, Wallander turns to a Latvian colleague for help. When the latter is himself killed, Wallander is off to Riga to search for the truth in a dangerous and corrupt totalitarian state. #1 and #5 in the series have not been published in English as yet.
Other titles in the series:
Faceless Killers. 1997.
The White Lioness. 1998.
Sidetracked. 1999. Also available: CD
The Fifth Woman. 2000. Also available: CD
One Step Behind. 2002. Also available: CD
Firewall. 2002. Also available: CD
The Man Who Smiled. 2005. Also available: Large Type, CD, eAudiobook
The Pyramid. 2008. Also available: CD
Additional Swedish mysteries:
Håkan Nesser’s Inspector Van Veeteren series which begins with Mind's Eye (1993). This Swedish Crime Writer’s Academy prizewinner about a contemplative veteran policeman is just beginning to be translated into English.
           Other titles in the series:
           Borkmann's Point. 2006.
           The Return. 2007.
           Woman with Birthmark. 2009.
Other titles in the series:
Also try Helene Tursten’s Inspector Huss series, which includes Detective Inspector Huss (2003), The Torso (2006), and The Glass Devil (2007).
And the older but classic and still popular Maj Sjöwall/Per Wahlöö Martin Beck series:
Roseanna. 1967.
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke. 1968.
The Man on the Balcony; The Story of a Crime. 1968.
The Laughing Policeman. 1970.
The Fire Engine That Disappeared. 1970.
Murder at the Savoy. 1971.
The Abominable Man. 1972.
The Locked Room: The Story of a Crime. 1973.
Cop Killer. 1975.
The Terrorists. 1976.

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List compiled by Lucy Drews (St. Louis Public Library, Schlafly Branch) with help from Ricki Nordmeyer (Skokie Public Library).