Take plenty of water and add a rowing boat

… and you have a cover screaming Scandinavian crime fiction.

tre robåde

Sorry, friends, that I post so infrequently. I really love my new writing life, and sales have been good, both in Denmark and on Amazon these first months – but writing, editing and all the bureaucratic paraphernalia swallow so much time. I’m truly happy to see that many of my blog friends remember me, and my latest books have received plenty of glowing reviews already!

North Sea Cottage

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She Never Came Home – Launch Party

Well, not so much party as a quick push of a button, but SHE NEVER CAME HOME is definitely out there (where else would she be, poor girl?) A short story of c 9,000 words or c 30 book pages.

A warm and heartfelt thank you to blog friends Margot and Amanda who helped me getting this one in proper shape. My British editor assures me the story was ‘highly polished’ before he set eyes on it. 

She never came home

I think this short story has quite a lot in common with my very first short story, Heather Farm. Young couple move to the countryside and find something in their new home which they hadn’t exactly bargained for. But my daughter assures me that this one is far from cosy. Apart from Alice and Peter, you are going to meet Foxy, their sweet little dog, and some rather uncanny dolls.

The blurb:

When Alice loses her job and her home, she is forced to move into an old farmhouse with her husband and her dog.  She is determined to make the most of the situation – until she starts to hear the voice of a young girl, and the sound of her singing in the middle of the night.  Should Alice follow her instinct and leave the farmhouse, or should she stay and find out what happened when the little girl disappeared without a trace forty years ago?

 

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Helen Grant, The Glass Demon (2011)

I began reading this novel before our holiday in Norway and went back to it afterwards. So with my short memory span, it is difficult to come up with a good review.

(Excellent excuse, wasn’t it?)

So here is the first part of the blurb:
Sometimes the path to the truth is paved with broken glass. 

Teenager Lin Fox is a stranger in a strange land—Germany, where her father has come on a quixotic quest to locate a priceless artifact. The medieval (and possibly mythical) Allerheiligen stained glass is believed by some to be lost, by others to have been destroyed, and by virtually all to be haunted. A mysterious letter persuades Dr. Oliver Fox that he can be the one to find it—but someone else is determined to ensure that the glass stays hidden forever.

I enjoyed the book very much. Great characters, especially the main character, teenager Lin Fox. Do I like Lin? I am not so sure. Sometimes you feel like slapping her, on the next page you want to hug her. Definitely a very real teenage girl.

The German setting is great. Without a doubt the writer knows her environment, and she has added a layer of sinister darkness I do not really recognize from holidays in that part of the world, but it certainly suits the story.

A well-written and intriguing mystery. Strongly recommended.

I bought the book myself, and the writer is a Facebook acquaintance.

Posted in British, Helen Grant, review, review 2014 | 5 Comments

Candied Crime – the first anniversary

Last summer my husband and I established the small family publishing company Candied Crime. Mainly to publish my books, but we are in touch with a couple of other writers from Denmark so perhaps we will also publish others in the future.

This month we can celebrate our first anniversary (a bit belatedly, but July is inconvenient because everybody is away on summer holidays – and you won’t tell ,will you?)

 

There will be more news and offers later, but already now we have two great offers:

Ding Dong Bell, The Kitten in the Well is currently free via Barnes & Noble and iTunes.

Anna Märklin’s Family Chronicles is reduced to $ 0.99  or £ 0.77 – this week only.

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Norway 2014

Last week we treated ourselves to a lovely holiday in beautiful Norway.

A few heights and sights. If you can’t get enough, you can see more on my facebook page.

 

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Lovely reviews

As you know, if you follow this blog regularly, I have published two short stories and a novella during the last couple of months. It is harder to get reviews for short pieces, but some days you wake up to lovely surprices.

A REVIEW OF DING DONG BELL, THE KITTEN IN THE WELL

Mason Canyon of Thoughts in Progress posted a review of my short story, Ding Dong Bell, The Kitten in the Well, recently.

What I found was a charming and suspenseful story that brought smiles and a touch of heartache. It’s a story easily read in a short time that leaves you wanting more…

The author’s descriptions and eye for detail places the reader in the middle of the action. The setting is a charming English countryside that envelops the reader transporting them to a different place and era. The author weaves a tale of suspense with humor for a well-balanced story.

REVIEWS OF NORTH SEA COTTAGE

Margaret, BooksPlease, wrote the very first review of the English version of North Sea Cottage.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the cottage in the title is owned by Tora’s aunt, Bergatora. As soon as I began reading I was immediately transported in place away to the other side of the North Sea to Denmark with Tora, and in time back to the Second World War, with her aunt, Bergatora. In just a few words Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen draws a vivid picture of the old fisherman’s cottage surrounded by dense sea fog.

… North Sea Cottage is only about 90 pages but it has depth both in mystery and in characterisation and the setting is so atmospheric. I was fearful for Tora’s safety as she dug deeper into the mysteries from the past.

——————-

Here is another wonderful review, written by Barbara Mitchell of Views from the Countryside.

I was fascinated, and also fooled until almost the end.  This is, to my mind, Jakobsen’s finest writing yet.  I’m looking forward to more about this heroine, hopefully soon.
Highly recommended.

What more can a writer wish for?

 

Posted in Candied Crime, cozy mystery, Gershwin & Penrose, North Sea Cottage, publication, Scandinavian | 4 Comments

Jens Østergaard, The Dragon, the Singer, the Hero

(Danish crime story, not translated into English)

I visited our local library two weeks ago to try some of their recent, Scandinavian crime fiction. In my circles, Jens Østergaard is quite the buzzword these days, and I agree that he writes well, and the plot, inspired by Slavonic legends, was good and innovative. I can imagine he has spent quite some time researching Russian legends about dragons and heroes, and he uses his knowledge well.

One plot cliché made me groan, however. Police officer Thomas Nyland  gets on the track because one of the victims holds something in his hand – an item he grabbed while struggling with the killer. This idea may have been fresh and original when Arthur Conan Doyle used it in The Reigate Squire, but… Besides, Thomas Nyland is hurt early on, and for personal reasons, he refuses to stay at home to recuperate while his colleagues work on the case. Instead, he darts off on his own and more or less solves the case single-handedly, aided by a young, female expert on Slavonic culture. We have also heard that story once or twice before, haven’t we?

My general impression: a promising writer – three or four stars for a good beginning, but Østergaard must find a way around those clichés.

 

Posted in Danish, Jens Østergaard, review, review 2014, Uncategorized | 6 Comments