Chill out over the summer with some Scandinavian crime fiction and film

Ever since Stieg Larsson’s (Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) Millennium trilogy hit the bestseller list, Scandinavian crime fiction and television – also called Nordic Noir (to encompass Iceland and Finland) – has had a huge impact internationally.  It is characterised as realism coupled with a dark and morally complex tone, clean and crisply written, stripped of gothic flourish but not mood. So send some welcome icy shivers down your spine with our range of books and DVDs.


Jo Nesbø is Norway’s most famous writer of crime fiction and features his hard boiled, alcoholic detective Harry Hole. However a close contender is Anne Holt  whose writing is based on her exeprience as a lawyer for the Oslo police force. Gunnar Staalesen’s novels are typified by a certain amount of humour and set in the medieval city of Bergen

Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft is a Swedish crime novel, which poetically uses different voices including that of the murdered man. Camilla Läckberg too has a slightly gothic take on the crime genre.

Television Series

The iconic Danish television series The Killing is a procedural investigation headed by the sensitive yet determined Sarah Lund in her famous sweaters. We hold the complete sets of Season One, Two and Three.

The Eagle: A Crime Odyssey is another Danish police series but more international in scope, with scenes set in Berlin and Iceland.

Anna Pihl set in Copenhagen follows the adventures of a new police officer and single mother. QUT Library holds seasons one,  two and three .

Her Swedish equivalent Irene Huss fights violent crime in Gothenberg, QUT library holds season one, parts one and two

If you’d prefer your detectives without style or flash techniques but middle aged and methodical then Beck is a Swedish detective series worth catching.

Wallander has been remade in English with Kenneth Branagh but the original Swedish series with Krister Henriksson as the melancholic detective set in rural Ystad is haunting. Season one, two, three and four are available on DVD or read one of the originals books Before the Frost, by Henning Mankell

If you’re wondering where all these places are, then Van Veeteren is set in a fictional  blended of Northern European cities called Maaterdam or wonder further afield – if you like heart attack inducing suspense Jar City is an Icelandic detective thriller.

So there enough chills and frozen landscapes at QUT Library to keep you shivering through a Brisbane summer.

For more information about Scandi Noir check out:

Photograph by @abrunvoll


  1. Hi Emma,

    I stumbled across your post searching for information when the DVDs for the third and final season of the Wallander films starring Krister Henriksson will be released in Australia. Seems no date is available as yet.

    The DVDs you are referring to relate to the films made in 2004-2006 (season 1) and 2009-2010 (season 2). The final season (filmed in 2012) is absolutely brilliant to watch, but so far the DVDs are only available in Sweden.

    Norwegian author Karin Fossum is probably also worth mentioning.

    • Emma Nelms

      Thanks Anne, I’ll pass this on to the Creative Industries team so they can look out for them.