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Crime Fiction - West Sweden

Murder and mystery are in the air on the west coast of Sweden, at least in the books of Swedish crime writers Camilla Läckberg, Åke Edwardsson and Ann Rosman. The setting for Läckberg’s books is the to-die-for pretty coastal community of Fjällbacka, 140 km north of Gothenburg on Sweden’s Bohuslän coast. According to Läckberg two of the locals cop it per book, and with a population of 1,000 people she’d have to write 500 books to kill them all off. Good news for Läckberg fans, bad news for the locals.

  • Fjällbakcka in West Sweden
  • Fjällbacka in Bohuslän, West Sweden
  • Lobster safari in Bohuslän, the Swedish West Coast
  • Fjällbacka, West Sweden
  • Gothenburg main street Avenyn
  • Michelin starred Kock & Vin in Gothenburg

Fjällbakcka in West Sweden

Fjällbacka

It would be criminal not to come to Fjällbacka, especially if you’re a fan of Camilla Läckberg’s books. And if you want clues about what to do here – read on. Fjällbacka town is from the 17th century and famed in Sweden for its cobbled streets, red boathouses and world famous west coast shellfish. In summertime hop on one of the boats lining the harbour and take a trip to the Väderörna group of islands, which are part of the Bohuslän archipelago.
If fishing is your fancy you can do that too. Or come in the autumn (end September to end November) and hunt down some west coast lobster. The plot goes like this; Stora Hotellet in Fjällbacka arranges you a lobster safari with a savvy sea captain who knows where to catch maybe the best lobster on the planet. Out at sea, he’ll show you how to prep and drop the pots and you catch your fill. Then it’s back to Stora Hotellet to boil, grill and devour your catch.
At the nearby Tanum UNESCO World Heritage site do, a bit of detective work and try to work out what Bronze Age Swedes are trying to tell us in their brilliantly coloured rock paintings and carvings from 3,000 years ago. Experience Fjällbacka and islands

Gothenburg

Åke Edwardsson’s series of crime books featuring Inspector Winter, the sharp-suited, gourmet meal cooking jazz cat, are best selling fiction. But there’s nothing fictional about the city of Gothenburg where they are set. If ‘M’ is for murder in Edwarsson’s books, then ‘F’ is for food in Gothenburg.
Choose from five Michelin star-rated restaurants and the many charming eateries, brasseries and bistros in the mid-price and budget categories around the city, including Caleo, Hos Pelle, Kock & Vin and the classic Brasserie Lipp on the Avenyn boulevard. Al fresco dining rules in summertime, as the city’s restaurants and bars pour onto the streets. For the full-on Inspector Winter experience, grab a table at one of the many cool street-side cafés, order yourself a legendary Gothenburg prawn sandwich and immerse yourself in one of this great crime writer’s books.

Island mysteries

Marstrand island in the northern part of the Western Archipelago is the setting for Swedish crime writer Ann Rosman’s new book ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter’. It is the first installment of her Marstrand series with policewoman protagonist, Karin Adler. The book is not yet in English, but has been sold in five other languages. Will she join the ranks of global bestselling Swedish crime writers like Stieg Larsson (Millennium Trilogy), Henning Mankell (Wallander), Åke Edwardsson (Inspector Winter) and Camilla Läckberg (Ice Princess and The Stone Cutter)?

The Marstrand of Rosman’s book is an island idyll of pastel blue, yellow, green and dazzling white wooden buildings that wrap around the town up towards Carlsten Fort, a fortress built in the 1700s that towers over the town. And that is exactly what it is like. Year-round there are guided tours of the fort and it also lays on dinners, historical meals, and historical reenactments. Go up to the top of the fortress for views of the town, its archipelago and for the hundreds of yachts, which take part in the many sailing events and international regattas here.  Otherwise, enjoy the cool galleries and shops selling local arts and crafts. For eats go to Grannens Kök at the quayside beside the ferry terminal for west coast delicacies. And if you want a hearty sailor’s breakfast look no further than Bergs Konditori on Hamngatan.

From Marstrand you can also take a boat trip out to the islands of Nidingen, Hållö and the Koster Islands – Sweden’s largest marine national park and the Pater Noster lighthouse on the uninhabited island of Hamneskär. Pater Noster’s distinctive red lighthouse figures in Rosman’s book for all the wrong reasons. You can go there for all the right reasons and stay in the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. Talk about getting away from it all.

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