A very British obsession

Aditi Phadnis

What do Hercule Poirot, Jane Marple and Sherlock Holmes have in common? Well, they’re all just…so English! (Poirot’s Belgian origins and his disdain for the English notwithstanding.) Nordic crime writing is unquestionably outstanding, whether it is Henning Mankell or the Socialist couple, Maj and Per Wahloo whose books are a scathing critique of the state system.

There are hundreds of others in between — trust me, there was a world of Nordic noir before Stieg Larsson. The despair of the human condition is captured wonderfully by the French (from Maigret to Fred …


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