> Queer Books Please: Recommendation of the Hanne Wilhelmsen crime series

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recommendation of the Hanne Wilhelmsen crime series

Anne Holt is a Norwegian crime novelist. I first became aware of her because lesbian pop culture sites noted that her Hanne Wilhelmsen series of mysteries was being developed for television. My ears perked up at the mention of an unknown-to-me mystery series staring a lesbian. I immediately ran out and got what was at the time the only book in the series translated into English.


1222 by Anne Holt is fantastic. It's a closed room mystery--the survivors of a train derailment are snowbound in a hotel--and of course there is a murderer amongst them. Hanne Wilhelmsen is a wonderfully prickly and difficult character and in spite of the difficult circumstances and her generally cranky attitude towards the rest of humanity, she can't help but try and solve the mystery.

Normally I would say go buy this book right now, because it's a fantastic mystery. BUT. It's also the last book in the series. And only two other books in series are out in the United States so far.

Blind GoddessBlessed Are Those Who Thirst

BLIND GODDESS and BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO THIRST begin the Hanne Wilhelmsen. series. Holt's writing is much less assured in these novels, but they are still pretty good mysteries.

It's hard to know what order you should read these books in at this point. 1222 is at this point far and away the best book in the series released in the United States. And even if you are strict about reading a series in order, so you don't get spoiled, that means that you're reading the two books from early in the series and then waiting for the rest to come out. Now it does seem that Simon and Schuster, the publishers, are trying to get a new title out every six months.

What should you do? I read 1222 first and then BLIND GODDESS and BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO THIRST. I may be a little disappointed that I know where the series is going in general, but I'm not sure BLIND GODDESS is a strong enough debut that I would have continued with the series if I read it first.

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