“Tödliche Bescherung. Die spannendsten Weihnachtskrimis aus Skandinavien” by Henning Mankell, Ake Edwardson, Leena Lehtolainen u.v.a., edited by Anne Bubenzer
Published in 2007 by Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 271 pages
Translated by Angela Plöger, Angelika Kutsch, Gabriele Haefs, Christel Hildebrandt, Wolfgang Butt, Dirk Gerdes, Dagmar Lendt, Dagmar Mißfeldt, Anne Bubenzer, Gabriele Schrey-Vasara, Hermann Kiy, J. Sandmeiner

I received this book for Christmas and spent the first days of January reading story by story. First I thought I should wait until next Christmas, as the book promises me the most thrilling Christmas crime stories from Scandinavia. But Our City was beautifully covered in snow and thus I decided to read it anyway.

After the first story I was really disappointed. Just because it takes place at Christmas Eve and police officers show up, it does not automatically turn into a “thrilling Christmas crime story”. I am not sure how to summarize the book, now that I am done. I know it is difficult to write a thrilling short story, and I should not expect a new Millennium trilogy.  Maybe a different subtitle would have been a better fit? Anyway: I really enjoyed some stories, and therefore I quote the first three sentences of one of them:

“Frauensieg by Knut Hamsun

Ich war Straßenbahnschaffner in Chicago.
Zuerst war ich noch auf der Halsted-Linie angestellt, einer Pferdebahn noch, zwischen Stadtzentrum und Viehmarkt. Wir vom Nachtdienst waren alles andere eher als geschützt auf dieser Linie wegen aller der fragwürdigen Leute, die den Weg zur Nachtzeit passierten.”

P.S. I just realized that this story does not take place in Scandinavia. Funny that my subconsciousness picked that one.