Maria Lang was a Swedish detective novel queen already before anyone had heard about the Nordic Noir. She wrote over 40 novels, usually one a year. Her main detective character in the later stories was Christer Wijk, a police investigator. Silk, Velvet is a story situated in Stockholm, in the 1950/60s. The story reels around a fashion atelier in Kungsholmen, its employees and customers.
Author: Maria Lang
Publisher: P.A. Norstedt & Söners Förlag 1975
Category: Detective fiction
Original language: Swedish
Helmet Reading Challenge 2017, number 37: A book by an author who has written more than 20 books.
Lang’s books are Agatha Christie style mysteries, right down my alley in other words. I reread this book when we were visiting Stockholm this summer, staying in a hotel in Kungsholmen. It was a time leap to an earlier era in a city that has changed a lot since fifties and is changing all the time. It is also one of my old hometowns, so the familiar streets and places in the book brought an extra shiver for the reading experience.
In Silk, Velvet a rich and nasty customer, Veronica Thoren faces her end in the sewer’s atelier. As Christer Wijk sets about to investigate, he soon realizes everybody seem to be connected in one way or other to this irritating person and would have plenty of reasons to murder her. But who took the scissors and stabbed her?
Lang has created a delicious cast of characters in a very 50’s spirit. It is still in a way the age of innocence, but the human nature is the same – regardless of the era. Reader collects clues together with the detective and gets to put her little gray cells to work.
Netflix has a 6 part series on Maria Lang detective stories. These films feature Puck and Eje, my favourite amateur detective couple. This series has an excellent period feeling of the 50′ and 60′ Sweden.
You can also buy the Crimes of Passion with Puck & Eje in DVD: