Sweden’s Famous Export: The Kurt Wallander Mysteries

Henning Mankell is the author of the renown Inspector Kurt Wallander Mystery Series. When one thinks of Swedish mysteries, the Kurt Wallander books are usually at the top.

If you look at the Swedish publication dates, you’ll see that the Wallander Series was not written or published in chronological order. When they were translated and published in America, they weren’t in chronological order or in order of original publication.

I pulled the chronological order that I use in this post from Wikipedia and Stop You’re Killing Me.

The Kurt Wallander Mystery Series

Interested in one or more of these books? Click the mouse on the book cover to order it from your local CLEVNET library.

Book cover for The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries by Henning Mankell  

The Pyramid: And Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries (Kurt Wallander Mystery Prequel)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Hardcover
Type: Novella and Short Story Collection
Page Count: 392pp.
Pub. Date: September 2008
Publisher: The New Press
Originally titled: Pyramiden (1999)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
At last, a key addition to the Kurt Wallander mystery series: the book of short mysteries that takes us back to the beginning.

Here we meet Wallander the twenty-one-year-old patrolman on his first criminal investigation, Wallander the young father facing an unexpected danger on Christmas Eve, Wallander on the brink of middle age solving a case of poisoning, the newly separated Wallander investigating the murder of a local photographer, and Wallander the veteran detective discovering unexpected connections between a downed mystery plane and the assassination of a pair of spinster sisters.

Over the course of these five mysteries, he comes into his own as a murder detective, defined by his simultaneously methodical and instinctive work, and is increasingly haunted from witnessing the worst aspects of an atomized society.

    Table of Contents

  • Wallander’s First Case
  • The Man with the Mask
  • The Man at the Beach
  • The Death of the Photographer
  • The Pyramid

 
 

Book cover for Faceless Killers: A Mystery by Henning Mankell  

Faceless Killers: A Mystery (Kurt Wallander Mystery #1)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 288pp.
Pub. Date: January 2003
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Mordare Utan Ansikte (1991)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
Early one morning, a small-town farmer makes the horrible discovery that his neighbors have been brutally attacked during the night. An old man is dead, and his wife lies dying before the farmer’s eyes. The only clue is the single word she utters before she dies: “foreign.”

In charge of the investigation is Inspector Kurt Wallander, a local cop whose personal life is a shambles. His family is falling apart, he’s gaining weight, and he’s drinking too much, but he is tenacious and level-headed in his sleuthing.

Still, things get complicated when he has to deal with an eruption of violent antiforeigner sentiment, as well as a tough-minded — and very attractive — female district attorney, as he searches for the killers.

 
 

Book cover for The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell  

The Dogs of Riga (Kurt Wallander Mystery #2)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 336pp.
Pub. Date: April 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Hundarna i Riga (1992)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
Second in the Kurt Wallander series.

On the Swedish coastline, two bodies, victims of grisly torture and cold execution, are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain he has the ability to solve a case as mysterious as it is heinous.

But after the victims are traced to the Baltic state of Latvia, a country gripped by the upheaval of Soviet disintegration, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation.

Thinking his work done, Wallander slips into routine once more, until suddenly, he is called to Riga and plunged into an alien world where shadows are everywhere, everything is watched, and old regimes will do anything to stay alive.

 
 

Book cover for The White Lioness by Henning Mankell  

The White Lioness (Kurt Wallander Mystery #3)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 448pp.
Pub. Date: May 2003
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Den Vita Lejoninnan (1993)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
Third in the Kurt Wallander series.

The execution-style murder of a Swedish housewife looks like a simple case even though there is no obvious suspect.

But then Wallander learns of a determined stalker, and soon enough, the cops catch up with him. But when his alibi turns out to be airtight, they realize that what seemed a simple crime of passion is actually far more complex — and dangerous.

The search for the truth behind the killing eventually uncovers an assassination plot, and Wallander soon finds himself in a tangle with both the secret police and a ruthless foreign agent.

Combining compelling insights into the sinister side of modern life with a riveting tale of international intrigue, The White Lioness keeps you on the knife-edge of suspense.

 
 

Book cover for The Man Who Smiled by Henning Mankell  

The Man Who Smiled (The Kurt Wallander Mystery #4)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 336pp.
Pub. Date: September 2007
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Mannen Som Log (1994)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
After killing a man in the line of duty, Kurt Wallander resolves to quit the Ystad police. However, a bizarre case gets under his skin.

A lawyer driving home at night stops to investigate an effigy sitting in a chair in the middle of the highway. The lawyer is hit over the head and dies. Within a week the lawyer’s son is also killed.

These deeply puzzling mysteries compel Wallander to remain on the force. The prime suspect is a powerful corporate mogul with a gleaming smile that Wallander believes hides the evil glee of a killer.

Joined by Ann-Britt Hoglund, Wallander begins to uncover the truth, but the same merciless individuals responsible for the murders are now closing in on him.

 
 

Book cover for Sidetracked by Henning Mankell  

Sidetracked (The Kurt Wallander Mystery #5)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 432pp.
Pub. Date: May 2003
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Villospar (1994)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
In the award-winning Sidetracked, Kurt Wallander is called to a nearby rapeseed field where a teenage girl has been loitering all day long. He arrives just in time to watch her douse herself in gasoline and set herself aflame.

The next day he is called to a beach where Sweden’s former Minister of Justice has been axed to death and scalped. The murder has the obvious markings of a demented serial killer, and Wallander is frantic to find him before he strikes again.

But his investigation is beset with a handful of obstacles — a department distracted by the threat of impending cutbacks and the frivolity of World Cup soccer, a tenuous long-distance relationship with a murdered policeman’s widow, and the unshakably haunting preoccupation with the young girl who set herself on fire.

Fascinating and astute, Sidetracked is a compelling mystery enhanced by keen social awareness.

 
 

Book cover for The Fifth Woman by Henning Mankell  

The Fifth Woman (Kurt Wallander Mystery #6)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 448pp.
Pub. Date: April 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Den Femte Kvinnan (1996)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are brutally murdered, and the death of the unknown woman is covered up by the local police.

A year later in Sweden, Inspector Kurt Wallander is baffled and appalled by two strange murders. Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and bird watcher, is impaled on sharpened bamboo poles in a ditch behind his secluded home, while the body of a missing florist is discovered strangled and tied to a tree.

The only clues Wallander has to go on are a skull, a diary, and a photo of three men. What ensues is a case that will test Wallander’s strength and patience, for in order to solve these murders he will need to uncover their elusive connection to the earlier unsolved murder in Africa of the fifth woman.

 
 

Book cover for One Step Behind by Henning Mankell  

One Step Behind (Kurt Wallander Mystery #7)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 448pp.
Pub. Date: January 2003
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Steget Efter (1997)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
On Midsummer’s Eve, three role-playing teens dressed in eighteenth-century garb are shot in a secluded Swedish meadow.

When one of Inspector Kurt Wallander’s most trusted colleagues — someone whose help he hoped to rely on to solve the crime — also turns up dead, Wallander knows the murders are related. But with his only clue a picture of a woman no one in Sweden seems to know, he can’t begin to imagine how.

Reeling from his own father’s death and facing his own deteriorating health, Wallander tracks the lethal progress of the killer. Locked in a desperate effort to catch him before he strikes again, Wallander always seems to be just one step behind.

 
 

Book cover for Firewall by Henning Mankell  

Firewall (Kurt Wallander Mystery #8)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 416pp.
Pub. Date: September 2003
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Brandvagg (1998)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
A body is found at an ATM the apparent victim of heart attack. Then two teenage girls are arrested for the brutal murder of a cab driver. The girls confess to the crime showing no remorse whatsoever. Two open and shut cases.

At first these two incidents seem to have nothing in common, but as Wallander delves deeper into the mystery of why the girls murdered the cab driver he begins to unravel a plot much more involved complicated than he initially suspected.

The two cases become one and lead to conspiracy that stretches to encompass a world larger than the borders of Sweden.

 
 

Book cover for An Event in Autumn by Henning Mankell  

An Event in Autumn (Kurt Wallander Mystery #9)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Trade Paperback
Type: Novel
Page Count: 176pp.
Pub. Date: August 2014
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Handen (2013)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
After nearly thirty years in the same job, Inspector Kurt Wallander is tired, restless, and itching to make a change.

He is taken with a certain old farmhouse, perfectly situated in a quiet countryside with a charming, overgrown garden. There he finds the skeletal hand of a corpse in a shallow grave.

Wallander’s investigation takes him deep into the history of the house and the land, until finally the shocking truth about a long-buried secret is brought to light.

 
 

Book cover for The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell  

The Troubled Man (Kurt Wallander Mystery #10)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Hardcover
Type: Novel
Page Count: 384pp.
Pub. Date: March 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Originally titled: Den Orolige Mannen (2009)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Publisher’s Summary:
The much-anticipated return of Henning Mankell’s brilliant, brooding detective, Kurt Wallander.

On a winter day in 2008, Hakan von Enke, a retired high-ranking naval officer, vanishes during his daily walk in a forest near Stockholm. The investigation into his disappearance falls under the jurisdiction of the Stockholm police. It has nothing to do with Wallander — officially.

But von Enke is his daughter’s future father-in-law. And so, with his inimitable disregard for normal procedure, Wallander is soon interfering in matters that are not his responsibility, making promises he won’t keep, telling lies when it suits him — and getting results.

But the results hint at elaborate Cold War espionage activities that seem inextricably confounding, even to Wallander, who, in any case, is troubled in more personal ways as well.

Negligent of his health, he’s become convinced that, having turned sixty, he is on the threshold of senility. Desperate to live up to the hope that a new granddaughter represents, he is continually haunted by his past. And looking toward the future with profound uncertainty, he will have no choice but to come face-to-face with his most intractable adversary: himself.

 
 

The Linda Wallander Mystery Series

Interested in one or more of these books? Click the mouse on the book cover to order it from your local CLEVNET library.

Book cover for Before the Frost by Henning Mankell  

Before the Frost (Linda Wallander Mystery #1)

Author: Mankell, Henning
Format: Hardcover
Type: Novel
Page Count: 383pp.
Pub. Date: February 2005
Publisher: The New Press
Originally titled: Innan Frosten (2002)

 
This title is also available as an ebook and audio book and audio book from the CLEVNET e-Media Collection.

Note:
The events in Before the Frost take place after the events in Firewall and before The Troubled Man

Publisher’s Summary:
Linda Wallander is bored. Just graduated from the police academy, she is waiting to start work at the Ystad police station and move into her own apartment. In the meantime, she is staying with her father and, like fathers and daughters everywhere, they are driving each other crazy. Nor will they be able to escape each other when she moves out: her father is Inspector Kurt Wallander, a veteran of the Ystad police force, and the two of them will soon be reluctant colleagues.

Linda’s boredom doesn’t last long. Soon she is deeply involved in the inexplicable disappearance of her childhood friend Anna. But no one — least of all her father, who is busy investigating an ominous series of animal killings — thinks anything serious has happened to Anna. Determined to find out the truth, Linda makes a few predictable rookie mistakes that may just turn out to be life-threatening.

When her father’s case unexpectedly dovetails with Anna’s disappearance, something far more calculated and dangerous than either could have imagined begins to emerge. Joining their efforts is Stefan Lindman (The Return of the Dancing Master), a recent transfer to the Ystad station.

 
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *