Genres: Historical, Mystery
There are a lot of places that I would like to visit – Prague, and Norway, and Banff, British Columbia. One of them is Iceland.
I am fascinated by the culture and the geography.
There is a series written by an Icelandic author and set in Reykjavik that I really enjoy: the Inspector Erlender series, by Arnaldur Indridason. I’ve read several of these books, including Jar City.
Indridason has been compared to other Nordic crime writers, like Henning Mankell, whom I also love.
One of my favorite books of 2013 was set in Iceland, in the early nineteenth century.
Burial Rites was based on the true story of the last execution in Iceland, that occurred on January 12, 1830. Agnes Magnusdottir, a farmhand, was convicted of murdering two men in March, 1828.
Burial Rites is fascinating, telling the story of the time that Agnes spends as a “prisoner” on a farm in the rural district where she was raised. Because there was no jail where she could be held, she was assigned to a family and resided with them until the date of her execution. The book tells us the story of Agnes, and the murder, and also details her effect on the family and community where she lives before her execution. Spoiler alert – this book does not have a happy ending. It is a fascinating exploration of the historical Icelandic culture, of gender relationships, of capital punishment, and of the manner in which stories are told.