I is for Iceland

I is for Iceland by Arnaldur Indridason, Hannah Kent
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.

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

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.

Highly recommended.


  1. Wow, that second photo is amazing. The colors are so stunning. Iceland must be a fascinating place to visit.

  2. I’ll have to check out the Inspector Erlender.

  3. Iceland looks beautiful. There are thousands of great books in the world and so little time to read them all!

    • Christine

      April 11, 2014 at 11:43 am

      Yeah. Plus, employment and family time and all of those other things that interfere with reading opportunities! For example, I expect to spend a significant percentage of my weekend gardening!

  4. Lovely entry! I’m also fascinated by Iceland. There’s something exotic about it being so isolated.

    I’ve been meaning to read some Indridason for a while, as I love Mankell’s novels…

    • Christine

      April 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Mankell is one of my favorite mystery authors, although I felt like the last couple Kurt Wallender novels weren’t up to the high standard of some of the earlier ones.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Wow. Jar city has such an interesting cover! I’d read it for that alone.

    Visiting from the A to Z sign-up list. Great to meet you!

    Stephanie Faris, author

  6. I’ve noticed that Iceland has been popping up in a lot of posts lately. And by the photos, it’s become a really intriguing place to me now. On the list already of places to go. 😀

  7. Those photos are breathtaking! I would like to visit Iceland one day, also.

    AJ’s AtoZ wHooligan
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  8. I have a huge list of places to visit, ICELAND is on the visit AGAIN list. I loved it I hope you get there soon, really fascinating and the people are interesting #AtoZchallenge ☮Peace ☮ ღ ONE ℒℴνℯ ღ ☼ Light ☼ visiting from http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/

  9. Checking in from the A to Z challenge! Iceland is totally on my list – photo’s are beaut.


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