When a book states “original stories from Sweden’s Greatest Crime Writers” one ( or I) would assume that the stories in the anthology would be mystery stories. But you know what happens when you ‘assume’. So, as you can guess, many of the stories in A Darker Shade of Sweden were far from mysteries, most glaringly a story about brain transplants from Steig Larsson, who apparently preferred science fiction to mystery, regardless of his huge selling Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series.
A Darker Shade of Sweden, indeed, contains stories from some of Sweden’s greatest crime writers including Larsson, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, Henning Mankell and Hakan Nesser, Asa Larsson and Eva Gabrielsson (Larsson’s partner). And it does have some good mysteries such as Katarina Wennstam’s Too Late Shall the Sinner Awaken about someone explaining a murder 25 years after the fact or Veronica von Schenck’s Maitreya about stolen artifacts.
The most notable odd, non-mystery story was clearly Steig Larsson’s Brain Power followed by Stowall and Wahloo’s The Multi-Millionaire about a millionaire father who makes his son rough it for a year before inheriting the fortune.
As a huge fan of Nordic mystery TV (The Bron) and books in Arnaldur Indridason’s Inspector Erlendur series, my expectations of this book were not met. What did I get out of this? Well, an author or two that I might try out, primarily Katarina Wennstam and Veronica von Schenck. Other than that, not much. Is A Darker Shade of Sweden going to stay in my library? Probably not.