Crimes of Passion is markedly different crime drama from the dark, moody Scandicrime which has characterised the genre for so long. But this sunny, unclouded mystery series was seeded in in a different way from The Killing or The Bridge. Its creator (in the novels on which the series was based) was one of the earlier writers in Swedish crime fiction, Maria Lang (whose real name was Dagmar Lange, and who died in 1991). She was part of the old guard which younger, more socially committed Sandivain crime writers felt the need to react against, despite the considerable success she enjoyed in her day with such books as The Murderer Does Not Tell Lies Alone, 1949. Lang’s inspiration was (unsurprisingly) the English crime Queen Agatha Christie, and Lang was undoubtedly enjoyed by many readers by presenting a similarly unrealistic picture of her country, where crime is not the deeply destabilising force it is for later writers. The adaptations in the series Crime of Passion inhabit a Christie-like Nordic universe, and offer more relaxing entertainment that deserves attention alongside the edgier fare.

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