labelled Sweden's Queen of Crime or Sweden's Agatha Christie,
Dr of Philosophy Dagmar Maria Lange made her debut in 1944.
Maria Lang sets some of her detective stories in famous locations
in Stockholm such as Drottningholm Theatre but
also in small-town rural Nora, which bears the fictional name
Skoga in her stories. Like Agatha Christie, Lang chooses closed
settings in which a murderer will emerge from a limited cast
of suspects. Lang introduces detection by the study of the emotional
lives of her characters, through the eyes of first-person narrator,
Puck Ekstedt (later Bure); most of her mysteries centre on crimes
of passion. Criticisms have been levelled against Lang in recent
decades because of the pure entertainment value and lack of
serious ambition in her work, but I believe she is well worth
revisiting, not least for the way her books can deal with serious
themes and shake up the preconceptions of a 1940s readership.