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Maj Sjöwall (1935–2020)

Author of Roseanna

45+ Works 13,547 Members 427 Reviews 25 Favorited

About the Author

Writer and journalist Maj Sjöwall was born in Sweden in 1935. She was a reporter and art director at several newspapers and magazines. From 1959 to 1961, she was an editor with the publishing house Wahlström and Widstrad. She met Per Wahlöö in 1961 and they married the following year. Together show more they wrote all ten novels in the Martin Beck Police Mystery series from 1965 to 1975. In 1971, The Laughing Policeman (a translation of Den Skrattande Polisen) won an Edgar Award for Best Novel. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Disambiguation Notice:

Do not combine this page with any of the pages that contain both Sjöwall and Wahlöö, or with Per Wahlöö's individual author page. (See "Who Should/Shouldn't Get Combined" on the Author wiki page.) Thank you.

Series

Works by Maj Sjöwall

Roseanna (1965) 2,186 copies, 92 reviews
The Laughing Policeman (1968) 1,857 copies, 66 reviews
The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1966) 1,405 copies, 49 reviews
The Man on the Balcony (1967) 1,337 copies, 40 reviews
The Locked Room (1973) 1,184 copies, 34 reviews
The Fire Engine That Disappeared (1969) 1,152 copies, 34 reviews
Murder at the Savoy (1970) 1,133 copies, 28 reviews
The Abominable Man (1971) 1,081 copies, 26 reviews
Cop Killer (1974) 997 copies, 24 reviews
The Terrorists (1976) 972 copies, 28 reviews
De vrouw die op Greta Garbo leek (1990) 87 copies, 3 reviews
Roseanna ; The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1988) 33 copies, 2 reviews
I primi casi di Martin Beck (2009) 21 copies
Il milionario (2007) 9 copies
Erbsensuppe flambiert (2003) 2 copies
Mord auf Schwedisch — Author — 1 copy

Associated Works

A Darker Shade of Sweden (2013) — Contributor — 109 copies, 7 reviews
The Vintage Book of Classic Crime (1993) — Contributor — 34 copies
Days of Vengeance (1983) — Translator, some editions — 9 copies
Mords.Metropole.Ruhr (2010) — Contributor — 3 copies

Tagged

1960s (71) 20th century (96) Beck (109) crime (934) crime and mystery (39) crime fiction (607) crime novel (85) detective (389) detective fiction (87) ebook (71) fiction (1,222) goodreads (71) Kindle (55) Martin Beck (584) murder (103) mystery (1,272) noir (46) nordic noir (54) novel (198) paperback (48) police (163) police procedural (328) policier (53) read (140) Roman (74) Scandinavia (72) Scandinavian (74) Schweden (95) series (64) skönlitteratur (61) Stockholm (238) Sweden (932) Swedish (230) Swedish fiction (44) Swedish literature (165) thriller (200) to-read (316) translated (64) translation (119) unread (49)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Sjöwall, Maj
Birthdate
1935-09-25
Date of death
2020-04-29
Gender
female
Nationality
Sweden
Birthplace
Stockholm, Sweden
Place of death
Landskrona, Sweden
Cause of death
COPD
Places of residence
Ven, Sweden
Occupations
editor (Wahlström and Widstrand)
Writer
translator
journalist
crime novelist
art director
Relationships
Wahlöö, Per (spouse)
Wahlöö, Claes (brother-in-law)
Awards and honors
Rivertonklubbens internasjonale ærespris (2006)
Agent
Salomonsson Agency
Short biography
Maj Sjöwall grew up in one of the chain of hotels in Stockholm managed by her father. She was a 27-year-old journalist and art director, and a single mother with a small daughter, when she met Per Wahlöö, a prominent political journalist and former crime reporter nearly a decade her senior. They fell in love, moved in together, had two children, and talked about literature – including the possibility of writing books together. The result of their research and writing collaboration was Roseanna (1965), a detective novel featuring Martin Beck. It was the first in a series of ten novels produced over ten years. In 1971, The Laughing Policeman won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America and was adapted into a Hollywood film. Sjöwall and Wahlöö also wrote novels separately. Although they never married, their relationship lasted until his death in 1975.
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine this page with any of the pages that contain both Sjöwall and Wahlöö, or with Per Wahlöö's individual author page. (See "Who Should/Shouldn't Get Combined" on the Author wiki page.) Thank you.

Members

Reviews

When I finished the Erlendur books I decided it might be worth going back to the beginning of Scandi noir. Roseanna was a blisteringly fast and fantastic read. It had just enough detail, and leaned into epistolary/transcript-based storytelling, which I LOVED. It didn't lack for poetry too, the city came alive (for better and for worse). Also, Beck always has a stomachache, which hey, I feel that. Definitely gonna read more of this series.
 
Flagged
Amateria66 | 91 other reviews | May 24, 2024 |
This writing team was important in the history of police procedural crime writing. But I'm not much of a student of that history. I just like to read detective/police/mystery books. So I think if you take away the history aspect, you're left with a decent but not overwhelming detective story. I've watched a few of the Beck Swedish TV series which is what inspired me to read the books. But having read two, I think I prefer the television series!
 
Flagged
dvoratreis | 48 other reviews | May 22, 2024 |
That last interrogation seemed completely unrealistic to me. Otherwise I thought the book was OK, not great. Going on to read the second in the series and see what I think of that.
 
Flagged
dvoratreis | 91 other reviews | May 22, 2024 |
The husband and wife team that gave us the ten Martin Beck novels just might the best writers of the police procedural ever, and this book just might be the the best of them all. Despite being the fourth book in the series it is the book I most often recommend starting with.
 
Flagged
skid0612 | 65 other reviews | May 20, 2024 |

Lists

Awards

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Statistics

Works
45
Also by
7
Members
13,547
Popularity
#1,713
Rating
3.8
Reviews
427
ISBNs
873
Languages
23
Favorited
25

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