The Mysterious Bookshop

Jan Costin Wagner - The Winter of the Lions

In this haunting, atmospheric "snow-noir" tale, one of Finnish detective Kimmo Joentaa's colleagues has been found murdered

Every year since the death of his wife, Detective Kimmo Joentaa prepares a glass of milk and a bottle of vodka to arm himself against the isolation of Christmas and the harsh Finnish winter. But this Christmas Eve, his lonely routine is interrupted: first by the unexpected arrival of a damaged young woman and then by the murder of two men—one of them Joentaa's colleague on the police force.

"The way the crimes are solved is intriguing, if unorthodox, as is Joentaa's relationship with a mysterious prostitute who follows him home from the police station." —Laura Wilson, Guardian

"Excellent... this may be down to good translation, but Wagner's terse style is as crispy delineated as the figures he describes in the blank Finnish landscape. Snow-noir of the highest order." —Financial Times

"With its neatly drawn Finnish settings this tale is unshowy but very good." —Mail on Sunday