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Påskekrim! A Norwegian crime fest



Påskekrim!! Easter crime!!! In Norway, of all places. Whatever next!! And everyone is doing it.


A strange thing happens in Norway a few weeks before Easter. It's a festival of crime or påskekrim (pos-kuh-kreem), but it's not quite you think. No, we don't all get out onto the streets and start rioting and pillaging like a hoard of barbarians. It's a crime fest of a much more high-brow variety - literary crime, or rather crime novels. Unusual, isn't it?


OK, so I'm just going to say it; the whole world knows that Nordic crime is the best, although my Norwegian husband would disagree as he's a devoted fan of British crime like Vera and Midsummer Murders. Nordic crime has a reputation for being the best. It tends to be a little edgier and takes us to some pretty dark places at times, but it's always memorable and there are often moments of "hygge" even with Nordic noir. The bonus is we also get to look as some beautiful scenery and take an armchair journey to places we have never visited (or want to return to).


So what happens in this festival of Easter crime?



New crime novels are launched

New crime novels are saved for this special time of year. And why not! With the attention for several weeks before Easter on so much of the genre it's a perfect marketing opportunity for publishers. For those of us wanted to buy a new book or two it's also a chance for us to discover new authors or new releases that we might not ordinarily notice and think about.


Book shops are stocked full of crime novels

Forget about the normal array of cookery books, crafting and travel that usually graces the fronts of bookshops. It's all swept away for a few weeks to make room for piles and piles of crime novels. Some will be new releases and others will be old favourites. Whether new release or not, books are stacked high in this dedication to the cause. I've noticed here that the bookshops love to bring in local authors and you can quite frequently find them sitting outside the bookshop with a table ready to sign copies of their latest book and chat with fans and enthusiasts. It's a lovely way to find out more about a book and its author and get some background on why they wrote it.


New crime series on TV

I love a good crime series! Easter in Norway is the ideal time to find a new favourite series. There are so many choose from because the TV networks save their best for Easter. Every evening sees a different version of crime solving. I love this time of year to find new series to watch because they are often those that have not been on network TV before, or we might not have considered. And if you are waiting for the latest season of your favourite crime series (yes, I am talking about Wisting season 4!), then this is the time they will be aired.


Schools have crime solving games

This is the gentler version of påskekrim. Fun and gentle crime solving games are brought out for the children to try to solve during school hours. It's a lovely way to involve them to crime fiction without some of the more adult themes that are included in TV series and books.

Norwegian TV stations all take part in this with the kids programs dedicated to crime sleuths and their favourite characters solving crimes. NRK is particularly good at this with a series called "Superkrim".


Why Easter?


It might Wem like a strange time to be focused on crime, but when you look at what people do over Easter it's all very logical. Easter in the Nordics is a time to slow down a little. There are lots of "red days" or days when many businesses are closed and people are working. With the longer days and warmer weather those with cabins take this early opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle and spend a few days in a relaxing environment.

Many cabins in Norway are in beautiful natural areas on mountain sides, or by lakes or the sea and are without modern conveniences like electricity, running water or inside toilets. And they are most often without TV and internet connection, but even those people with internet connection at their cabins usually choose to disconnect for a few days (or more), to turn their phones off and stop answering emails and looking on social media. Without these distractions and pressures on our time evening entertainment is something much simpler and so quiet reading is really popular.


Will you be joining in the Norwegian påskekrim celebration?


You don't need to live in the Nordics to take part. Simply put aside some time over Easter to start a new crime novel or a new crime series. Maybe do like I do and make a list of those that look the most interesting so that you don't forget. And don't feel like you are doing something strange or odd because I promise you that the whole of Norway will be joining in with you in this fun and lighthearted celebration of a unique art form - a celebration of the authors and screenplay writers of crime.

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