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Wednesday 11 November 2015

‘An Event in Autumn’ by Henning Mankell

Translated by Laurie Thompson
Published by Vintage Books,
10 September 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-784700843 (PB)

This last appearance by Kurt Wallander was first published many years ago by a Dutch publisher who used it as a promotion to sell crime books.  It really is a long short story, and chronologically it dates to just before "*The
Troubled Man*," the final novel in the Wallander series.  So, this is really good-bye to Kurt.

Always desirous of purchasing a house, leaving his apartment and obtaining a dog, Wallander is induced by his friend and co-worker Martinson to look at a property owned by an aged relative.  Upon inspection, he decides it
meets his needs and even agrees to a price.  But then, walking around the garden Wallander finds a bony hand sticking up from the ground.  Further investigation turns up a complete skeleton, and later a second.  So his desire to purchase the home is very much cooled, but the investigation heats up and we have a Wallander investigation with few leads.

The author writes in an Afterward that he decided  to end the series on a high note, having said everything he wanted to say, and not drag it on merely for the sake of continuing it.  That doesn't mean we won't all miss
the irascible Swedish detective, because we will.  But at least we enjoyed him for a long run.

Reviewer: Ted Feit
Henning Mankell was born in Stockholm 1948. When he was two years old the family moved to Sveg where the father worked as a court judge. The family lived in the court house in Sveg and young Henning much enjoyed listening to the grown-ups discussions on crime and punishment. At age 16 Henning Mankell dropped out of school in order to work as a merchant seaman for two years before settling in Paris. After a year and a half in the French capital, Henning returned to Sweden and got a job as a stagehand in a Stockholm theatre. In 1973, Mankell released his debut novel, Bergsprängaren (The Rock Blast). In the same year, he went to Africa for the first time. Ever since he has divided his time between Africa and Sweden and since 1986 he is the artistic leader of Teatro Avenida in Maputo, Mozambique. Died October 2015.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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