International Dagger Speculation (2015)

Among the books entered for this year’s CWA International Dagger here, so far I have read:

Marco Malvaldi – Three Card Monte (Italy, M) (tr. Howard Curtis, Europa Editions)

Pascal Garnier – The Islanders (France, M) (tr. Emily Boyce, Gallic Books)

I’ve on my To-Be-Read list:

Hans Olav Lahlum – The Human Flies (Norway, M) (tr. Kari Dickson, Mantle)

Leif GW Persson – Falling Freely As If in a Dream (apa Free Falling, as If in a Dream) (Sweden, M) (tr.  Paul Norlen, Doubleday)

Andreas Norman – Into a Raging Blaze (Sweden, M) (tr. Ian Giles, Quercus)

Anne Holt – The Lion’s Mouth (Norway, F) (tr. Anne Bruce, Atlantic)

And on my wish list:

Karim Miske – Arab Jazz (France, M) (tr. Sam Gordon, MacLehose Press)

Karin Fossum – The Murder of Harriet Krohn (Norway,F) (tr. James Anderson, Harvill Secker)

Deon Meyer – Cobra (South Africa, M) (tr. K L Seegers, Hodder)

Hakan Nesser – The G File (Sweden, M) (tr. Laurie Thompson, Mantle)

Arnaldur Indridason – Reykjavik Nights (Iceland, M) (tr. Victoria Cribb, Harvill Secker)

Kristina Ohlsson – Hostage (Sweden, F) (tr. Marlaine Delargy Simon & Schuster)

Jorn Lier Horst – The Caveman (Norway, M) (tr. Anne Bruce, Sandstone)

Pierre Lemaitre – Camille (France, M) (tr. Frank Wynne, Maclehose Press)

Jo Nesbo – Blood on Snow (Norway, M) (tr. Neil Smith, Harvill Secker)

Andrea Camilleri – Game of Mirrors (Italy, M) (tr. Stephen Sartarelli, Mantle)

OT: Young Saint John the Baptist, by Michelangelo

As of today until 28th June, 2015 you’ll be able to see at The Prado Museum The young Saint John the Baptist (ca. 1495-1496) by Michelangelo, which has been recently restored. For additional information click here and here to read the full story. From then onwards, the sculpture will returned to its original setting, the Holy Chapel of the Saviour in Úbeda, the land of my ancestors.

OT: Raimat Abadia 2013


  • Winery: Bodegas Raimat. Ctra. Lleida s/n, Raimat, 25111 – Lleida (Codorniu Group)
  • Phone: +34 973 724 000
  • Winemaker: Mark Nairn
  • Website:
  • Brand: Abadía 2013
  • DO: Costers del Segre
  • Type: Crianza Red Wine 13,5%
  • Grape Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.
  • Vineyards: Raimat makes all its wines with grapes from its own estate..
  • Soil Type: Mainly calcareous topped with sand.
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: € 6.57 at Bodega Santa Cecilia
  • My wine rating: 86/100 (a wine of fair or acceptable quality) NEW!

On their oenologist’s own recommendation, decanting this wine is not considered necessary.

In 1914 Manuel Raventós embarked upon one of his greatest works: Raimat (el Segrià). To bring to fruition this eagerly awaited project, he had to overcome difficulties associated with the relative lack of productivity and fertility of the local area. The original winery was built in 1918 by the Art Nouveau architect Rubio i Bellver. The winery was later extended, in 1988, under the guidance of Domingo Triay, who gave it its definitive appearance.Raimat currently owns 2,245 hectares of vineyards, which cover all of the needs of the winery. It is one of the world’s most innovative research centres in the fields of viticulture and enology. The methods and techniques applied are the product of years of experimentation and research, while the whole grape-growing and wine-making process is supervised by the winery’s own team of enologists. The total productive surface area of the vineyard is about 30,000 m2 and its productive capacity is around 10 million litres. At present, annual production tends to reach about 5.5 million bottles of wine and 1.5 million bottles of sparkling wine. The main red wine producing varieties used on the estate are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and the classic Tempranillo, whereas the main varieties grown for producing white and sparkling wines are Chardonnay, Albariño, Parellada, Xarel·lo and Macabeo. The most famous wines produced by Raimat include its monovarietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay wines and of course the renowned Raimat Abadía.

OT: My Wine Rating System

From now on I’ll change my wine rating system as follows:

95 and above, A wine of distinction

91-94, A wine of outstanding or superior quality

89-90, A wine of very good to excellent quality

87-88, A wine of good quality

85-86, A wine of fair or acceptable quality

84 and below, Not recommended

Moreover I’ll provide my rating to wines of price below € 10.00. Wines above this price won’t be rated.

I recently downloaded on my eBook

The Hummingbird by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Arcadia Books; Finland)

Anna Fekete, who fled the Yugoslavian wars as a child, has a past. Just beginning her career as a criminal investigator in a northern Finnish coastal town, she is thrust into a high-profile, seemingly unsolvable case that has riveted the nation. It doesn’t help that her middle-aged new partner, Esko, doesn’t bother hiding his racist prejudices, and Anna becomes the target of a systematic campaign to unsettle her. A young woman has been killed on a running trail, and a pendant depicting an Aztec god has been found in her possession. Another murder soon follows. All signs point to a serial killer, but can Anna catch the Hummingbird before he – or she – strikes again? And at what personal cost?


The Human Flies by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson (Mantle; Norway)

The Human Flies

Oslo, 1968. Ambitious young detective Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen is called to an apartment block, where a man has been found murdered. The victim, Harald Olesen, was a legendary hero of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation and at first it is difficult to imagine who could have wanted him dead. But as Detective Inspector Kolbjørn Kristiansen (known as K2) begins to investigate, it seems clear that the murderer could only be one of Olesen’s fellow tenants in the building. Soon, with the help of Patricia – a brilliant young woman confined to a wheelchair following a terrible accident – K2 will begin to untangle the web of lies surrounding Olesen’s neighbours; each of whom, it seems, had their own reasons for wanting Olesen dead. Their interviews, together with new and perplexing clues, will lead K2 and Patricia to dark events that took place during the Second World War . . .


Falling Freely, As If In A Dream by Leif G W Persson tr. Paul Norlen (Doubleday; Sweden)’s August 2007, and Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Sweden has opened the files on the unsolved murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme. With his retirement quickly closing in, Johansson forms a new group comprised of a few trustworthy detectives who doggedly wade through mountains of paperwork and pursue new leads in a case that has all but gone cold despite the open wound the assassination has left on the consciousness of Swedish society. Yet the closer the group gets to the truth, the more Johansson compromises the greater good for personal gain, becoming a pawn for the private vendetta of a shady political spin doctor. Sharply detailed and boldly plotted, Persson’s work lifts the veil on one of history’s greatest unsolved crimes in a novel that goes toe-to-toe with the best of true crime books.

My intention is to read all the books in The 2015 Petrona Award shortlist before the announcement of the winner.

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