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Copenhagen Noir (Denmark)

Edited by:

Scandinavian writing has come to dominate the global crime-fiction landscape, and this volume offers a delicious, devious sampling of why.

$19.95 $14.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“The latest entry in the publisher’s series (41 and counting) proves the resilience of, and market for, these locale noirs. Editor Bo Tao Michaëlis, a Danish book critic, is both scholarly and insightful in the introduction and outlines how the stories reflect the greed and ennui of modern Denmark in contrast to the Danish idyll depicted in tourist brochures. [ . . . ] Although some stories veer from noir orthodoxy, there are fine examples of lyrical writing, noir sensibilities, and insight into the current Danish psyche. Overall, a very impressive anthology.”
Library Journal

“The indefatigable noir series of anthologies (Orange County Noir, Trinidad Noir, Brooklyn Noir 3, etc.) focuses in its 43rd volume on the home of Hans Christian Andersen. [ . . . ] Based on this collection, Copenhagen may be a great place to visit, but nobody seems to live there, at least not well or long.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Fans used to the watered-down noir now prevalent in America will notice immediately the much harder edge of these stories, which are much closer to the noir of the 1940s and ’50s.”

“[This] volume has grim, uncomfortable power.”
Publishers Weekly


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Naja Marie Aidt, Jonas T. Bengtsson, Helle Helle, Christian Dorph & Simon Pasternak, Susanne Staun, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agente Friis, Klaus Rifbjerg, Gretelise Holm, Georg Ursin, Kristian Lundberg, Kristina Stoltz, Seyit Öztürk, Benn Q. Holm, and Gunnar Staalesen.

From the introduction by Bo Tao Michaëlis:

Copenhagen: the Little Mermaid, H.C. Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, and Karen Blixen, a big city that perhaps more than any other is the absolute capital, origin, and center of northern European romanticism of the 1800s. Denmark’s Copenhagen, with its ramparts and moats forming the shell of the city and suburbs, has retained a glint of back then, that world of yesterday . . . At one point our metropolis was presented as an idyllic, modest-sized big city, where police stopped traffic when a mother duck guided her ugly ducklings across the street populated by cars, bicycles, and streetcars. But naturally, and quite unfortunately, such is the case no longer. Copenhagen long ago abandoned its Sleeping Beauty slumber for a cosmopolitan night and day that never sleeps . . . Those times are gone forever.

All the short stories in Copenhagen Noir are about meaninglessness, violence, and murder in various districts of the city . . . Common for all the writers is a love for Copenhagen and for the dark story of coincidence and necessity, the good and bad luck of humans. In a metropolis that both has a style of its own yet also resembles the other black pearls of cities across the globe: New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Berlin. Enjoy.

Table of Contents


Part I: (Men and) Women
“Women in Copenhagen” by Naja Marie Aidt (Ørstedsparken)
“One of the Rough Ones” by Jonas T. Bengtsson (Northwest)
“Australia” by Christian Dorph & Simon Pasternak (Vesterbro)
“All I Want Is My Baby Woah Woah, Woah Woah Woah Woah” by Susane Staun (City Center)
“A Fine Boy” by Helle Helle (Vanløse)

Part II: Mammon
“When the Time Came” by Lene Kaaberbøl & Agente Friis (Ørestad)
“Sleipner’s Assignment” by Georg Ursin (Frederiksberg)
“Debt of Honor” by Klaus Rifbjerg (Amager)
“When It’s Tough Out There” by Gretelise Holm (Istedgade)

Part III: Corpses
“Savage City, Cruel City” by Kristian Lundberg (Malmø)
“The Elephant’s Tusks” by Kristina Stoltz (Nørrebro)
“The Booster Station” by Seyit Öztürk (Valby)
“The Great Actor” by Benn Q. Holm (Frederiksberg Allé)
“Last Train from Central Station” by Gunnar Staalesen (Central Station)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 12/7/10
  • IBSN: 9781936070664
  • e-IBSN: 9781617750151


BO TAO MICHAËLIS is a book critic and editor living in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the editor of Copenhagen Noir.

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