Authors A to Z: Adler-Olsen

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Jussi Adler-Olsen

Carl Valdemar Jussi Henry Adler-Olsen (born August 2, 1950) is a Danish writer of crime fiction, as well as a publisher, editor and entrepreneur. Jussi made his debut as a fiction writer in 1997.

Born in Copenhagen, he was the youngest of four children and the only boy. Son of the successful sexologist and psychiatrist Henry Olsen, he spent his childhood with his family in doctors’ official residences at several mental hospitals across Denmark. In his late teens, he played in a pop group as lead guitarist. He graduated from high school in 1970, from 1970-78 he studied medicine, sociology and film making .

Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark’s #1 crime writer and a New York Times bestselling author. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than fifteen million copies around the world. His many significant Nordic crime-writing awards include the Glass Key Award, also won by Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø, Stieg Larsson, and Peter Hoeg. His writing is fast-paced, with inventive plotting and visceral psychology, with flashes of humor.

Genre:Psychological suspense; Scandinavian crime fiction; Thrillers and suspense
Story-line:Intricately plotted
Tone:Atmospheric; Suspenseful; Violent
Writing Style:Compelling

The First volume in the Department Q series is The Keeper of Lost Causes.



On a beautiful winter’s day the young, progressive politician Merete Lynggaard disappears without a trace. The media are all over the story with their headlines suggesting everything from murder and suicide to a planned voluntary disappearance. The police immediately commence a large-scale investigation, alas with no result. Merete Lynggaard has vanished from the face of the earth.

Not until Carl Mørck , the deputy detective superintendent who has been through a lot in his time, is put in charge of the new department for “cases of special focus” is there a major breakthrough in the investigation. Soon Carl and his assistant Assad are tracing a reckless criminal, who driven by hate has set up an insane scheme.


“Plan on putting everything else in your life on hold if you pick up this book.” — The Oregonian

“Far from being just another morose Nordic crime writer, Adler-Olsen creates a detective whose curiosity is as active as his soul is tortured.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Adler-Olsen’s prose is superior to Larsson’s, his tortures are less discomfiting, and he has a sense of humor.” — Booklist (starred review)

“The new ‘it’ boy of Nordic Noir.” — The Times (London)


There are many, many wonderful writers whose last name starts with the letter A, I chose this particular author for my friend and previous co-worker Merlee.  She enjoys crime novels and Mr. Adler-Olsen is a favorite.  Look for the next in the Authors A to Z series-coming soon. I’d also like to credit two resources I use everyday to look up authors, series and to find recommendations.