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One of my friends that I met in Taiwan lives in Denmark, and I’ve pretty much wanted to visit since then. This has only been exacerbated since I read The Tenant earlier this year.
I honestly don’t even know that much about Denmark but it looks beautiful and I want to go. Someday I will.
Now you may be wondering, what the heck is hygge? You may have seen the word but what actually is it?
Well, it’s pronounced hoo-gah and it’s a feeling that encompasses quiet comfort. Hygge should feel like extreme coziness.
These may not all be hygge-inspiring books, but you can make that feeling yourself with a nice toasty blanket, a hot beverage, some candles, and cozy fairy lights.
Maybe it will be a cozy hygge and maybe it will be a slightly spooky hygge, depending on your book of choice.
No matter what you pick, these are some of the best books set in Denmark and best books about Denmark that will probably make you want to visit.
- If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free. Get that Audible deal here.
- If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd! You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
- Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
- If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
- Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
- Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
- Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
- Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!
The Boy in the Suitcase
Nina Borg is a compulsive do-gooder and can’t say no when someone asks for help. She gets sucked into her worst project yet when an estranged friend leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station.
In it, she finds a suitcase and in that is a drugged and naked, but alive, three-year-old boy. Now she’s trekking across Denmark to find out who he is, where he belongs, and who is after him.
The Summer of Ellen
Jacob is a middle-aged architect living in Copenhagen, in the middle of alcohol-soaked throes of divorce.
He receives an unexpected call from Anton, his great uncle, who is haunted by one question: what happened to Ellen?
To find out, he has to go back to the farm he hasn’t visited since the summer of 1978, filled with Ellen, a beautiful hippie from the nearby compound, and the unsolved disappearance of a local girl.
While back, he finds out the tragedies that defined him weren’t what they seemed.
The Keeper of Lost Causes
Carl used to be one of Denmark’s best homicide detectives but he blames himself when two fellow cops were killed and he didn’t draw his own weapon.
A promotion is the last thing he expects but Department Q is a department of one and a stack of cold cases. Colleagues snicker but Carl may have the last laugh.
The file of a liberal politician who disappeared five years ago keeps nagging at him. She is presumed dead, but is she really?
If you’re looking for Nordic noir set in Denmark, this is a good choice.
A young woman is stumbled upon (literally) by her elderly neighbor, murdered in her own apartment with intricate lines carved into her face.
Detectives Korner and Werner of the Copenhagen police are assigned to the case and immediately make a connection between Julie and her landlady, Esther, who happens to be writing a novel that exactly describes the way she was murdered.
I read this one earlier this year after winning it on GoodReads when it came out and I really enjoyed it. I look forward to continuing the series.
The Library of Shadows
Jon inherits Libri di Luca, a bookstore in Copenhagen after his father Luca dies a sudden and violent death. He hasn’t seen his father since his mother’s mysterious death twenty years ago.
Soon after his death, there is an arson attempt on the store and Jon has to investigate his family’s past. Unbeknownst to him, the bookstore has a remarkable secret.
It’s a meeting place of a group of book lovers with immense power passed down from the days of the Great Library of ancient Alexandria. And now someone is trying to destroy them.
The Dinosaur Feather
I definitely just got this one as I’m writing this.
Anna is two weeks out from presenting her controversial research on the evolutionary origin of birds when her supervisor is found dead with a tongue and a copy of her thesis in his lap.
Anna is convinced someone is trying to stop her research from coming out and is now fighting to prove her innocence and fighting for her life.
The Murder of Halland
Bess, the widow of Halland, is the prime suspect when he is found murdered almost right outside his door. All she is worried about though is the daughter she abandoned years ago.
While the police investigate, Bess follows her own trail of regrets and misapprehensions.
Meet Me at the Museum
Anders Larsen, a professor in Denmark, has lost his wife and his hope for the future.
Tina Hopgood is trapped in a life she didn’t choose on an isolated English farm.
They are brought together by their fascination with the Tollund Man and begin sending each other letters. While their worlds are vastly different, they have more in common than they thought.
Their friendship blooms but when Tina stops writing, Anders is thrown into despair.
The Little Cafe in Copenhagen
Now, if you’re looking for hygge, this is the one for you. It’s a cozy contemporary romance book set in Copenhagen.
Kate is a publicist in London and her life is all she thought she wanted, but then her charming boyfriend goes behind her back and steals a promotion from her leaving her heartbroken and questioning everything.
Candles and cozy nights in Copenhagen lead Kate to live her life the Danish way and it may just help her find her own happily ever after.
Splinters of Scarlet
Magic is all about strategy for Marit Olsen as it flows freely through her blood but it leaves behind Firn, a deadly ice buildup in her veins every time she uses it.
She knows how dangerous too much Firn build-up is since that’s what killed her sister. But when Eve, a fellow orphan, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, she’ll do anything to stay by her side.
She decides it’s worth the risk of Firn build-up to get a job as the household seamstress. But she has a secret agenda while there: find out if her father’s death in the Vestergaard jewel mine was really an accident.
One morning before school, two student find the naked bodies of five men hanging in the gym. Konrad Simonsen and his murder squad are called to the school and lead to the janitor.
Soon, they learn each man had one dark secret in common and when he finds out his own daughter iis being targeted he has to race to find the culprit.
Sarah is looking forward to her last day as a detective at the Copenhagen police department before moving to Sweden.
Everything changes when Nanna Birk Larsen, a student, is found brutally raped and murdered outside the city.
Sarah’s plans to move are put on hold as she leads this investigation with Jan Meyer. The case takes a wild turn when connections are made between City Hall and the murder.
One of Us is Sleeping
As she returns home to visit her mother who is dying of cancer, she recounts a brief but intense love affair and the grief and disillusionment that followed.
If you want a book set in Denmark that is a little deeper and a little less murder-y this is a good choice.
The Copenhagen Affair
Sanya has always been a perfect wife but it’s her husband Harry’s turn to step up after she has a breakdown in her office. His proposal is a temporary move to Copenhagen where he needs to be to close a business deal but he figures a change of scenery won’t hurt.
In Copenhagen’s high society, one man stands out to Sanya, not because of his intriguing scar but because he sees her in a way Harry hasn’t in years. Anders owns the company Harry wants to buy and Sanya finds herself falling for him.
An affair with Anders seems even more tempting as allegations of white-collar crime arise and Harry’s infidelities come to light.
Anger is My Middle Name
Here we has a memoir about living in Denmark so if you prefer non-fiction, look no further!
Lisbeth was born to a violently dysfunctional family in working-class Denmark where she and her three brothers bounced between foster families and state-run institutions and their chemically dependent mother and sadistic father.
Lisbeth had three things going for her as she came of age with a myriad of fears and emotional disorders. She was extraordinarily bright, extremely willful, and exceptionally angry.
This sounds like it would be perfect for fans of Educated.
Frost and Ashes
An eight-year-old boy is found dead in a stream in a Danish village during a snowstorm. He was strangled with a fishing line and has severe burn marks on his hands.
The investigation goes in several directions: an old man with a dark past, a boy with a cell phone and guilty conscience, and similar death in the same stream thirty years ago.
The Killing Forest
Louise is back at work in the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department, after an extended leave. Her first case back involves a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week ago.
Soon she realizes he’s the son of a local butcher and takes the opportunity to combine this search with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s death long ago.
She uncovers the toxic truths and deadly connections holding the small town of Hvalsoe together.
The Midnight Women
A young woman is found strangled in a park and a male journalist was killed at the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
Louise Rick is on the case of the young woman but soon finds herself entangled in the journalist’s case as well. It turns out her friend Camilla knew him.
She tries to keep Camilla from getting too involved, but she isn’t one to miss a good story but this time she may have gone too far.
The Silent Women
Sara Blaedel is pretty much the queen of crime books set in Denmark.
A young woman is found bound and gagged after a brutal rape in an idyllic Copenhagen neighborhood. Susanne met her rapist on a popular dating website.
Louise Rick is on the case but Susanne nor the police have been able to find the attacker’s real identity. Until Louise unmasks him, he will certainly attack again.
Her Father’s Secret
Here’s another from Sara, but this one is from a different series. I want to read this one because Wisconsin.
Ilka Jensen impulsively abandons her quiet life in Denmark after she inherits a funeral home from her father she hasn’t heard from in decades. She goes to visit the small town where he lived in Wisconsin (woohoo! I’m from Wisconsin.)
She is devastated to find her father’s second family that didn’t even know she existed and are not welcoming at all.
A local woman is killed in an apparent home invasion but when Ilka learns the woman knew her father, it seems it may not have been totally random. The more she digs into his past, the more entangled she becomes in the family drama. And she may even be the next victim.
The Chestnut Man
A psychopath leaving behind a “chestnut man” made of matchsticks and two chestnuts is terrorizing Copenhagen. While investigating, they find a fingerprint of a government minister’s young daughter who was kidnapped and murdered a year ago.
No one is safe and two detectives have to put aside their differences to piece together the clues.
I cannot wait to read this one (got it for my birthday) and know this is also one of the best Scandinavian crime novels. It’s a Netflix show now also.
Have you read any of these books set in Denmark? Which ones? What is your favorite Danish crime book? Any others I should check out?