A Darker Shade of Sweden, edited by John-Henri Holmberg (HighBridge)

These 17 stories, all translated to English for the first time and reaching as far back as the 1970s, offer a veritable who’s who of Swedish crime writers. All contributing authors are well represented by the seven talented narrators gathered for this audiobook. Scott Brick’s reading of Holmberg’s enjoyably informative introduction covering the evolution of Swedish crime fiction is delivered in a smooth, conversational manner that nicely avoids sounding like a class lecture. Delivered with equal aplomb is Erik Bergmann’s opening and closing to each story, featuring interesting biographical facts about the featured authors and their writings. “The Mail Run” by Asa Larsson is a dark tale of murder set in rural mining town around the turn of the last century, and narrator Adam Grupper brings just the right melancholy tone to this frontier tale. “Brain Power,” written by international bestselling author Stieg Larsson, is set in a far-off dystopian future. Narrator Edoardo Ballerini does an excellent job of bringing a solid sense of realism to Larsson’s Orwellian vignette. This collection of Nordic noir is perfect for fans and newcomers alike. Publishers Weekly