Paperback - 2009
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"A REYKJAVIK MURDER MYSTERY. It is a few days before Christmas and a Reykjavik doorman and occasional Santa Claus, Gudlauger, has been found stabbed to death in his hotel room in a sexually compromising position. It soon becomes apparent that both staff and guests have something to hide, but it is the dead man who has the most shocking secret. Detective Erlendur soon discovers that the placidly affluent appearance of the hotel covers a multitude of sins. Winner of the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger. "
Publisher: London, England : Vintage Books, 2009, c2006.
ISBN: 9780099546627
Characteristics: 352 pages ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Scudder, Bernard 1954-2007,- Translator


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Jan 15, 2019

There is a weaving of different family stories.

Aug 20, 2018

A real slow burner, where things get bog down with unnecessary filler. The worse is when Erlendur brings back, again, the story we all heard in a former novel. The one about his brother. I mean, get over it. And his daughter, why is she always going the the hotel? Otherwise, we all knew that the little Ösp had something to do with the murder. Very disappointing novel. A bit of a mess and I think not really his best. It felt like a 'write by numbers' book.

multcolib_susannel Sep 18, 2017

When a hotel Santa is found murdered a week before Chirstmas, Danish Inspector Erlendur is forced to leave his personal mystery to investigate.

Aug 25, 2017

Another interesting tale set in Iceland at Christmastime. The main murder investigation is intermingled with another ongoing case and we learn a lot about both the main victim's childhood and the policeman Erlendur's as well.

May 10, 2015

Insp. Erlendur Sveinsson is no action hero. He has his own personal demons haunting him. Now he has to set them aside to solve the murder of a onetime choirboy with the chrystalline voice. Erlendur is a relentless hunter determined to find the truth despite the Christmas holiday. What he gradually discovers is a web that reveals interwoven tragedies. As I read this and a previous story by Arnaldur Indridason, my strongest emotional response has been compassion for his characters. This book is about discovery and quiet courage.

Apr 17, 2013

*** 1/2 stars. I always enjoy the Erlendur mystery / police procedural series set in Iceland. In this book a handyman man who lives in the basement of a hotel a is found stabbed to death in his Santa suit just before his appearance for the children. He was once a famous choir boy with a beautiful voice. How has he fallen so low? Why does he have a poster of Shirley Temple as the Little Princess on his wall? As usual I had not figured out the murderer and motive until the very end. I like the complexity of the mysteries, but what I love best about this series is the great character development. Erlunder may be terrific at ferreting out the secrets of others, but has a difficult time understanding his drug addicted daughter and his own profound survivor's guilt. Be sure to start with book 1: Jar City and book 2: Silence of the Grave. This is book 3 Indridason is a great pleasure!! Highly recommend the series.

Jan 09, 2012

Despite what the immediately writer below says, this is book #5 in the Erlandur series and NOT #3; but it’s nicely written, with good characters on the whole; it's often funny; has some pedophilia and homosexuality elements that are handled surprisingly kindly and that involve characters who are given some redeeming characteristics; the main downside is that there is too much discussion of the detective’s private life that has been already covered in previous books of the series and that shouldn’t get such a long reprise here.

Jun 18, 2011

This is the third book in the Inspector Erlendur series. The plots and writing (albeit translated from Icelandic) are improving with each book.
My only complaint is the monotonous side story of Erlendur's drug addict daughter. The relationship is meant to add dramatic tension to his private life but the two characters say the same things to each other over and over and over again.
Still worth reading, but skim the father/daughter dialogues.

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