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The Department of Sensitive Crimes
The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg Novel | Alexander McCall Smith
10 posts | 6 read | 1 reading | 7 to read
From the beloved and bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series comes a lighthearted comedic novel about a Swedish police department tasked with solving the most unusual, complicated, and, often, insignificant crimes. The detectives who work in Malmo Police's Department of Sensitive Crimes take their job very seriously. The lead detective, Ulf Varg, prioritizes his cases above even his dog's mental health. Then there are detectives Anna Bengsdotter, who keeps her relationship with Varg professional even as she realizes she's developing feelings for him . . . or at least for his car; and Carl Holgersson, first to arrive in the morning and last to leave, who would never read his colleagues' personal correspondence--unless it could help solve a crime, of course. Finally, there's Erik Nykvist, who peppers conversations with anecdotes about fly fishing. Along with an opinionated local police officer named Blomquist, the Department of Sensitive Crimes takes on three extremely strange cases. First, the detectives investigate how and why a local business owner was stabbed . . . in the back of the knee. Next, a young woman's imaginary boyfriend goes missing. And, in the final investigation, Varg must determine whether nocturnal visitations at a local spa have a supernatural element. Using his renowned wit and warmth, Alexander McCall Smith brings a unique perspective on Scandinavian crime. Equal parts hilarious and heartening, The Department of Sensitive Crimes is a tour de farce from a literary master.
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review
LiteraryinLititz
Mehso-so

I think this author may just not be for me. While I really got into the writing style and the word choices, I just felt like not enough happened. I guess I like my mysteries to be a little... grittier? Higher stakes? There was nothing remotely mysterious (or in my mind interesting) about the 3 crimes this police department solved. It all just seemed a little too “lite.” Though again, charming writing.

Tamra He is a very charming writer. It this series is like #1 Ladies, it will be about the characters‘ development over time. He is a palette cleanser read for me. 1w
65 likes1 comment
review
rretzler
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Mehso-so

I‘m a big fan of two other series by McCall Smith - No. 1 Ladies‘ Detective Agency and Isabel Dalhousie - so this series seemed a natural to me. I was very disappointed. I expected that it might feature a mystery since the protagonist is a Detective, but I wouldn‘t call any of the three cases to be actual mysteries. I didn‘t find any of the characters sympathetic and the deaf depressed dog who lip reads was too much. 3.0/5.0⭐️ #2019 (more below)

rretzler The joke that Ulf Varg‘s name means Wolf Wolf only works if one speaks English. I presume in Malmo, Sweden that the majority speak Swedish and thus the name Ulf Varg would be Ulf Varg or perhaps Varg Varg and thus not really a joke. Sigh. 2w
74 likes1 comment
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The.Intentional.Reader
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Friday night reading and relaxing

10 likes1 stack add
review
Tamra
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Pickpick

Finished up the last couple of pages in the salon chair. Definitely has all the human insight and quirky humor we‘ve come to expect from Alexander. 😁 Didn‘t enjoy it quite as much as Maa Romatswe, but that isn‘t fair since those characters are sooooo well developed and loved now.

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LiteraryinLititz
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This was a bookful week for me!! For my birthday, I received the books on the right from @wanderer15 and a bookstore gift certificate from @BennettBookworm which I used to buy some of the ones in the middle. I celebrated Independent Bookstore Day by visiting my local indie plus a new-to-me one (Firefly Books in Kutztown, PA) and bought the tote and the remaining books pictured.

Now I‘m just fantasizing about taking a week off to read! 🤔

Tamra The track series is fun! 3w
erzascarletbookgasm Very nice haul and great photo! 3w
BennettBookworm Yayyy such a bookful week!! 3w
Librariana I picked up the same title during Indie Bookstore Day! 😁💜📚 3w
BookNAround Nice! 3w
105 likes5 comments
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Tamra
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Anyone who works in higher education, let‘s all sigh together........🙄

GingerAntics That sounds about right, yeah. Sigh. 3w
TrishB Yep.... 3w
57 likes2 comments
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Tamra
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I love it when nonreaders think readers are bored and just need to be introduced to more entertaining activities. 😂

Leniverse And how is fishing an entertaining activity? 😂 3w
JanuarieTimewalker13 Hahaha!! It‘s so true! 3w
Tamra @Leniverse exactly! 😜 My favorite part of camping in the mountains is me sitting on stream bank with a book while the hubby does the trout fishing. (edited) 3w
See All 13 Comments
MicheleinPhilly Right??? I hate that. “I mean what do you do for FUN?” I just told you, dummy. 3w
Cathythoughts Yes ! Fishing for books please ! I would love that 😁 3w
rretzler This one is up soon for me! Can‘t wait to see what it‘s all about - I love his other mystery series. 3w
Tamra @Cathythoughts 👍🏾👍🏾 3w
Tamra @rretzler me too! So far it has all the wit and humor you would expect. 3w
Hyggescence Hahaha. Anytime my husband goes out of town he asks me what I‘m going to do and I say, what do you think? I‘m going to read all weekend. 3w
rretzler Great! 3w
Tamra @Hyggescence perfect! 👌🏾 3w
Cailey_Mac It‘s just like at work, everyone thinks I have loads of spare time since I read a lot, but I don‘t really watch tv or movies, so my reading time is everyone else‘s tv time. 3w
71 likes13 comments
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catebutler
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A weekend getaway is underway. Good food, an adorable café & the quirkiest bookshop have been on the list of stops. Today, we‘re headed to a vintage market at the local fairgrounds. I think we might make another stop at the café before we head home, so I can keep reading Alexander McCall Smith‘s latest, ‘The Department of Sensitive Crimes‘. I love several of his other series, and so far this doesn‘t disappoint!

kspenmoll I have been eyeing that book! Sounds intriguing! 3w
catebutler @kspenmoll It‘s very fun! If you‘re familiar with his other series, I think you‘d especially enjoy it. 3w
Tamra Agreed! 👏🏾 3w
Freespirit Lovely tea pot😊 2w
catebutler @Freespirit This café had the cutest tea pots, I loved how this one matched so well with my book cover. 2w
51 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Tamra
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I am so excited to get to this being a total fan girl of #1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. I hope my expectations aren‘t too high. 😳

rretzler I feel the same. I‘ve also read and loved his Isabel Dalhousie series. I‘ll be starting this one soon. 4w
Tamra @rretzler I have listened to a couple in the Dalhousie series, but I need to go back! 4w
91 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Sweettartlaura
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Pickpick

3.5 ⭐️
Ulf Varg heads up a police department that covers unusual & delicate crimes. Like who stabs a man at the knees. And what to do about a group of women losing their minds over a made-up boyfriend. Not to mention reports of lycanthropy.
This starts slow. But by the second case, you‘ll be enamored of Ulf & his crew, & wanting to spend time with them.
My thanks to Penguin for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

42 likes1 stack add