The Department of Sensitive Crimes

The Department of Sensitive Crimes

In the Swedish criminal justice system, certain cases are considered especially strange and difficult, in Malm�, the dedicated detectives who investigate these crimes are members of an elite squad known as the Sensitive Crimes Division. These are their stories.The first case: the small matter of a man stabbed in the back of the knee. Who would perpetrate such a crime and...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Department of Sensitive Crimes
Author:Alexander McCall Smith
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Department of Sensitive Crimes Reviews

  • Marianne

    The Department of Sensitive Crimes is the first full-length novel in the Detective Varg series by popular British author, Alexander McCall-Smith. And he’s having a lend of us, the reader. If that’s not obvious from the title and the characters, then the cases they deal with should confirm it. Those characters, though, do give him enormous scope for insightful observations and wise words.

    The DoSC consists of Carl (incredibly conscientious), Erik (obsessed by fishing), Ulf (kind and sensitive and

    The Department of Sensitive Crimes is the first full-length novel in the Detective Varg series by popular British author, Alexander McCall-Smith. And he’s having a lend of us, the reader. If that’s not obvious from the title and the characters, then the cases they deal with should confirm it. Those characters, though, do give him enormous scope for insightful observations and wise words.

    The DoSC consists of Carl (incredibly conscientious), Erik (obsessed by fishing), Ulf (kind and sensitive and in impossible love with his married colleague), Anna. The annoyingly enthusiastic but less than competent Officer Blomquist also lends a hand. And let’s not forget Martin, Ulf’s deaf, depressed, lip-reading dog, Mrs Hogfors, his neighbour and Dr Svensson, his therapist.

    The cases, passed on from Malmö’s Criminal Investigation Authority because they are slightly unusual, are also a rich source of material for philosophical discussion: an unwitnessed stabbing in the back of a knee; a missing boyfriend who’s imaginary; and a possible werewolf. As Ulf and his team carry out their investigations, they are extremely prone to heading off on (often amusing) tangents during questioning. All are successfully resolved, but not without much deep discussion of the behaviours encountered.

    McCall Smith’s characters discuss, debate and ponder topics as diverse as imaginary friends, politically correct terminology for small people, the canine environmental footprint, osmotic knowledge, vegan objection to pets and whether the obsessed can be happy.

    When Ulf muses on gentlemanly behaviour, it’s very pertinent to the current “me too” cases: “...although he knew that nobody talked about being a gentleman any more, the concept still existed somewhere under the burden of the new language of relationships, the language that stressed self-determination and personal space. That was not all that different from the code of gentlemanly conduct that had previously prevented men from inappropriate conduct in their relations with women. The things that men were now supposed not to do were precisely the things that gentlemen were not meant to do anyway - so what was the difference? Were we simply becoming old-fashioned again, as societies tended to do when they saw the consequences of tearing up the behavioural rule book?”

    While it sounds like a crime novel, McCall Smith describes it as Scandi Blanc (as opposed to Scandi Noir) and anyone who is reading his work for the crime aspect has the wrong end of the stick: McCall Smith’s crime books are an exercise in examining human behaviour and the gentle philosophy which that inspires. Delightfully tongue-in-cheek.

  • Kasa Cotugno

    Nobody writes like Alexander McCall Smith. He has a formula, and this time he's transposed it to Scandinavia where, if fiction coming out in the past 20 years or so is to believed, corruption and mayhem fester around every corner. But with his talent for creating casts of lovable characters, Smith traipses out here in the creation of a department that will handle those quirky cases that need attention, but more serious minded police won't waste time on (after all, they're too busy chasing knife

    Nobody writes like Alexander McCall Smith. He has a formula, and this time he's transposed it to Scandinavia where, if fiction coming out in the past 20 years or so is to believed, corruption and mayhem fester around every corner. But with his talent for creating casts of lovable characters, Smith traipses out here in the creation of a department that will handle those quirky cases that need attention, but more serious minded police won't waste time on (after all, they're too busy chasing knife wielding, revengeful maniacs). These are the cases that result in ethical dilemmas, not corpses, and each situation is a sort of morality play and a glimpse into the human condition. Can't wait for the next installment.

  • John Martin

    This was a really enjoyable read for me: quick, gentle, light, quirky with pockets of very funny humour.

    I've been a fan for some of the stripped-back writing that comes out of Scandinavia, and if the author had chosen a Nordic pen name I would never have suspected it wasn't actually a product of Sweden.

    The fact that Alexander McCall Smith promotes this as Scandi Blanc rather than Scandi Noir flagged it a satire I wanted to read.

    He gets inside the heads of an array of characters just brilliantly.

    This was a really enjoyable read for me: quick, gentle, light, quirky with pockets of very funny humour.

    I've been a fan for some of the stripped-back writing that comes out of Scandinavia, and if the author had chosen a Nordic pen name I would never have suspected it wasn't actually a product of Sweden.

    The fact that Alexander McCall Smith promotes this as Scandi Blanc rather than Scandi Noir flagged it a satire I wanted to read.

    He gets inside the heads of an array of characters just brilliantly.

  • Kylie H

    This book is completely in line with the gently philosophical 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series. the central character is Ulf Varg, a Swedish detective with the Department of Sensitive Crimes, where he works with a number of quirky staff who all enjoy discussions about obscure facts and strange observations.

    In amongst all this sometimes distracting conversation there are a few mysteries involving a minor stabbing, a missing imaginary boyfriend and a health spa with strange goings on.

    Ulf is k

    This book is completely in line with the gently philosophical 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency' series. the central character is Ulf Varg, a Swedish detective with the Department of Sensitive Crimes, where he works with a number of quirky staff who all enjoy discussions about obscure facts and strange observations.

    In amongst all this sometimes distracting conversation there are a few mysteries involving a minor stabbing, a missing imaginary boyfriend and a health spa with strange goings on.

    Ulf is known to be a very kind and understanding person often to his own detriment. He is the owner of a deaf dog that he has taught to lip read but missing a significant other from his life.

    Highly recommended if you feel like reading something nice with gentle, clean humour.

    Thank you Netgalley and Hachette Australia for the opportunity to review this book.

  • Phrynne

    Please note that I am already one of this author's biggest fans!

    Another new series by

    and it starts well. He tries something slightly different this time and takes a gentle poke at the crime genre, specifically Nordic Noir. There is nothing dark in this book at all as Detective Varg and his odd team attempt to solve a series of "sensitive" crimes. Most of the characters are like the author himself and they ramble at length and philosophise on anything at the drop of a hat.

    Please note that I am already one of this author's biggest fans!

    Another new series by

    and it starts well. He tries something slightly different this time and takes a gentle poke at the crime genre, specifically Nordic Noir. There is nothing dark in this book at all as Detective Varg and his odd team attempt to solve a series of "sensitive" crimes. Most of the characters are like the author himself and they ramble at length and philosophise on anything at the drop of a hat.

    Varg is a sympathetic and very likeable character but he is not yet in the same league as Isabel Dalhousie, Mma Ramotswe or even little Bertie. I cannot remember now whether those characters appeared fully formed in their first outing or if they developed as they went along, but I will be very happy to see more of Ulf Varg and get to know him better.

    A very enjoyable book as long as you like this kind of thing - quirky, thoughtful and character driven. A detective novel with scarcely an angry word and certainly no nasty stuff:)

    Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  • Kylie D

    A strange little book, not unenjoyable, just a bit bizarre. We follow along with detective Ulf Varg and his team at the Department Of Sensitive Crimes in Sweden as they try to solve some curious cases, including a stabbing in the back of the knee and the disappearance of an imaginary boyfriend. Witty and full of eccentric characters, I found myself chuckling a couple of times. I was amused by the quirkiness of both the characters and the storyline. I'm still sitting here shaking my head at what

    A strange little book, not unenjoyable, just a bit bizarre. We follow along with detective Ulf Varg and his team at the Department Of Sensitive Crimes in Sweden as they try to solve some curious cases, including a stabbing in the back of the knee and the disappearance of an imaginary boyfriend. Witty and full of eccentric characters, I found myself chuckling a couple of times. I was amused by the quirkiness of both the characters and the storyline. I'm still sitting here shaking my head at what I just read, but at the same time it was oddly appealing and I would definitely read more from this author.

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

    My thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Australia for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Andrea

    I'm more of a dabbler than a hardcore fan of this author (although I do have a favourite series - Isabel Dalhousie), but when I found out he was turning his hand to Scandi-crime I couldn't resist. While this was a good, short read, overall I have to say I could take it or leave it.

    Detective Ulf Varg is the nominal head of the Department of Sensitive Crimes, an offshoot of the Malmö Police Department in southern Sweden. When the police can't work out what to do with their more unusual cases, they

    I'm more of a dabbler than a hardcore fan of this author (although I do have a favourite series - Isabel Dalhousie), but when I found out he was turning his hand to Scandi-crime I couldn't resist. While this was a good, short read, overall I have to say I could take it or leave it.

    Detective Ulf Varg is the nominal head of the Department of Sensitive Crimes, an offshoot of the Malmö Police Department in southern Sweden. When the police can't work out what to do with their more unusual cases, they refer them on to Ulf and his small team. Sometimes they are very busy, and at other times ... they can be found at the café across the road. In this book the team tackles 3 sensitive crimes, although in fact perhaps only the first one is an actual crime in the legal sense.

    I guess in this first book the author is focused more on establishing his major characters and setting the tone for the series. It is successful in that regard. But for me the plot didn't hold a lot of interest. The crimes were a bit weird (not due to their sensitivity, I might add!). The second one - by far the biggest chunk of the book - seemed unresolved. Then when the third started to veer into the paranormal I began to question the author's intent.

    - and I had to agree.

    Detective Varg is a great character, and I think this series has potential. I can imagine checking back in at a later point to see how it develops, but I won't rush.

  • Brenda

    The Department of Sensitive Crimes was an unusual police department. Run by head detective Ulf Varg, with Anna, Erik and Carl as his off siders, Ulf found himself working more with Anna than the others. But the crimes were passed on to them from other departments because of their sensitive natures.

    With the combination of a low-level stabbing, a missing imaginary friend then a missing real friend (or was she?) as just the start, plus Ulf’s dog Martin being treated for depression – it really was

    The Department of Sensitive Crimes was an unusual police department. Run by head detective Ulf Varg, with Anna, Erik and Carl as his off siders, Ulf found himself working more with Anna than the others. But the crimes were passed on to them from other departments because of their sensitive natures.

    With the combination of a low-level stabbing, a missing imaginary friend then a missing real friend (or was she?) as just the start, plus Ulf’s dog Martin being treated for depression – it really was a strange and uncanny series of cases. But would Ulf and his team find the culprits? Would Martin overcome his depression? And would the feelings he was developing for Anna stay buried?

    is the 1st in the Detective Varg series, by Alexander McCall Smith, well known and much-loved author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. It was certainly different; a quick, light-hearted read (with a lot of rambling off-topic) – I’m keen to see what the 2nd in the series will be like. Recommended.

    (I must say the formatting is atrocious, but that’s because it’s an ARC 😊)

    With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  • Carolyn

    A light and gentle read with McCall Smith's signature warmth and homespun philosophy. None of the 'sensitive' crimes passed on to the Department are very serious but are thoughtfully handled and resolved by Detective Varg, who is a master of understanding human nature.

    I'm a big fan of the author's No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and 44 Scotland Street but this one doesn't have quite the same appeal to me, being somewhat slower and more reflective. However, McCall Smith's books have a habit of cree

    A light and gentle read with McCall Smith's signature warmth and homespun philosophy. None of the 'sensitive' crimes passed on to the Department are very serious but are thoughtfully handled and resolved by Detective Varg, who is a master of understanding human nature.

    I'm a big fan of the author's No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and 44 Scotland Street but this one doesn't have quite the same appeal to me, being somewhat slower and more reflective. However, McCall Smith's books have a habit of creeping up on you and perhaps given time and some more interesting crimes this has the potential to become a favourite too.

  • Kirsty ❤️

    McCall Smith for me is a little bit like James Patterson; no matter how many different series they create you always know when you are reading one. They both have a bit f a unique style you can instantly recognise. With Smith we have quirky characters and gentle crime. Ok in the first story someone gets stabbed in the leg but it's still not as dark as other authors. 

    I'm not sure about sensitive but the crimes are definitely different and intriguing. If anything they are all solved a little bit t

    McCall Smith for me is a little bit like James Patterson; no matter how many different series they create you always know when you are reading one. They both have a bit f a unique style you can instantly recognise. With Smith we have quirky characters and gentle crime. Ok in the first story someone gets stabbed in the leg but it's still not as dark as other authors. 

    I'm not sure about sensitive but the crimes are definitely different and intriguing. If anything they are all solved a little bit too fast and I would have liked a longer book but again that is not Smiths style. 

    It's a quick, not too fussy read but for me now I want something more. A thumbs in the middle this time

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.