A late stormy, rainy November night, the respected publisher Petersén of Arnefors & Söner arrives at the industrial harbour in Helsingborg to meet poet Jan Y Nilsson on the boat where he lives. In his briefcase, Petersén has the contract for the crime novel which he has persuaded Jan Y to write. He is also bringing a bottle of champagne to celebrate that he has sold the foreign rights to the nearfinished novel at relatively high prices. But will Jan Y sign the contract? Will he change his mind at the last minute when he is faced with the decision to irrevocably sell his poet’s soul to the forces of the marketplace and put his reputation as a poet on the line? Petersén discovers the horrific answer shortly thereafter when he finds Jan Y hanged below deck.

Björn Larsson has written a literary crime novel, a friendly ironic reflection on publishing houses and authors. It is exciting and thought-provoking, and the reader will recognise the tone from Björn Larsson’s earlier works.

Dead poets don’t write crime novels was nominated for the Italian Booksellers Prize Primo Baccalà.

First published by Norstedts, Sweden, 2010.
383 pages

France, Grasset
Iran, Nimaj Publishing
Italy, Iperborea
Korea, Hyundae Munhak Publishing
Slovakia, Vision
Sweden, Norstedts
Turkey, Alef Kitap

There is a sort of blissful lightness to it, making it a genuinely fun read.
Dagens Nyheter

A brilliant and sophisticated entertainer … His crime novel pastiche deserves to be read by everyone interested in contemporary Swedish literature. It will surely be recognised far beyond the borders of our country.
Svenska Dagbladet