'Tis the season for thrillers and crime fiction, and in France, the Netherlands, and Sweden, where titles in those categories dominated bestseller lists in April. But the top book in France right now falls into neither category; it's a feel-good novel about what matters in life.
Topping the charts in France was The Squirrels of Central Park Are Sad on Monday by Katherine Pancol. The upbeat and lively novel about "all the things that matter in life" has been getting raves in Marie Claire, Elle, and Figaro Magazine. Paris publisher Albin Michel discovered the book, and it has now sold in 20 languages, though not English at press time.
In Sweden, the #1 spot was occupied by Norwegian author Anne Holt's latest, Do Not Fear, about a psychologist who suddenly finds her entire family in the midst of a strange investigation. Two of Holt's previous thrillers have been published in the U.S., both by Grand Central: What Is Mine (2006) and What Never Happens (2008)—but Grand Central said it has no plans to release Do Not Fear stateside. Trailing Do Not Fear in the #2 and #3 spots are more thrillers: A Place of Blood by Johan Theorin and Guiltless by Viveca Sten.
The Netherlands is also in the midst of a crime wave. The April list includes two new titles from Swedish crime rising star Camilla Läckberg: The Mermaid and Murder and Almond Scent. Three Stieg Larsson titles are on the list, too: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and Castles in the Sky. And there's also Saskia Noort's Jealousy and a Good Marriage.