The Swedish debut thriller, Lycke, is a bestseller in Sweden and has been racking up international sales. It's the first book in a series, and it focuses on a reporter who tracks the case of a missing girl in Stockholm.
Book title: Lycke by Mikaela Bley
First published: March 2015
Format: Hardcover and Audio
Author: Mikaela Bley previously worked as a buyer of TV programs for Channel 4. After realizing that she wanted to make a change in her life, she turned in her notice and started writing a crime novel with the ambition of making the bestseller list.
Acquiring Editor: Kristoffer Lind, publisher at Lind & Co
How It's Done: The book sold in an eight-way German auction to Ullstein (for a 100,000 euro advance) and it was recently pre-empted by Newton Compton in Italy. Rights have also been pre-empted in two book deals in the Netherlands (Bruna), Denmark (People's Press) and Norway (Cappelen Damm). The book is also an audio bestseller, with 15,000 downloads. Paperback publication is forthcoming.
Why They Think It's Working: Lind thinks Nordic crime has usually centered on gloomy books, but he believes Lycke fills a gap. He explains the main character, named Ellen Tamm, is a female journalist whose life can be messy, eccentric, and sometimes embarrassing. He says, "It is an easy and funny read, with lots of great personalities, but still a traditional crime story with a psychological twist." He especially thinks the book has struck a chord with female readers, who are "probably a bit tired of reading about middle-aged policemen."