Finnish Mystery Series Draws Flurry of Interest
The Twilight Grove Trilogy, by Finnish writer Minna Lindgren, is one of the latest Scandinavian properties to be drawing international interest. The books are satirical mysteries that have drawn comparison to work by the grande dame of the genre, Agatha Christie. The series opener, Death in Twilight Grove, is set in a retirement home where the routine lives of the residents--playing card games and attending funerals--are disrupted by the murder of the in-house chef. Teos was the original publisher in Finland, and rights have sold to Santillana (Spain), Marsilio (Italy), Calmann-Levy (France), Kiepenheuer & Witsch (Germany), Varrak (Estonia), and Albratros Media (Czech Republic). Additionally, Yellow Film & TV has optioned film rights, and a world English publishing deal is pending. Rights are being handled by Elina Ahlback of Elina Ahlback Literary Agency.

Swede's Franzen-esque Debut Creates Stir
Swedish author Philip Tier’s debut novel, The Winter War, has already received strong reviews, and garnered the author comparisons to such American literary masters as Richard Yates and John Updike. The book, which was published in Tier's home country by Natur and Kultur, is about a prominent sociologist, named Max Paul, whose life is falling apart. Approaching his 60th birthday, with a wife who no longer loves him and his career at a standstill, Max finds that things begin to change when a former student appears and offers him, as the book's U.K. publisher Serpent's Tail explained, a “seductive lifeline.” Rights have sold to Otava (Finland), Blessing (Germany), Albin-Michel (France) and Serpent’s Tail (world English). The title is being handled by the Swedish agency Partners in Stories.

Spanish Novel Emerges as Sleeper Hit at Frankfurt Book Fair
This Too Shall Pass, by Barcelona-based Milena Busquets, became one of the unexpected buzz titles at last week's Frankfurt Book Fair. The author is the daughter of Esther Tusquets, the founder of the Spanish publishing house Lumen, and the short novel is currently selling in auctions around the world. The main character, Blanca, has just turned 40, and is coping with the recent death of her mother. In mourning, Blanca decides to set off for family's summer home in the upscale Catalan fishing village of Cadaqués. There--accompanied by her kids, her two ex-husbands, her lover and several friends--she explores the complex relationship she had with her mother. Pontas Literary And Film Agency is handling rights to the book and deals have closed with Hogarth (USA), Anagrama (Spain), Amsterdam Libres (Catalan), Rizzoli (Italy), Suhrkamp (Germany), Meulenhoff (the Netherlands), Companhia das Letras (Brazil), and Gallimard (France).

Olsson's Fiction Turn Attracts Buyers
The Bondage Murders by Mats Olsson, the first installment in a new thriller series, is picking up rights sales around the world. Olsson (The Lonely Boys) is one of Sweden's most prominent journalists, as well as the Swedish translator for such bestselling American crime authors as Robert Crais and James Lee Burke. The Bondage Murders has now sold to Zlin (Czech Republic), Varrak (Estonia), Btb (Germany), Dolnoslaskie (Poland), Inostranka (Russia), Suma (Spain), and Norstedts (Sweden). Tor Jonasson of the Salomonsson Agency is the originating agent. In the novel, ex-journalist Harry Svensson is drawn into the hunt for a killer with whom he shares uncanny similarities.

Finnish Horror Novel Attracts Amazon
The new thriller by Marko Hautala, Granny Hatchet, has just been acquired by Amazon Crossing in a world English rights deal. Agent Elina Ahlback, of the Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, who represents the title, announced the Amazon deal at last week's Frankfurt Book Fair, and said she expects more deals on the title to close soon. Finnish publisher Tammi released the book in August. In Granny Hatchet, Hautala (Worms and Shrouds) writes about an actual English urban legend involving a creature that supposedly murdered its victims with a hatchet, and then ate their hearts. In the novel, a woman who is working on a dissertation about urban legends, returns to her hometown to do research, and begins to question what is myth and what is real.