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Detective Varg Books In Order

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Publication Order of Detective Varg Books

Varg in Love (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Department of Sensitive Crimes (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Talented Mr. Varg (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Man with the Silver Saab (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Discreet Charm of the Big Bad Wolf (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Detective Varg” series is a set of novels by Alexander McCall Smith, one of the best-loved and most prolific authors in the world who writes in all manner of genres.

Before he became a bestselling author, Smith was a professor who taught medical law and was employed at several colleges in the United Kingdom and abroad.

The author made his fiction writing debut when he penned “The Five Lost Aunts Of Harriet Bean” in 1990.

Since then he has published more than 100 works that include short story collections, specialist academic titles, and a huge number of very popular children’s fiction works.

While “The Five Lost Aunts” is deemed his first literary work, he started even earlier when in 1980 Hamish Hamilton published his children’s fiction work “White Hippo.”

Despite starting very early, it was not until 1998 when he published “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” novel that he would become more of a household name.

The series that the novel spawned would become highly popular and has now sold more than twenty million copies. This would make it possible for the author to become a professional full-time writer.

Over the years, Alexander McCall Smith’s novels have been translated into nearly fifty languages in addition to becoming global bestsellers.

These include the longest-running serial novel across the world in the “Scotland Street” novels and the Telegraph online published cross-media serial “Corduroy Mansion” series.

His “Ulf Varg” series which has also become very popular is a set of works set in Sweden featuring one of the most interesting leads. In addition to these popular works, he has also published numerous single-standing novels.

For his works, he has been awarded all manner of gongs. He has received more than a dozen honorary doctorate degrees from universities in North America and Europe.

He was honored for his services to literature by the president of Botswana and in 2007 was awarded a CBE. He has also won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and was an honorary fellow of the Oxford Literary Festival.

The “Detective Varg” series introduces a detective named Ulf Varg who works in Malmo as part of the Sensitive Crimes Department. He gets his name from the old Norse word for Wolf, even though he does seem more vulpine.
Being a Swedish detective, Varg’s life is beset by all manner of problems but he always manages to get through them with the help of friends.

The detective is all about some odd but not too threatening crimes such as peculiar happenings on the south coast of Sweden

Ulf Varg is best described as a likable, well-educated, and sympathetic man who has an interest and knowledge in Nordic art.

He lives with Mafrten his dog who can read lips and is overall very smart. Over the course of the novels, we also get insights into the lives of Ulf’s colleagues with whom he often has philosophical discussions.

He also has a psychotherapist whose perspectives on a range of topics and Ulf’s life are very enlightening though they can at times be confusing.

“The Department of Sensitive Crimes” is the first novel of the “Detective Varg” series of novels.

At the opening of the novel, the detective is dejected and morose as his wife has abandoned him for a hypnotist. However, he has been developing strong feelings for a married colleague named Anna.

The good thing is that Anna seems to be returning his feelings but neither of them speaks of it or acts upon their emotions as it goes against their moral code. Moreover, they have a very good working relationship and would not like to ruin that.

Varg works with several other people at the office including local policeman Blomquist who often gets into his crime-busting activities and Erik that is always working on fish lures as he seems obsessed with fly fishing.
The policeman is a very opinionated fellow and is jealous of everyone that works in the Department of Sensitive Crimes.

The first crime that Varg needs to deal with is an investigation into the stabbing of a business owner who never saw his assailant.

There is also the case of a young woman who reports that her boyfriend has gone missing, even though it is highly likely that she killed him.

The third case is about a woman whose spa is losing business, possibly because werewolves have been frightening customers at night.

The second novel of the Detective Varg series of novels is “The Talented Mr. Varg” in which the detective and his team are investigating an infamous wolfman. But the lothario may be all bark and no bite which could seriously dent his reputation.

Ulf Varg who is known for taking the most complex and bizarre cases has made the department become one of the most effective of all the departments in the Malmo police force.

As such when Trig Oloffson approaches Ulf and tells him that her boyfriend who is an infamous Swedish celebrity is being blackmailed, Ulf swings into action.

While the boyfriend has always portrayed an image of a bad boy, it turns out that he is more of a teddy bear.

Swedes are known for their tolerance but if they were to find out that their adored rough-and-tumble man of letters is soft, it would not be a good look.

The case will need Ulf to put his all into it but then he finds himself distracted by the meteoric rise and questionable politics of his brother in the Moderate Extremist Party.

Ulf is also conflicted about how to deal with his feelings for Anna his married coworker. Soon enough, the workload increases as Ulf and his team are asked to investigate some people that have been exporting domestic-looking wolves.

They will need all their dogged persistence and investigative instincts to resolve the two complex cases.

Alexander McCall Smith’s third novel of the “Detective Varg” series is “The Man with the Silver Saab.”

In this outing, Ulf has several quandaries he needs to resolve. His dog Martin was attacked by a squirrel that tore off his nose. When he is taken in for surgery the surgeon accidentally reattachs the nose upside down.
On the professional front, Ulf could just get suspended since he was caught improperly using police lights as he rushed his dog to the vet. The investigators had found bloodstains on the back seat of his Saab and now suspect foul play.

He also has to work on the complicated case of a man that has been regularly frightening women at the park. He usually brandishes a symbolic cucumber that very much looks like a phallus.

Additionally, Ulf is also working on a mysterious case of how a valuable painting was fraudulently authenticated.
The great thing about Ulf is that he works these cases with aplomb, discretion, and grace. He considers all points carefully and is forbearing when it comes to people he believes may be suspects in the crime.
Ulf’s internal musings examine a range of cultural assumptions, shibboleths, and touchstones that focus our attention on loyalty, love, and friendship.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Detective Varg

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