Comments: 11
Tannat 12 months ago
And I only read it because the Wikipedia entry on Napoleon's buttons referenced it (and my library had it). I didn't find the science to be impenetrable though; it was just about a lot of disconnected (mostly) anecdotes supported by some chemistry.
Murder by Death 12 months ago
I didn't find it impenetrable either, but mentioned it for anyone who might find the premise interesting but might be intimidated by the hard science. I only lose the plot when I try to interpret the chemical equations; in narrative form, they make complete sense to me.

Interesting that it was referenced because of the Napoleon's button bit, given that he goes a long way in trying to dismantle that myth (which is probably why it was cited in wikipedia).
BrokenTune 12 months ago
Lindgren? Did Pippi secretly pursue alchemy? Is this where her seemingly inexhaustible supply of gold coins came from? ;D
Murder by Death 12 months ago
No, sadly Pippi wasn't a secret alchemist or chemist (wouldn't that have been awesome?), but Lindgren was mentioned because of a few other books she wrote (which of course, I can't remember the name of at the moment and I'm not at home).
BrokenTune 12 months ago
Aww. I'm almost sad about that (Pippi not being an alchemist).
I found an online version sneak-peek version of "The Last Alchemist" -- Öhrström mentions Lindren's "Kalle Blomquist" books, which feature a teenage detective. He also mentions that before becoming an author she worked for one of the founders of Interpol and of forensic science as a scientific / research discipline; a cop who held a PhD and during the war used his position to secretly train scores of Swedish and Norwegian cops -- I got the sense (though he doesn't explicitly say as much), in espionage methods to be used against Nazi Germany.
Murder by Death 12 months ago
That sounds familiar! :) I've never heard of Lindren's Blomquist books so I didn't realise they were teen detective books (although as I write this, something is niggling at the back of my brain - I think I need to re-read that chapter). I might try to find one of them at a local library.
Tannat 12 months ago
I only knew it because the reporter guy in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is given a nickname from the books after he helps solve a case.
Yes, they're actually pretty popular in Sweden and other parts of Europe (or used to be when I was growing up), but I don't think they ever sold quite as well, or had the same staying power, in North America. When I was a kid, everybody I knew would have recognized the name Kalle Blomquist, so for Stieg Larsson to pick that name as the reporter's nickname was a very proximate choice in my perception.

I do think Lindgren's work experience for that senior policeman must have been fascinating, though. Which reminds me I have yet to get to the volume of her diaries I bought a while ago ... I'm now wondering whether she mentions this aspect of her work there at all!
Murder by Death 12 months ago
Ooh... now you have to read it, find out and tell us! :D
Hah! :D