Comments: 11
Tannat 2 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 2 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 2 months ago
Lindgren? Did Pippi secretly pursue alchemy? Is this where her seemingly inexhaustible supply of gold coins came from? ;D
Murder by Death 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago
Ooh... now you have to read it, find out and tell us! :D
Hah! :D