The Raili & Ylva Mystery


Introduction by the author:

One day, as I sat on the train on my way home from work, tired,  hungry and probably dying for a cup of coffee (I’m always dying for a cup of coffee), and talking to my darling friend J on the cellphone, I noticed that all the other conversations in the carriage had stopped and that a countless number of eyes had turned towards me. Everyone was listening – or eves dropping, I should say. They could, of course, only hear my part of our conversation, whatever we were talking about that day (maybe it was the time I told J I had been lying in the solarium at work seconds before the fire alarm set off), and that made me think… Not everyone has a friend like J, or a relationship like the one we have, where we can talk about everything with shameless self-irony (from how to hurt oneself enough to get a sick-leave from work for a couple of weeks, but without too much pain and still be able to do all the things one wants to do at home, to the agreement that if one of us falls off her horse and breaks both wrists, the other one will help with the personal hygiene, not to mention all our survival strategies should we encounter a wild boar during a ride in the woods. Is a pistol enough or does one need a rifle? Because if a wild boar comes roaring from the bushes, the horses will no doubt turn sharply around, with the rifles still in the saddle holsters, and leave us sitting on the ground, unprotected and probably seconds from getting stabbed to death by the wild boar’s sharp tusks. The horses will survive!).

Raili and Ylva, the protagonists in my series, are in no way J or I, but their friendship and the dialoges between them bear a great resemblance to our friendship and our conversations. It is amazing to have a friend like J and I wish that everyone had the privilege to have a friendship like that in their lives, and this is what I want to convey in my Raili & Ylva books.

I live in Ljungskile, which is described on the ”Welcome to Ljungskile-sign” as ”Where the Fjeld meets the Sea”, and that’s exactly what it’s like. Ljungskile lies in Bohuslän on the Swedish West coast, and it’s a fantastic little village north of Gothenburg. Although I love the salt sea and going on boat trips, I am fascinated by our fjeld (an elevated part of the pine-clad outfields, as described in Lars Kardell’s and Gunnar Andersson’s book Bredfjället). There are big forests and a lot of small lakes where wolves, elks, foxes, deers and lynxes roam freely. There are also old ruins of the poor but proud fjeld people from the past – my ancestors.  A great deal of all of this, together with a bit of my own wild and sometimes dark imagination, also goes into the mix.

I hope you enjoy the Raili & Ylva books!

Lisa

Plot summaries

And Her Eyes Were Blue (available in Swedish (audio) Polish (book and audio), Danish (book and audio) and French (book))

Despite a prosaic view of her involuntary single life and weight problem, Raili, the head librarian at Valludden’s main library, is affected by the mysterious unease that haunts the six houses by the lake in Lövaren. Together with her neighbour, the oddball Olofsson, Raili starts an investigation that not only results in the death of Olofsson, burglaries, and an unpleasant knowledge of the process of human decomposition, but also leads to her running for her life from an insane murderer with dark powers on her side.

A Debt To The Devil (available in Swedish (audio), Danish (book))

Raili, after having survived the hell in Lövaren with only a broken foot and six months of therapy, should have calmed down and enjoyed her reposeful single life and job as a head librarian in Valludden, and she very well might have done that, if Ylva hadn’t gone crazy. Together with her uptight colleague Solveig, Raili discovers that Ylva’s condition is connected to the dysfunctional Legho family. To save Ylva’s life, the three librarians have to confront the Leghos on their farm up on the desolate Bredfjället on Christmas Eve itself. Stuck on the farm by a furious snowstorm, they realize, that if someone has got a debt to pay to the devil, it’s a huge mistake to get in the way.

The Room (available in Swedish (audio))

When Ylva’s seventy-year-old mother puts her house on the market and disappears, it doesn’t take Raili and Ylva long to track her down to a religious sect in a godforsaken mansion deep in the forests of Bohuslän. Infiltrating the sect through false pretenses, the two librarians discover that what’s going on there is much worse than they imagined, and the saying ’get into someone’s head’ takes on a different, and very dangerous, meaning. If people get the opportunity to live out their utmost dreams and fantasies, you should get far away from them, Raili and Ylva realize – too late.