About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

When I was done reading The Girl Who Played with Fire I desperately wanted to read the third in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, but it was the fall of 2009 and the book had not yet been published in North America. During the winter the Sleuth of Baker Street bookstore in Toronto obtained some copies of the book from England where it had been published. I thought about buying the English edition but it was $60.00 and I had never paid that much for a work of fiction. I waited until it was published in North America and was glad I waited.


29. - 542.) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson – The third volume of the triology is well crafted but lacks the unpredictability and passion of the opening two novels. It  did not exert the same hold upon me. As the books carried on the plot initiated in the first it would have worked better had I been able to keep reading from the second to the third. Lisabeth plays a surprisingly subordinate role spending most of her time in hospital recovering from her grievous wounds. The thriller revolves around Mikael’s efforts to gain support for Lisbeth and identify the members of the secret service conspiracy who are seeking to have her returned to a mental institution for life. The return from retirement of the conspirators who originally had her confined as a teenager was chilling. However, the forces mustered by Mikael were clearly superior and the ending was never in doubt. Larsson, not Greaney, is the true successor to Robert Ludlum. Mikael’s relationships with women remain unconventional. It was disappointing in comparison with the first two books but remains a wonderful story. I have heard a 4th novel had over 300 pages written before Larsson’s death. Considering the worldwide success with all three currently on New York Times bestseller lists - the second has been on the trade paperback fiction list for 55 weeks – I expect it will be finished and I will instantly buy it. (July 12/10)


  1. You're not the only one, Bill, who thought that this wasn't quite as good as the first two. Still, I'm very glad you enjoyed as much as you did. This trilogy has certainly had a real impact on the crime fiction reading world.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I was surprised by the dropoff in the third book. Soon a review on the latest Salander and Blomkvist book.

  2. I agree, this book was the least effective. Yet one does want to know what happens to various characters, so worth finishing the trilogy.

  3. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. I am glad I read the book but did not understand why it was not as good a story.

  4. I did enjoy the book and the movie, especially. Lizbeth Salander finally gets justice, and she is very ably assisted by Blomqvist's sister, a skilled attorney.

    One aspect of this volume that I appreciated was that there were seven women characters who were helpful in the investigation or pursuit of justice. I remember counting them as I read the book. That was an unusual characteristic, especially for a male author.

    I also enjoyed Noomi Rapace's hairdos and outfits for the courtroom! Quite dramatic.

  5. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. Your note on seven significant women characters was interesting. I had not noted the number of major roles given women in the book.

  6. Women readers often notice these things about women protagonists and other characters. When I began reading mysteries at about 11, Nancy Drew was the detective for young girls to read about in the States. Then when a teenager I read about Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe and Perry Mason. And of Christie's books, I read the Poirots. Aside from Harriet Vane, there were barely any women investigators, and so for years, I read about male detectives.
    When Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and Marcia Muller began writing about women detectives here, it opened up new horizons for women characters.
    I often look for women protagonists, and now not only are there many women mystery writers, but some male writers write about women, for better or for worse.

  7. Kathy D.: Thanks for the additional thoughtful comment. I think P.D. James also had a significant role in the development of more female mystery authors.