Inspector Kurt Wallander is a character created by (the recently deceased) Henning Mankell. I discovered him while watching PBS. There was Kenneth Branagh driving around in an obviously foreign police car, speaking English, but situated in a foreign land. Curious! Of course I watched it, and on the following Monday headed to the library to find books by Mr. Mankell.
The television shows are fine, but I fell in love with the books. Set in Sweden, I learned a lot about the geography of the country, how close it is by ferry to Riga, Latvia, and something of the culture of Sweden as well. Apparently, people there get sick and think nothing of taking a few days off to get well. They stay home from work for a cold. Even detectives with active cases take time off work for sickness. In the US, taking time off for anything less than a terminal illness is frowned upon. Or at least that has been my personal experience. And I can’t remember reading about detectives staying home sick unless they live in Sweden or one of the other Scandinavian countries.
Wallander also has an eccentric old father to deal with. Also divorce, and a grown daughter. In other words, Wallander seems real to me, and that’s why I love him. It turned out to be fine with me to have an excellent actor like Kenneth Branagh play Kurt Wallander, and I do enjoy watching detective shows, even when I enjoy the books more.
Who is your favorite fictional female detective? What detective shows do you watch?