I've just finished watching the movies/tv series based on Maria Lang's (Dagmar Lange's) mysteries. Crimes of Passion, as they're called in English. Relatively recently, a Swedish publisher published six of her books (a few years back), but they weren't the exact same titles the movies were based on. Four were the same, two were different.

I'd read a few of these books before, because my mom had them. As I've mentioned before, my mom and a friend are actually in one of the books, but not one of the newly published ones or the ones turned into movies/tv series.

The episodes are movie length, but are apparently considered a tv series anyway, why I'm not sure. Fortunately, for me and my sister, they have been on an ad-financed channel for a while. We had to get a 'free' subscription to their premium play service to watch them, but we managed it in the time we had left, so that was good.

The impression I'm getting is roughly the same as the one I had from the books. These are not books you'd read if you're after brilliant modern mystery plots or psychological thrillers. What I enjoy so much is the setting, the people and the designs. There's a sort of animated intro to the movie which is very appealing visually.

The setting - usually upper middle class homes, and beautiful scenery in the east of Sweden - is also very appealing.

What I've noticed is that the movies seem to have intensified the sexual tension between Puck, the main character and her husband's best friend, the homicide detective, Christer. Also, the movies emphasize his status as a single, eligible bachelor who's constantly charming women. I don't remember quite as much of that from the books.

In the books, Puck's husband Einar, seems to be unusually laid-back about her almost infidelity. She's frequently attracted to other men, presumably Christer too, but that's not as noticeable in the books. It's more as if she's attracted to the investigation of murders. She's lucky that Christer allows her to take part in the investigations and seems to respect her as an equal partner in that. Which must be wishful thinking on the part of the author. Back then I can't possibly imagine that a woman or for that matter anyone not involved with police work being allowed to investigate cases with the police. But I guess you have to 'suspend disbelief' about that part.

[spoiler]

I'm almost completely certain that (in the book) the one who writes and publishes a mystery, is Einar, not Puck, but in the movie it's Puck, which kind of makes sense. She's the scholar of literature. Einar is a historian. Plus she's the one who seems to be most interested in murders. At least in the movies. I seem to recall that in the books, Einar too, is rather interested. (Except, again, in one of the books, he's the one who demands a holiday with 'No more murders').[/spoiler]

 

In the last movie (and presumably also the last book (that is, among the newly published ones, not among all her published titles), you get to meet Puck's little cousin, a girl who's just as crazy about murders as Puck is, which is very cute and charming.

One thing that gets annoying after a while, in the books as well as the movies is that everyone almost without exception is motivated by passion/sex/romance. Sure, very occasionally money is brought up as a motive, but as far as I can remember that always turns out to be a false lead.

I enjoy seeing the attraction between Puck and Christer (and I also enjoy at least imagining something similar between Einar and Christer), but after a while it gets tiresome not to find anything else in the plot.

That's really my only complaint. I love these books and movies, primarily the visual aspect. Also, this era - the late 1940's and the 1950's appears, at least to me, so safe and innocent. I'm pretty sure that's partially an illusion, but I imagine that the author lived in a safe, financially secure bubble and probably didn't encounter many threats. Her main problem, I imagine, is that she remained single all her life. She must have wanted to meet 'mr Right' and it seems she never did. I could be wrong, of course. Apparently, in her autobiography, she's claimed that there had been passions in her life. If so, good for her. But the way she writes, even her first novels when she was in her mid-thirties, she seems to be constantly missing romance and passion in her real life. :(

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/162434.html