Thanks, everyone!

Iceland Noir went magnificently. OK, it may have looked a pretty slick operation on the surface, but there was a good bit of frantic paddling underneath. Thanks to everyone for turning up and helping us have a great time, achieving our primary aim of a couple of days of eminently enjoyable criminal activity.Screen shot 2014-11-28 at 17.37.08

Yrsa and Sibylle Westbrook at Hellnar

In no particular order…

Our volunteers Rósa, Hanna Rúna and Bjarni

Markús Már for being there with his camera to document the whole thing in moody monochrome

Jórunn, Dave and the good people of All Iceland who arranged the fantastic trip to Snæfelllsnes in the wild west of Iceland on Sunday. The flatbread with smoked lamb and the snacks provided really hit the spot, especially among those who had been up late night before and had skipped breakfastScreen shot 2014-11-28 at 17.35.49

Jórunn of All Iceland organised the trip to Snæfellsnes and provided much-needed and very welcome refreshments for those for whom an early start had followed a late night…

The excellent staff of the Nordic House for being just so helpful and friendly the whole time

The staff of the bistro for being helpful and for forcing oranges and ástarpungar on us when energy levels were dropping

The Icelandic Embassy in London for the reception a few weeks ago

Icelandair for their support

The staff at Iðnó for fitting us all in

Ævar Örn for the quiz

All the publishers, agents and others who chipped in with suitcases of books

Miriam (@nordicnoirbuzz) for live tweeting #icelandnoir the whole time

Úlfhildur for organising the crimewalk through the darkened streets of Reykjavík and María for reading

The moderators for handling their panels with such aplomb

The Murder is Everywhere team for that memorable and unmoderated final panel

All the authors who travelled to Iceland at the least appealing time of year.

Then there was Nightshift director Ragnar Bragason who made a small group of personnel on the forecourt extremely happy.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few people who were part of the mix… But the people who really made it happen are the readers, the crime fiction aficionados who came from as far away as America and New Zealand, or just round the corner (relatively speaking) from Norway or Britain, or from Reykjavík. Thanks to all of you for being there are taking part, and I’ll leave you with this wonderful image of Mirian and Ewa getting in touch with their inner Vikings..



Almost there

Iceland Noir is almost upon us and there’s still plenty to do to get everything ready for it, nothing major, but a minor details that still need to be fixed.

The line-up has changed slightly as a couple of people have had to pull out. Jens Peter Olsen from Greenland is unable to make it, so the place on his panel is being taken by German author Billie Rubin. Sigurjón Pálsson has found himself double booked with a commitment elsewhere and so Jón Óttar Ólafsson takes Sigurjón’s panel place.

Lunch… There’s a bistro at the Nordic House, and if you want to eat there during the festival, booking in advance is advisable. The bistro is also providing (2000kr/£10) lunch packs on both days, soup and a sandwich. These have to be ordered in advance, but can be paid for on collection. email the bistro on to order.

The line-up for the Icelandic Crime Syndicate’s crime night on Thursday has been confirmed, with Vidar Sundstøl, Antti Tuomainen and David Swatling reading as the three visiting authors, followed by Finnbogi Hermannsson, Guðrún Guðlaugsdóttir, Steinar Bragi, Jón Óttar Ólafsson, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson. Even if you don’t understand the readings in Icelandic, it’ll be worth it for the company…

We are pretty close to a full house for this year’s Iceland Noir, and the dinner on Saturday night is over-subscribed, which we can hopefully get a few extra chairs sorted out before Saturday.

There are a few details still to be fixed, but all the main ingredients are in place. So just a little more preparation so everything runs smoothly. Looking forward to seeing you all in Reykjavík in the next few days for some intense criminal activity…


Iceland Noir takes place at the Nordic House in Reykjavík. It’s a little way outside the city centre, close to the university. Click the link for the map.

It’s a pleasant ten-minute walk from the city centre if the weather’s fine, and a slightly less pleasant walk if it’s raining hard or snowing, in which case a taxi could be advisable. But the forecast is for unseasonably warm weather, so umbrellas could be surplus to requirements. The weather page even gives you volcano warnings, not that we anticipate any problems in that department.


If you’re walking from the city centre, walk past the lake, and then cross the main road going towards the university. This is the building you’re looking for:


Iceland Noir starts with the the Icelandic Crime Syndicate’s annual reading on Thursday evening. This is upstairs at Sólon, one of Reykjavík’s finer watering holes. The readings start at 20.30 and go on until… late… with readings in English and Icelandic, and jazz in between.

Sólon is right in the city centre, an unmistakeable white building, within easy walking distance of most of the downtown hotels.


Not long to go

Not long to go now… this time next week people will gathering in Reykjavík for Iceland Noir 2014, bigger and (we hope) better than last year’s one-day event that we feel went pretty well for a first attempt.
There’s still a handful of tickets available here for Iceland Noir if you feel like a last-minute jaunt to Reykjavík in November. They’re still at the early bird price as well. We were going to increase the ticket price closer to the date but somehow never got around to it.
If you’re in Iceland, Borgarbókasafnið has some discounted tickets for Iceland Noir. Ask for Úlfhildur or email her on <> for more information.

Essential Icelandic

I’ve been asked for a few essential phrases for use in Iceland. English will do perfectly in most situations, but here are a few words that could come in useful.

1. Góðan daginn. Good day, which can be used at any time of day (there’s no good morning/afternoon). Good evening = gott kvöld.

A less formal greeting is sæll (if you’re speaking to a man) and sæl (to a woman). Ólafur Ragnar in the Night Shift also uses sæll! as an expression meaning wow! Don’t be tempted to follow his otherwise excellent example.

To say goodbye, the simple bles will do.

2. Icelandic doesn’t have a word for ‘please.’ Well, actually it does, but it’s an awkward expression and is only used under formal circumstances, so just live without it. The essential word it takk, thank you, and its various forms, takk fyrir, þakka þér fyrir, þakka þér kærlaga and plenty of others, but takk will do nicely.

3. = Yes. Nei = No. Nei, andskotinn = Hell, no!

4. Kaffi. The ubiquitous black/brown fluid that lubricates Nordic society, coffee. Tea is and milk is mjólk. You don’t take sugar, do you? Good. It’s bad for you.

5. Viltu? means would you like? As in Viltu kaffi? To which the correct response would be já, takk. From there you can move on to negotiating access to the milk. Má ég fá..? means could I have? As in má ég fá mjólk?

6. Starfsmaður á plani. Personnel on the forecourt, as used by Georg Bjarnfreðarson. Actually it’s not something you hear all that often, although the expression has crept into popular use and someone who wants to downplay his own importance might say ‘I’m just personnel on the forecourt here.’