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Dorte Hummelshoj Jakobsen is a teacher from Denmark, teaching English at upper secondary level. In her spare time she reads and writes crime fiction in English and Danish, and in 2010 she sold her first flash stories to American magazines and publishers.
Since then she has published two collections of flash fiction, "Candied Crime" (humour) and "Liquorice Twists" (a bit darker).
Her ´bestseller´ is the romantic ghost story "Heather Farm" (suspense plus romance in the Dunes near the Danish west coast).
Her latest mystery "The Cosy Knave" - a cosy mystery featuring village constable Archibald Penrose and the librarian Rhapsody Gershwin. A very popular story in America.
on Jan. 18, 2013 :
Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen cleverly juggles several plot lines in her first "serious" crime fiction novel.
The novel begins with a Prologue which is in fact some text pulled from the middle of the novel. I must confess that at first this text confused me just a little. You can in fact read this Prologue online here and on Amazon.
Chapter One then jumps back in time about 2 months.
The first of the novel's threads is about Anna Storm's neighbour Karin who appears to go missing on a regular basis. Anna is not unduly alarmed at first because she and Karin have been good friends for so long. But she becomes concerned when Karin is gone for a week.
The second thread is Anna's relationship with her parents. Her father has refused to give her much detail about his side of the family until now. But now he is seriously ill and seems to understand Anna's need to know her family history. Anna is unemployed and generally has a bit of time on her hands and so goes off to Sweden to find the village her father's family came from. Anna learns that there is quite a bit of sinister mystery attached to her father's family history.
The third thread is a journal written at the beginning of the twentieth century by Anna Marklin, Anna Storm's father's Farmor. Excerpts from the journal begin to appear in the novel even before Anna Storm becomes aware that it exists.
The fourth thread is that of Anna's marriage to Lars.
Although Jakobsen is a Danish author, this novel is written in English with a few Danish words thrown in for good measure. Hymns and poetry are translated for the reader by the author and a glossary is provided of some Danish terms at the beginning of the novel.
There are at least two mysteries to be solved and the author does well to keep us on tenterhooks and not to reveal too much.
ANNA MARKLIN'S FAMILY CHRONICLES is self-published and only available as an e-book. The Smashwords version caters for all formats at $3.99 while the Amazon one is of course for your Kindle at $2.99.
(reviewed long after purchase)