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The Discreet Charm of the Big Bad Wolf

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349146027

Price: £9.99

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In the hilarious new novel in the best-selling Detective Varg series, Ulf Varg will need to resolve both a sensitive crime and his own delicate dilemma in the hopes of preserving the peace.

The Department of Sensitive Crimes is downsizing in light of a recent downturn of sensitive crime, and staff members are wondering who among them will be transferred elsewhere. As the bickering between colleagues intensifies, Ulf tries his best to stay above the fray. But when Anna, a longtime friend and coworker, appears to blame him for an old case that went sideways, it seems she may be putting her own job prospects above their friendship.

In the midst of all this, Ulf embarks on an important inquiry: a man’s cabin has mysteriously disappeared and Ulf is tasked with finding out what happened. How exactly does one steal a house? And, more to the point, how does one track down a stolen house? Meanwhile, a promising veterinary treatment for deafness in dogs has been announced, and Ulf’s dog, Martin, might be the perfect patient.

This latest novel is another masterful, farcical installment in the series that defines the genre that Alexander McCall Smith is singlehandedly championing: Scandi blanc.


McCall Smith's Detective Varg mysteries star a cerebral, conflicted detective in an appealingly oddball police department in Malmö, Sweden... High on comical quirkiness
A crime ripped from the mind of Mother Goose animates McCall Smith's witty fourth outing for Swedish police detective Ulf Varg... Ulf and company are extremely pleasant company, lending this farcical mystery all the comforts of a good cozy without most of the clichés, and Smith juggles the various subplots with ease
Publishers Weekly
Funny, farcical and filled with entertaining musings on human nature... an engaging, richly rewarding escapist read that throngs with mystery, humour and tender observations
Though he has the lightest of touches and is always entertaining, [McCall Smith] is a deeply serious writer who values truth, honesty, sympathy and kindness
The novels of Alexander McCall Smith aren't yet prescribed on the NHS, but it might not be a bad idea