Civil engineer (full time) by day and crime writer by night, Iceland’s acclaimed crime writer first shot to fame with Last Rituals, her debut in 2005, which has been translated into more than 30 languages. But crime writing didn’t come first. Yrsa decided to put pen to paper when she realised how lousy the books were that her son was reading. She started writing a series of books for children with such amusing titles as We Want Xmas in July. Attempting a complete departure from the children’s genre, she started thinking about writing gruesome fiction. “Then I started writing crime novels because I desperately needed a break from writing humorous books. It’s really hard to be funny all the time,” says the author.
Whether she’s writing for children or adults, Yrsa’s humour is still a signature of her writing and her heroine, the lawyer Thóra Gudmundsdóttir, amuses readers with her romantic and domestic adventures. But it’s Yrsa’s well-rendered plots and spine-chilling tales that have garnered her such a massive readership and the admiration of her peers. “I can see why so many people are enthusiastic about Yrsa’s work. It’s very engaging, fresh and exciting,” said thriller author James Patterson.
With The Legacy, the first novel in the award-winning series about child psychologist Freyja and police detective Huldar, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir has consolidated her position as one of the finest crime writers of our time, and a master storyteller at the top of her game. Her latest, Why Did You Lie?, is compelling in a way only a good writer can keep you on the edge of your seat.