Literary locations on Viveca Sten’s Sandhamn
Sandhamn Murder locations on the BookTrail Map!
There’s many books I’ve read that I’m eager to go and see where they are set in real life. One series of books are the crime mysteries of Viveca Sten who writes about a small, local community on Sandhamn, a small island in the Stockholm archipelago some two hours from the city itself.
Well I was invited along yesterday to take the Cinderella ferry and travel though some of the most stunning scenery ever! More on that later…but for now I want to take you directly to the island itself where at one point there was a bit of drama and I really thought a real life or death case was taking place!
First things first though. I wanted to see where the fictional murders took place so off I went, The island is small and there are no cars so it’s just you and a few farming buggies sometimes with trailers on the back. There’s one local supermarket and a few touristy places but it’s very unspoilt and very homely. I got Anne of Green Gables vibes too in some places. However, it wasn’t before long that I found my first murder site…
Just outside the Sailing hotel, a body is found on Boxing Day in In Harms Way
Then we have a hotel where a body is found in room 4….Still Waters
The bakery features in all of her novels but it was sadly closed when I visited – out of season – I wondered if it was really a crime scene being investigated by Viveca’s characters and that’s the real reason it was closed…
By the harbour, you can get a really good and scenie overview of the entire setting – Two buildings here of note are the bar (Vardshuset) where Nora and Jonas have something to eat in Tonight You’re Dead
Behind that is the café Ankaret where they sell Sandhamn Murder Sandwiches. Ok, so they’re not called that but I have renamed them. I sat here enjoying lunch and all I could think about was could Viveca have fictionally murdered someone on that small rowing boat there in front of me?
My overactive imagination was not helped by the fact just then, as I sat minding my own business…there was a commotion. Every one looked up to the skies. Had a fictional incident taken place or a real one mimicking Sten’s novels? What could it be?
Phew! Nothing much as it turns out. Five minutes after it landed, this is the sight that met my eyes…They had come to rescue ice creams ….
It made me chuckle to think that this was the Sandhamn equivalent of workmen/ambulance crew just popping into Starbucks for a break!
The boat ride from Stockholm takes 2 hours and I had around 4 hours on the island before the return. Plenty of time to wander and read a bit of Viveca Sten on location! Review of her latest will be up soon, but for now I leave you with this:
Sandhamn is a magical place, literary setting or not, but if you haven’t read the books I really recommend you do! Think Midsummer Murders with a Swedish kick. If you get a chance to see the TV show (currently only in Swedish) watch them! They film them on the island and surrounding ones and it’s amazing to watch for the scenery alone.
There’s always something much more scary about murders on an island…..
Enjoy your visit to Sandhamn in Sweden!
BookTrail Boarding Pass: The novels of Viveca Sten