The Department of Sensitive Crimes, Alexander McCall Smith

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Title: The Department of Sensitive Crimes

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Pages: 229

Genre: mystery

Is this part of a series?  Yes, it seems to be book 1 of the Detective Varg novels.

Published:  April 16th, 2019


In Malmo, there is a team of investigators that make it their lives work to solve the… odd cases.  Not overly heinous, but those that simply perplex others.  A stabbing to the back of the knee, the disappearance of a (possibly imaginary) boyfriend… and, of course, what could be lycanthropes ruining the reputation of an inn/spa.

Varg, the leader of the team is thoughtful and diligent.  Anna, married with children, is the usual sidekick- witty, warm and just a bit sarcastic…. and maybe in love with him.  Carl, the quietly diligent one, is forever elbows deep in paperwork and Erik would like nothing better than to retire.

my thoughts

I was so ready for this release.  In fact, it quickly became an obsession once I read about it in The New York Times Book Review.  Once I got it from the library, though, I had the hardest time getting through the story- I actually had to renew my loan, and that never happens.  It wasn’t bad, per se.  The premise was interesting and the characters should have been fleshed out and interesting enough to hold their own.  The execution, though, was completely bland.  I never found myself getting wrapped up in the story the way I wanted to and often had to force myself to turn the page.  It was just…. meh.  For the bare bones if nothing else I would give it a three.  As I said, it was fairly interesting in premise and character.  Maybe this one just wasn’t for me.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, I would give it a three.  There’s a bit of language and some violence, but that’s about it.  General.svg

The book is out now, have you read it?

Link to book:



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