The #WhereRosesNeverDie Blog Tour: Gunnar Staalesen guest post – The Game is Afoot


Today I’m handing over the reins of the CTG blog to Gunnar Staalesen for the latest stop on his WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE Blog Tour. Gunnar Staalesen is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. His guest post is on “The Game is Afoot” …

There is a certain European Championship going on at the moment, as most European citizens will know. As I write, we don’t know who will win. Will it be England? Spain? Italy or France? What if Iceland won! Or Wales! The only thing I know for sure is that it will not be Norway. Our team did not even qualify!

From time to time, I visit schools in Norway to meet some pupils and talk about my books, and there is inevitably lots of time for questions. One question I am often asked by the boys is: What is Varg Veum’s favourite English football team?

There is a tradition in Norway, not only to support our own local team, but also of the English teams. This tradition stems from the late 1960s, when they started to show games from the Premier League on Norwegian TV (NRK was the only channel at that time), and all of the men (and some women) who had a TV at that time watched the football with their friends or their children. Those who did not have a TV went to their neighbors to watch it there. Premier League football was essential viewing! The very first game to be shown was Wolverhampton versus Sunderland, on 29 November 1969. Wolverhampton won 1–0. At that time the games were free to watch, but now we have to pay for the pleasure!

We did not have a TV and nor did most of our neighbours, so I was in my twenties when I watched my first English football game on TV. This was the period when George Best was playing, and as I always have loved the more artistic players, I liked to watch him, even if I never became a real Manchester United supporter. When I was a teenager, we heard a lot about Tottenham, so I made the decision to support them. I also have a son who is an ardent supporter of Liverpool, so I dare not say anything against them…


My team – in Norway – will always be Brann from Bergen; Brann is the Norwegian word for Fire! The most famous player from Brann was a local ‘George Best’, Roald Jensen. ‘Mr Jensen’ played for Hearts in Edinburgh in the 1960s and early 1970s, and was one of the best players ever to come from Norway.

So what is Varg Veum’s favourite English team? I thought a lot about it, and I found the answer. When he is asked that question, he always answers: ‘Nottingham Forest, because of Robin Hood.’

Have an excellent European Championship – and may the best team win!

Big thanks to Gunnar for dropping by the CTG blog today.

WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE is out in paperback this month.

Here’s the blurb: “September 1977. Mette Misaer, a three-year-old girl, disappears without trace from the sandpit outside her home. Her tiny, close, middle-class community in the tranquil suburb of Nordas is devastated, but their enquiries and the police produce nothing. Curtains twitch, suspicions are raised, but Mette is never found. Almost 25 years later, as the expiry date for the statute of limitations draws near, Mette’s mother approaches PI Varg Veum, in a last, desperate attempt to find out what happened to her daughter. As Veum starts to dig, he uncovers an intricate web of secrets, lies and shocking events that have been methodically concealed. When another brutal incident takes place, a pattern begins to emerge …”

You can buy WHERE ROSES NEVER DIE from Waterstones or Amazon

And be sure to check out all the other great stops on the Where Roses Never Die Blog Tour …


#InheritTheWind #BlogTour Guest Post: My Life with Varg Veum by Gunnar Staalesen

We Shall Inherit the Wind cover image

We Shall Inherit the Wind cover image

Today on the CTG blog I’m delighted to be hosting a guest post by best selling crime writer Gunnar Staalesen as part of the #InheritTheWind blog tour.

And so, over to Gunnar

I first met Varg Veum when he was 34 and I was 19 – almost 40 years ago. He had just opened his Private Investigator’s office on the Strand quay in Bergen, and I was working as a press secretary at the local theatre, Den Nationale Scene (The National Stage). Since then I have met him many, many times – at least every other year, in the beginning a little more often – and the result is 17 crime novels and about 15 short stories featuring my hero and good friend. I know him better with every year that passes, and I have no problem foreseeing what he is going to say – or what he will do in certain situations. Today we are both elderly people, I am 67 and he is – well, 72. However, because my books are set in the past, Varg Veum was only 59 in the last novel that was published here in Norway (None Is So Safe in Danger) with the action taking place in 2002, before his birthday. In We Shall Inherit the Wind, he is still a young man – only 56 years old …

Varg Veum is the modern kind of protagonist. He grows older, of course, but age is never a problem for a detective – even hardest-boiled ones. Hercule Poirot was around 70 when he started his career, and I guess Lew Archer must have been in his late sixties when we last met him. In August I will start writing my eighteenth novel about Varg Veum, and I have no plans to finish him off for many years yet. This is dependent upon my own health, of course, but my mother died when she was 94, my grandfather on that side when he was 93, so …

Throughout the years I have grown close to Varg Veum. When I first met him, he was newly divorced and had a five-year-old son. Today his son is a grown-up, and Varg Veum has just become a grandfather. Following his marriage, there have been several women in his life – natural for a freewheeling Private Eye like him – but for the last ten years he has been in a steady relationship with Karin Bjørge, who works at the Public Registration office. They were friends long before they became lovers, and she has become a very important part of this life. This goes some way to explaining the shock he is feeling in the opening chapters of We Shall Inherit the Wind, when something very dramatic has happened to Karin … I will say no more. You have to read the book.

Gunnar with the Varg Veum statue

Gunnar with the Varg Veum statue

I am often asked how much there is of me in Varg Veum, and the truth is that there isn’t much. I am not divorced, I do not drink as much aqua vita as he does, and I am not half as tough and witty as he is. But we are both kids from the same region in Bergen, a bit street-wise and definitely sharing the same view of the world around us, from more or less the same office. And when I drink my glass of aqua vita at the bar in Bergen where you can find Varg Veum’s corner, I always salute him, my closest friend for the last 40 years.

Skål! we say in Norwegian when we lift our glass. Skål, Varg! I say. Happy to have known you, and looking forward to the years to come. Perhaps, Varg, it is you and I who are going to inherit the wind.

A huge thank you to Gunnar Staalesen for making the CTG blog one of the stops on his #InheritTheWind blog tour.


We Shall Inherit the Wind is out now in ebook and on the 15th June in print.

Here’s the blurb: “1998. Varg Veum sits by the hospital bedside of his long-term girlfriend Karin, whose life-threatening injuries provide a deeply painful reminder of the mistakes he’s made. Investigating the seemingly innocent disappearance of a wind-farm inspector, Varg Veum is thrust into one of the most challenging cases of his career, riddled with conflicts, environmental terrorism, religious fanaticism, unsolved mysteries and dubious business ethics. Then, in one of the most heart-stopping scenes in crime fiction, the first body appears…”

To find out more about Gunnar Staalesen and his books hop on over to and follow them on Twitter @OrendaBooks

And be sure to visit the other fabulous tour stops on the #InheritThe Wind tour …

 We Shall Inherit the Wind Blog Tour