Murder at the Savoy

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Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Just lately I was amused to see my hometown mentioned in a Swedish murder mystery.

I was rereading Murder at the Savoy by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo and found a reference to the Sacco and Venzetti murder trial in Dedham, Massachusetts.

The Sjowall/Wahloo mysteries feature detective Martin Beck, who knows a lot about everything, including the first use of ballistics evidence in a murder trial, which, it turns out, was in Dedham at the Sacco/Venzetti trial.

It was a cause celebre at the time, with people all over the world protesting the conviction, but modern historical research indicates that while Venzetti was probably innocent, Sacco seems to have a connection to the murder weapon.

The whole truth will probably never be known.

I heartily recommend the Martin Beck mysteries, even though I always end up thinking the murderer did us all a favor and ought to go free.

But I’ve become attached to the characters in this series, as I mentioned in Martin Beck’s Loveless Marriage, just as I have with Kinsey Milhonne in Sue Grafton’s alphabet series.

Nowhere in literature will you find a better description of the pain of love than in Kinsey’s Second Marriage.

“The hours creep by. From time to time, you hear a car, but it’s never his. By 4:00 a.m., it’s a toss-up which is uppermost in your mind — wishing he would come home or wishing he were dead.”