Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

Title: My Soul to Take
Author: Yrsa Sigurdardóttir
Translators: Bernard Scudder, Anna Yates
ISBN: 9780061143380
Publisher: William Morrow, 2009
Hardcover, 352 pages
Genre: Amateur Sleuth, #2 Thóra Gudmundsdóttir mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Purchased from Bookcloseouts

First Line: The child felt the cold creeping up her legs and back, and she tried to sit up straight in the front seat to get a better view.

The body of a young woman is found on the beach of a New Age health resort, and attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir is asked to be present when the resort owner is questioned by the police. At first her time away could be considered a bit of a vacation away from the workplace and her children, but the feeling doesn't last long. The entire area is thought to be haunted, and as Thóra searches for the truth, even she can't explain some of the things she witnesses during her investigation. Has local legend gone wild, or is the resort's eery past tied in with the young woman's murder?

Thóra is just the sort of character I wouldn't mind having as a friend, especially with her sense of humor. Her teenage son would be driving many other parents to drink, but Thóra has the knack of understanding that hormone-fueled teens are capable of doing crazy things, and she does an excellent job of remaining on a (more or less) even keel while trying to provide guidance and moral support. She can even see a glint of humor here and there on the horizon.

I like this series, not only for showing me the landscape and weather of Iceland, but also its legends and little known history. The plot moves smoothly and definitely has an eerie edge to it, and Sigurdardóttir has populated it with well-drawn characters. Although you'd be able to read more about Thóra by reading the first book in the series, it's not necessary to do so. My Soul to Take stands alone quite well. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series!


  1. Cathy - Oh, this is such a great series, I think! I like the mix of personal life and business in the series, and I love Thóra's sense of humour, too. I also really like the way that Iceland's culture and history are neatly woven through the novels. I feel that I'm learning about them without it being obvious. I'm so glad you highlighted this book!

  2. The Iceland setting alone attracts me, but throw in a "character I wouldn't mind having as a friend," and I think I'd better find a place for these on my list.

  3. I liked the first of these books, and this sounds really good! I loved the Icelandic setting.

  4. This is new book for me and it sounds very good. Never read anything that sets in Iceland so it sounds different. And if a character is someone you wouldn't mind having as a friend, it sounds promising!

  5. Margot-- I really appreciate Yrsa's skill in teaching us about her country without hitting us over the head with an encyclopedia of facts.

    Candace-- Ah... our ever-growing lists!

    Jodie-- The setting along with its legends and history was very very good!

    Elysium-- I hope you get a chance to read her books!

  6. I saw a travel show about Iceland once. Had never thought about how people lived there, or why, before that but I think it would be great to visit. Maybe this should go on my grand list.

  7. Barbara-- From the photos I've seen, Iceland seems to be an amazing place. I wouldn't mind going at all!


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