Henning Mankell Books In Order

The Henning Mankell books in order for the translated Kurt wallander series are different from the actual order of the original published Swedish series. But then again, it’s interesting that the same thing happened with the Jo Nesbo books – the translations are totally out of order compared to the original ones.

It is a pity though because there is usually a continuity to the character that doesn’t translate well when books are picked in seemingly random order, so when you get to read the books, make sure you do read them in the proper timeline order, well worth the small effort.

To make it easier to find them, here is the list of the Kurt Wallander books in the original order of publication in Swedish. Next to each book I will list the year it was originally published, and the year it was translated into English). Like I said, It is worth reading them in proper chronological order since all Wallander books have been translated to English at some point.

kurt wallander books in order

1. Faceless Killers (Mördare utan ansikte) – published 1991, translated 1997

2. The Dogs of Riga (Hundarna i Riga) – published 1992, translated 2001

3. The White Lioness (Den vita lejoninnan) – published 1993, translated 1998

4. The Man Who Smiled (Mannen som log) – published 1994, translated 2005

5. Sidetracked (Villospår) – published 1995, translated 1999

6. The Fifth Woman (Den femte kvinnan) – published 1996, translated 2000

7. One Step Behind (Steget efter) – published 1997, translated 2002

8. Firewall (Brandvägg) – published 1998, translated 2002

9. The Pyramid (Pyramiden) – published 1999, translated 2008

10. An Event in Autumn/The Hand (Handen) – published in Dutch in 2004, in Swedish in 2013 and translated to English in 2014. It is a shorter novella in the series

11. The Troubled Man (Den orolige mannen) – published 2009, translated 2011

Before the Frost – published 2002, translated 2005 – this is not entirely part of the Wallander series, as the main character is his daughter Linda, with Kurt having a rather supportive, secondary role. Since there is only one book in the Linda Wallander series, there is no point in listing it separately. A book well worth reading as well.

The Wallander series by Henning Mankell has been made into a successful series of Swedish films and TV series, and the books have also been adapted to the British screen in 9 episodes/3 seasons for the BBC with the title Wallander, starting Kenneth Branagh.

Who Is Kurt Wallander

If you are not familiar with the Kurt Wallander series by the Swedish author Henning Mankell, and arrived here – hm, not quite sure how did you get here then – can you please let me know what search terms you used to land on my blog? – here is a short description of what us, the fans of this popular series, are talking about.

Henning Mankell is a Swedish crime author, famous for his Wallander series. While the mystery series is extremely popular back at home, he really got well known when his novels have been brought to the TV screen. Then more people started going back and read his books to catch up to the original work that the TV episodes were made from.

Kurt Wallander is a police officer in Ystad, a small town in Sweden, a great cop with a load of personal baggage. He is divorcer, he has a troubled relationship with his teen daughter who tried to commit suicide at the age of 15, and his relationship with his late father was also quite tough.

While his personal life is not exactly stellar, he makes up for it in his works quite well. Started out as a young police officer and now he is an inspector, who takes his works very seriously. Sadly his personal life affected him so much that he’s drinking more than he should, his lifestyle is not the healthiest either, and lately he is even wondering what the heck he’s doing at the police. Towards the series his health deteriorates quite a lot, with the onset of diabetes and the early signs of Alzheimers, something that he apparently inherited from his dad.

However as often the story goes, these tormented souls make the best killer catchers ever, and he proves it on the field in every novel written by Henning Mankell.

Other Works by Henning Mankell

While he is best known by his Kurt Wallander book series, Henning Mankell has also written additional works, with over 40 books under his pen, including several children stories. Not all standalone novels have been published into English. Where the translation has been done, it is mentioned along with the translation year.

As I mentioned above, he started a new series with Wallander’s daughter as main protagonist, in the book Before the Frost, which I did list it within the Wallander series, at least until a second book in the new daughter series is published, when it will really be a separate series on its own.

His standalone crime novels in order of publication (can be read in any order you want, though) are:

Vettvillingen – published 1977, not translated into English

Fångvårdskolonin som försvann – published 1979, not translated

Dödsbrickan – published 1980, not translated

En seglares död – published 1981, not translated

Daisy Sisters – published 1982, not translated

Sagan om Isidor – published 1984, not translated

The Eye of the Leopard (Leopardens öga) – published 1990, translated 2008

Chronicler of the Winds (Comédia infantil) – published 1995, translated 2005

Daniel (Vindens son) – published 2000, translated 2010

The Return of the Dancing Master (Danslärarens återkomst) – published 2000, translated 2004

The Shadow Girls (Tea-Bag) – published 2001, translated 2012

Depths (Djup) – published 2004, translated 2006

Kennedy’s Brain (Kennedys hjärna) – published 2005, translated 2007

The Man from Beijing (Kinesen) – published 2007, translated 2010

Italian Shoes (Italienska skor) – published 2006, translated 2009

A Treacherous Paradise (Minnet av en Smutsig Ängel) – published 2011, translated 2013

His children’s novels are best known for his 3 parts series Sofia and the 4 part Joel Gustaffson series. The author also wrote a book for small kids called The Cat Who Liked Rain, and several plays, many of which have been translated into English.

The popular author of the Kurt Wallander series, Henning Mankell passed away October 5 2015 in Goteborg, Sweden at the age of 67, 3 years after having been diagnosed with throat and lung cancer.

RIP Henning Mankell!


  1. I’ve seen the original series with English (dubbed) and like the English series with Kenneth Branagh. I looked you up since I wanted to know if there was any correlation between the Wallander books and the recent violence in Sweden. Clearly they were written too early to correspond with Sweden’s more recent problems with imported violence.

    Europe’s current troubles should be laid at the feet of WEF and friends. They seek to destroy all nations and must be destroyed before they destroy all of us.

    Yours sincerely,

    Steven Farber

  2. On Mankell, Larsson, Nesbo and Nordic Noir

    I came across Mankell after reading Stieg Larsson, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love the pace and how Wallander has to recap what he knows so far during the investigation. Helps “dense” me keep up. And Wallander is funny as heck! I can’t remember which book it was when he kicked that parked car because he was irritated about something related to the car. Someone help me out.

    So, anyway, thanks for this!

    I could not get into/have yet to get into David Lagercrantz, who took over the Millennium/Lisbeth Salander/Mikael Blomkvist series after Larsson’s death in 2004. So, I went on a quest to find similar authors. Which led me to Mankell. Then after I ran out of Mankell books to read, I went on the same search again. And since Mankell was published by Black Lizard/Vintage Crime/Vintage Books/Random House in the US, I searched through their other Fiction/Mystery-Nordic/Swedish/Nordic Noir authors, which led me to Jo Nesbo, who I have yet to read. Although a recent review saying that “Harry Hole and The Wire’s Jimmy McNulty were separated at birth” has definitely piqued my interest.

    Who would have thunk that there was such a genre as Nordic Noir and that I’d get into it?

    Another character that I see mentioned often is Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. So, this is also on my list of books to check out.

    Happy Mankell reading!

    1. You should try the Beck books, they are supposed to be the ultimate crime novels on which all others are sequels Per Wahloo & Mia Sjowall (both Swedish journalists) they were written in the 60’s & early 70’s Wahloo died in 75 & Sjowall last year. Henning Mankell wrote the foreword for Rosanna (first Martin Beck book) when they republished in the 80s there are only 10 books. They are timeless which is quite an accolade, Henning Mankells favourite crime novels & most other crime writers to. Wallander and Beck really could be separated at birth. Jo Nesbo misses the mark for me, having read the other two, Stig Larsson different league to Nesbo. I put off reading the last 3 Martin Beck books as long as I could as I couldn’t bear to finish Mankell is a close second..

  3. I have read all of the Kurt Wallander books. Loved them all. I felt so sad when I read of Mankell’s death in 2015. We have lost a wonderful story teller. ❤️Jean

  4. Peg, from Australia by chance l found the books of Henning Mankell a couple of years ago, and he quickly moved into one of my favourite authors, along side Stieg Larson and Jo Nesbo. l feel linked in a sort of a way as two of my great-grand fathers one from, Norway my mothers father, and the other from Sweden, my mothers grandfather.

  5. Really appreciate this list of books in order- I have read and retread all his books and also followed the Kenneth Branagh videos

  6. Experienced every emotion looking at the series but, Troubled Man brought me grief. Wonderful series. Unfortunately, these books are unavailable in Trinidad but will seek an alternative to build my relationship with Mr Mankell.

  7. Discovered this wonderful while visiting family in Sweden. My first read was Italian Shoes and I was hooked. A major literary talent whose non-Wallander stories and characters were powerful, insightful and haunting. Wall ender was flawed as all are in one way or another. When I finished an Event in Autumn and learned the character of Wallander would not be continued I felt sad – the magic of Henning’s pen. His characters were all believable, ergo his legacy lives on. A major literary loss.

  8. i will find his books tomorrow, i just finis reading the trilogy from stieg larsson and i am in love with his style.

  9. I found the first one in a used book shop in Rabat, Morocco. After that, I couldn’t stop reading them. Can’t find them where I live (Egypt) so I’m very happy they are available for Kindle. I have become greatly attached to all the characters and only wish the last one hadn’t ended the way it did. We will definitely miss Henning Mankell’s talents.

  10. A German friend interested in keeping his English up left “The Dogs of Riga” behind for me after a visit to Texas. I have been hooked ever since. I only read of Henning Mankell’s death today as published in TIME, October 19th. The world has lost a major talent.

    Appreciate the order of translation that you researched. I will dig deeper for books that I missed.

  11. My husband and I find Wallander’s films on Roku. We just wish there were more. I just ordered all of
    his books from our library, hoping they will arrive on our Bookmobile next week.

    Thank you. Freda

  12. Learned about Mankell reading the Bookclub book my group is currently reading – The Elegance of the Hedgehog. A character mentions liking Connelly and Mankell. Currently Harry Bosch is my favourite detective but I have read all the books so I’m hoping to enjoy Kurt Wallander just as much. Looking forward to reading all about him.

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