Fiction Book Reviews

Crime | The Forest Lake | Palle Rosenkrantz

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We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts on The Forest Lake by Palle Rosenkrantz, translated by David Young.

The Forest Lake Mystery was first published in 1903. Lightening Books have published it in a new translation and it has never been available in paperback in English before.

Detective Sergeant Eigil Holst is on holiday in the countryside when the body of a baby is washed up on the banks of a nearby lake. The local magistrate orders the lake to be drained and the body of a young woman is discovered, naked and weighed down with stones tied to her feet and neck. Her identity is a mystery.

Holst then takes it upon himself to find out where this woman came from, why she was in this remote location and who could have had motive to kill her. His investigations take him across Scandinavia and into central Europe as, gradually, he realises that the solution to the mystery could have huge implications for his own future.

Book cover for The Forest Lake Mystery by Palle Rosenkrantz

The Forest Lake Mystery by Palle Rosenkrantz is published by Lightening Books and is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.


The Forest Mystery is a wonderful Danish crime novel. First published in Denmark in 1903 and second novel by Palle Rosenkrantz and now translated in English by David Young.

 I fell in love with this translation, it’s wonderfully descriptive and very well written. I enjoyed the characters and fast paced storyline.

 Egil Holst, a policeman, whilst on holiday in Denmark is present when a dead baby’s body is washed up from the lake. This led to the magistrate ordering for the lake to be drained, where the body of a young woman is found. Holst investigates by travelling to Sweden, Switzerland and Venice to solve the mystery of the young woman’s death.

 Highly recommended read.

Jera's Jamboree

Author photo Palle Rosenkrantz

Palle Rosenkrantz was a Danish aristocrat who was born in Helsingør (Elsinore) in 1867. He spent part of his childhood living on the estate of a royal castle but as an adult was arrested for misuse of public funds and went bankrupt.

He turned to writing to make ends meet and became Denmark’s most prolific author. He also worked for the newspaper Politiken and wrote screenplays for silent films. His 1903 detective story The Forest Lake Mystery (Hvad Skovsøen gemte)is the first-ever Danish detective novel. He died in 1941.

The Palle Rosenkrantz Prize is awarded each year by the Danish Crime Academy to the best crime novel published in Danish.

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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