Photo of Copenhagen by Siebuhr used under a Creative Commons license.
Peter Høeg, Smilla’s Sense of Snow (Delta, 1995).
A small boy falls from the roof of Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson’s Copenhagen apartment building. An expert on the properties of snow and ice, she looks at the footprints and realizes that the boy ran to his death. She determines to find out who was chasing him, leading to no end of complications. Smilla is half-Danish and half-Greenlander, and the action in this thriller involves both countries. Høeg’s third novel was the first to be translated from Danish, and is more literary than most genre fiction. Also published (in the UK) as Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow. Julia Ormond played Smilla in the 1997 movie, which did not get good reviews.
A flurry of reviews from Robert Nathan (The New York Times), Bridget, MagdaDH (and others), Danny Yee, Gnomey G, Isabella, John Regehr, Will, and Dave Knadler. It’s Tyler Cowen’s favorite Danish novel. And Wilson found an interesting receipt in his copy. Here is a scholarly article by Annalies van Hees called “Fiction and Reality in Smilla’s Sense of Snow.”