Sunday, March 26, 2023

"A Death in Denmark"

Amulya Malladi is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Copenhagen Affair, A House for Happy Mothers, and The Mango Season. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil. She won a screenwriting award for her work on Ø (Island), a Danish series that aired on Amazon Prime Global and Studio Canal+. Currently living in California, she is a Danish citizen who was born and raised in India.

Malladi applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, A Death in Denmark, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Why didn’t you tell the police or anyone else about it?” I asked.

Ulla shrugged. “I don’t know. I didn’t say anything because . . .well, I just didn’t. It never came up.”

“How much had she written?” I asked.

“She said she was done, just waiting for some last documents from Germany. She was worried, she told me that night when we had dinner at Munkebo Kro. This was a few weeks before she died. She said that she had been told to stop working on the book . . . by someone important.” Ulla took a long drag from her cigarette and then laughed as if remembering something. “She said der er ugler i mosen.”

It was an old quirky Danish idiom, “there are owls in the bog,” which meant that there was something suspicious afoot. Originally, the saying was “there are wolves in the bog,” but when wolves left Denmark, the wolves changed to owls.

“It seemed so farfetched,” Ulla continued. “She was behaving like she knew a secret and there are no secrets left about that time . . . so . . . I thought she was just blabbing, making herself feel important.”

“Did she tell you who was threatening her and why?”

Ulla took another deep puff of her cigarette, making me want to draw the nicotine in like the addict I was. “No.”

“Who else would know? Someone must have helped her research the book?” I prompted.

“My first guess was Palle,” Ulla replied. “He’s a history professor. But when I asked him about it, he said he didn’t know.”

“Was she working on it on her computer?”

“Where else? But . . . I don’t know,” Ulla said uncertainly. “She went through a stack of printed pages on the train when we were coming back to Copenhagen. She told me that was the book.
I was nervous as I looked up page 69 to see what it would tell about my book—and it tells a great deal. It gives an idea of who my protagonist, private investigator Gabriel Præst is and what is interview style is. It also delves into the mystery and identifies the MacGuffin, a missing manuscript, written by the murder victim.
Visit Amulya Malladi's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Death in Denmark.

--Marshal Zeringue