A Death in Denmark

Amulya Malladi

A Death in Denmark
HarperCollins Publishers Inc
United States
4 April 2023

A Death in Denmark

Amulya Malladi

Meet Gabriel Praest, an ex-Copenhagen cop (who dresses with panache), jazz aficionado, and relentless pursuer of truth as he explores Denmark’s Nazi-collaborator past and anti-Muslim present in a page-turning Nordic murder mystery with a cosmopolitan vibe

Everyone in Denmark knew that Yousef Ahmed, a refugee from Iraq, brutally murdered the right-wing politician Sanne Melgaard. So, when part-time blues musician, frustrated home renovator, and full-time private detective Gabriel Praest agrees to investigate the matter because his ex-the one who got away-asked him to, he knew it was a no-win case.

But as Gabriel starts to ask questions, his face meets with the fists of Russian gangsters; the Danish prime minister asks him for a favor; and he starts to realize that something may be rotten in the state of Denmark.

Wondering if Yousef was framed to heighten the local anti-Muslim sentiment, Gabriel follows a trail back in time to World War II when anti-Semitism was raging in Europe during the German occupation of Denmark. Fearing a nationalistic mindset has resurfaced, Gabriel rolls up the sleeves of his well-cut suit and gets to work. From the cobblestone streets of Copenhagen to the historic Strassen of Berlin where the sounds of the steel-toed boots of marching Nazis still linger, Gabriel finds that some very powerful Danes don’t want him digging into the case-as the secrets he unearths could shake the foundations of Danish identity.


Over the years, we’ve been introduced to some great writers, detectives, and private investigators. A Death in Denmark is the first book of Amulya Malladi’s that I’ve read, though she has already authored several titles. It features the private investigator Gabriel Præst, a canny ex-cop who seems to attract trouble on a daily basis.

Præst is a dedicated follower of fashion, a serious wine drinker, and seemingly very attractive to the opposite sex. In spite of his debonair, suave appearance, he is definitely not afraid of getting his hands dirty, and his investigation into the assassination of Danish politician Sanne Melgaard sees him ‘press the flesh’ with a great many unsavoury people. Malladi weaves a complex plot tapping into history, immigration policy, and corruption.

I was unsure that I’d have the time to undertake this review, but I’m now very glad I did, for Malladi’s book is excellent. While some passages initially felt heavy-handed, the unravelling of the plot and the resolution – a political and moral reckoning at the upper echelons of Danish government – is hugely enjoyable.

I’m looking forward to reading more of Malladi’s Gabriel Præst books in years to come. She is a fresh new voice for Australian readers of crime fiction, and will appeal if you love the great literary investigators like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Chester Himes’s jazz-age Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, and Philip Kerr’s detective Bernie Gunther.

This item is in-stock at 2 shops and will ship in 3-4 days

Our stock data is updated periodically, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Sign in or become a Readings Member to add this title to a wishlist.