As the English translations were not published in the same order as the Swedish originals, below is a list of all the books with their original Swedish year of publication.

I have listed the titles in the chronological (and best reading) order of the stories.

There are three series (KURT, STEFAN and LINDA) which overlap as some characters are mentioned in more than one book. Enjoy!


Published: Sweden - 1999; English translation - 2008

When to read: Before FACELESS KILLERS
Filmed as: 2007: PYRAMIDEN (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)
Notes: This book of 5 short stories was published as a prequel to the first Wallander novel. It is sometimes strap-lined as "the origins of Kurt Wallander".
When Kurt Wallander first appeared in Faceless Killers, he was a senior police officer, just turned forty, with his life in a mess. His wife had left him, his father barely acknowledged him; he ate badly and drank alone at night.

The Pyramid chronicles the events that led him to such a place. We see him in the early years, doing hours on the beat whilst trying to solve a murder off-duty; witness the beginnings of his fragile relationship with Mona, the woman he has his heart set on marrying; and learn the reason behind his difficulties with his father. These thrilling tales provide a fascinating insight into Wallander's character, from the stabbing of a neighbour in 1969 to a light aircraft accident in 1989, every story is a vital piece of the Wallander series, showing Mankell at the top of his game.

Featuring an introduction from the author, The Pyramid is an essential read for all fans of Kurt Wallander.

Foreword (Henning Mankell)
Wallander's First Case
The Man with the Mask
The Man on the Beach
The Death of the Photographer
The Pyramid


Published: Sweden - 1991; English translation - 1997
When to read: After THE PYRAMID and before THE DOGS OF RIGA
Notes: The first published Kurt Wallander novel.
One frozen January morning at 5am, Inspector Wallander responds to what he believes is a routine call out. When he reaches the isolated farmhouse he discovers a bloodbath.

An old man has been tortured and beaten to death, his wife lies barely alive beside his shattered body, both victims of a violence beyond reason. The woman supplies Wallander with his only clue: the perpetrators may have been foreign. When this is leaked to the press, it unleashes a tide of racism.

Wallander's life is a shambles. His wife has left him, his daughter refuses to speak to him, and even his ageing father barely tolerates him. He works tirelessly, eats badly, and drinks his nights away. But now Wallander must forget his troubles and throw himself into a battle against time and against mounting racial hatred.


Published: Sweden - 1992; English translation - 2001
When to read: After FACELESS KILLERS and before THE WHITE LIONESS
Filmed as: 3.2: THE DOGS OF RIGA and 1995: HUNDARNA I RIGA (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)
Sweden, winter, 1991. Inspector Kurt Wallander and his team receive an anonymous tip-off. A few days later a life raft is washed up on a beach. In it are two men, dressed in expensive suits, shot dead.

The dead men were criminals, victims of what seems to have been a gangland hit. But what appears to be an open-and-shut case soon takes on a far more sinister aspect. Wallander travels across the Baltic Sea, to Riga in Latvia, where he is plunged into a frozen, alien world of police surveillance, scarcely veiled threats, and lies.

Doomed always to be one step behind the shadowy figures he pursues, only Wallander's obstinate desire to see that justice is done brings the truth to light.


Published: Sweden - 1993; English translation - 1998
When to read: After THE DOGS OF RIGA and before THE MAN WHO SMILED
In 1992, in peaceful Southern Sweden, Louise Akerblom, an estate agent, pillar of the Methodist church, wife and mother, disappears. There is no explanation and no motive. Inspector Wallander and his team are called in to investigate.

As Inspector Wallander is introduced to this missing person's case he has a gut feeling that the victim will never be found alive, but he has no idea how far he will have to go in search of the killer. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela has made his long walk to freedom, setting in train the country's painful journey towards the end of the apartheid. Wallander and his colleagues find themselves caught up in a complex web involving renegade members of South Africa's secret service and a former KGB agent, all of whom are set upon halting Mandela's rise to power.

Faced with an increasingly globalised world in which international terrorism knows no national borders, Wallander must prevent a hideous crime that means to dam the tide of history.

Published: Sweden - 1994; English translation - 2005
When to read: After THE WHITE LIONESS and before SIDETRACKED
Filmed as: 2.2: THE MAN WHO SMILED and 2003: MANNEN SOM LOG (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)
Spiralling into an alcohol-fuelled depression after killing a man in the line of duty, Inspector Kurt Wallander has made up his mind to quit the police force for good.

When an old acquaintance seeks Wallander's help to investigate the suspicious circumstances in which his father has died, Kurt doesn't want to know. But when his former friend turns up dead, shot three times, Wallander realises that he was wrong not to listen.

Against his better judgment, he returns to work to head what may now have become a double murder case. An enigmatic big-business tycoon seems to be the common denominator in the two deaths. But while Wallander is on the trail of the killer, somebody is on the trail of Wallander, and closing in fast...

Published: Sweden - 1995; English translation - 1999
When to read: After THE MAN WHO SMILED and before THE FIFTH WOMAN
Filmed as: 1.1: SIDETRACKED and 2001: VILLOSPÅR (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)
Notes: Winner of the CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION Gold Dagger
Midsummer approaches, and Inspector Kurt Wallander prepares for a holiday with the new woman in his life, hopeful that his wayward daughter and his ageing father will cope without him.

But his restful summer plans are thrown into disarray when a teenage girl commits suicide before his eyes, and a former minister of justice is butchered in the first of a series of apparently motiveless murders. Wallander's desperate hunt for the girl's identity and his furious pursuit of a killer who scalps his victims will throw him and those he loves most into mortal danger.


Published: Sweden - 1996; English translation - 2000
When to read: After SIDETRACKED and before ONE STEP BEHIND
Filmed as: 2.3: THE FIFTH WOMAN and 2002: DEN 5:E KVINNAN (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)
Four nuns and a fifth woman are killed in a savage night-time attack in Africa. A year later, Inspector Kurt Wallander investigates the disappearance of an elderly birdwatcher and discovers a gruesome and meticulously planned murder - a body impaled in a trap of sharpened bamboo poles. Then, another man is reported missing.

Once again Wallander's life is put on hold as he and his team work tirelessly to find a link between the series of vicious murders.

Published: Sweden - 1997: English translation - 2002
When to read: After THE FIFTH WOMAN and before FIREWALL
Filmed as: 1.3: ONE STEP BEHIND and 2005: STEGET EFTER (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)

It is Midsummer's Eve. Three young friends meet in a wood to act out an elaborate masque. But, unknown to them, they are being watched. Each is killed by a single bullet.

Soon afterwards, one of Inspector Wallander's colleagues is found murdered. Is it the same killer, and what could the connection be? In this investigation Wallander is always, tantalisingly, one step behind.


Published: Sweden - 1998; English translation - 2002
Filmed as: 1.2: FIREWALL and 2006: BRANDVÄGG (in the ROLF LASSGÅRD series)
Stopping to use a cash machine one evening, a man falls to the ground: dead. A taxi driver is brutally murdered by two teenage girls who demonstrate a complete lack of remorse. One girl escapes police custody and disappears without trace. Soon afterwards, a blackout covers half the country. When an engineer arrives at the malfunctioning power station, he makes a grisly discovery...

Inspector Kurt Wallander is sure that these events must be linked - somehow. Hampered by the discovery of betrayals in his own team, lonely and frustrated, Wallander begins to lose conviction in his role as a detective.

And somehow these criminals seem always to know the police's next move.

Published: Sweden - 2000; English translation - 2003
When to read: After FIREWALL and before BEFORE THE FROST
Filmed as: Only in Swedish and German versions
Notes: Stefan Lindman is the main protagonist of this story. It is a good introduction to him before he later appears in BEFORE THE FROST.
Herbert Molin, a retired police officer, is living alone in a remote cottage in the vast forests of northern Sweden. He has two obsessions: one is the tango and the other is a conviction that he is being hunted, constantly pursued by 'demons'. He has no close friends, no close neighbours, and by the time his body is eventually found, Molin is almost unrecognisable.

Lindman, a police officer on extended sick leave, hears of the death of his former colleague and, to take his mind off his own problems, decides to involve himself in the case. What he discovers, to his horror and disbelief, is a network of evil almost unimaginable in this remote district, and one which seems impossible to link to Molin's death.

11: BEFORE THE FROST (Linda Wallander)

Published: Sweden - 2002; English translation - 2004

Notes: Linda Wallander is the main protagonist of this story. The 2nd and 3rd books in the projected series were never written by Henning Mankell due to his feelings over the sad death of JOHANNA SÄLSTRÖM, the actress who played Linda Wallander in SEASON 1: ©2005-2006 of the KRISTER HENRIKSSON series.

The leader of a religious cult in Guyana instigates a mass suicide. He succeeds in killing himself and his whole flock of worshippers, save one.

In a wood outside Ystad, the police make an horrific discovery: a severed head, and hands locked together in an attitude of prayer. A Bible lies at the victim's side, handwritten corrections and amendments on every page.

A string of incidents, including attacks on domestic animals, has been taking place and Inspector Wallander fears that these events could be the prelude to attacks on humans on a much greater scale. Meanwhile Linda Wallander, preparing to join the Ystad police force, arrives at the station. Showing all the hallmarks of her father - the maverick approach, the flaring temper - she becomes involved in the case and in the process is forced to confront a group of extremists bent on punishing the world's sinners.


Published: Holland (in Dutch) - 2004; English translation 2014
When to read: After BEFORE THE FROST and before THE TROUBLED MAN
Notes: *This is the English translation of the original Swedish title. Until now this story had only been published in Holland in Dutch as 'Het Graf' (The Grave), a 93-page paperback with limited availability. The English-language version was published in the UK in paperback on 12/08/2014 and in hardback on 04/09/2014.
Some cases aren't as cold as you'd think.

Kurt Wallander's life looks like it has taken a turn for the better when his offer on a new house is accepted, only for him to uncover something unexpected in the garden - the skeleton of a middle-aged woman.

As police officers comb the property, Wallander attempts to get his new life back on course by finding the woman's killer with the aid of his daughter, Linda. But when another discovery is made in the garden, Wallander is forced to delve further back into the area's past.


Published: Sweden - 2009; English translation - 2011

When to read: After AN EVENT IN AUTUMN
Notes: The final Wallander novel.
Every morning Håkan von Enke takes a walk in the forest near his apartment in Stockholm. Then, one day he fails to come home.

Detective Kurt Wallander is not officially involved but Håkan's son is engaged to his daughter Linda. A few months earlier Håkan was eager to talk to Kurt about a controversial incident from his past. Could this be connected to his disappearance?

When Håkan's wife also goes missing, Wallander is determined to uncover the truth but the investigation will force him to look back over his own past, as he comes to the unsettling realisation that even those we love the most can remain strangers to us...

[to come]