Daughter of the legendary Danish journalist Leif Blaedel and revered actress Annegrethe Nissen, Blaedel founded Denmark’s first crime publishing house in 1993 with SARA B. Subsequently, her numerous talents extended to writing thrillers herself and being voted as the most popular author in Denmark four times as well as selling into 38 territories. Her debut Gront Stov (GREENDUST) won the Danish Crime Academy’s Debutant Award and has gone on to become a bestselling series in Denmark and abroad.



With over 2.3 million copies of her books sold in Denmark (a population of 5.6 million), over 40% of the entire country has read Sara Blaedel, which is why the press and her fans have dubbed her the Queen of Danish Crime Fiction.



Sara Blaedel has strong relationships with the National Police (the equivalent of the FBI in the United States), as well as The Homicide Squad, The Department of Forensic Medicine, and the Forensic Crime Lab in Denmark.



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her father’s secret

Grand Central Publishing - March 5, 2019

A woman's murder is only the beginning as a daughter races to unravel the maze of secrets her father left behindbefore she becomes the next victimin the latest emotionally gripping novel from Sara Blaedel, #1 internationally bestselling author with over 3 million copies sold worldwide.

After suddenly inheriting a funeral home from her father―who she hadn't heard from in decades―Ilka Jensen has impulsively abandoned her quiet life in Denmark to visit the small town in rural Wisconsin where her father lived. There, she's devastated to discover her father's second family: a stepmother and two half sisters she never knew existed. And who aren't the least bit welcoming, despite Ilka's efforts to reach out.

Then a local woman is killed, seemingly the unfortunate victim of a home invasion turned violent. But when Ilka learns that the woman knew her father, it becomes increasingly clear that she may not have been a completely random victim after all.

The more Ilka digs into her father's past, the more deeply entangled she becomes in a family drama that has spanned decades and claimed more than one life―and she may be the next victim...

praise for her father’s secret

“Readers will enjoy watching Ilka transform from frustrated and confused to utterly confident in her sleuthing as she discovers some of her father’s painful secrets...[The] book’s cliffhanger ending will make readers look forward to the next set of secrets for Ilka to unravel.”―Publishers Weekly

“Not as dark as Blaedel’s popular Louise Rick procedurals, this well-crafted dive into family secrets will appeal to fans of Lisa Scottoline.”―Booklist

“Blaedel knows suspense and dread, both of which infuse her pages with a special kind of momentum.”―CrimeReads

“Expertly written and deftly plotted, Her Father’s Secret is a wild, fun mystery that shows once again why Sara Blaedel is fast becoming one of the premier mystery writers in the game.”―The Real Book Spy

“Sara Blaedel continues to impress with her understanding of human nature.”―BOLO

“The cliff-hanger endings are sure to commit readers and libraries to the whole series.”―School Library Journal


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the drowned girl

Grand Central Publishing - December 24, 2018

Detective Louise Rick must race against the clock to stop a violent killer targeting immigrants in this disturbing and timely thriller, perfect for readers of Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, or Jo Nesbo.

It's clearly no ordinary drowning. When a young girl is pulled from the watery depths, a piece of concrete tied around her waist and two mysterious circular patches on the back of her neck, Detective Louise Rick is immediately called out to Holbraek Fjord.

Her name was Samra, and Louise soon learns that her short life was a difficult one, as part of Copenhagen's sizeable Muslim immigrant community. Samra's father had already been charged once with assaulting her, and her mother is sure he would be capable of killing anyone who brought dishonor to the family. Yet Samra, she insists, had done nothing dishonorable. So was her death really an honor killing, or something even more sinister?

Navigating the complex web of family and community ties in Copenhagen's tightly knit ethnic communities, Louise must hunt a killer before he strikes again...

Thriller master Sara Blaedel is in top form as Louise takes on what may be her most important―and deadly―case yet.

praise for the drowned girl

The Drowned Girl (first published in the United States in 2012 as Only One Life) is a hard-nosed thriller with a soft spot for big questions: Is it necessarily culturally insensitive to challenge an ethnic group's sexist traditions? And is the expectation of partial assimilation that's placed on young Muslim immigrants, especially girls, unreasonable? As Rick thinks at one point, ‘There was an ominous demand that girls had to adapt, but only to a certain extent; otherwise all hell would break loose.’ In The Drowned Girl, all hell does.”―Shelf Awareness


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Grand Central Publishing - November 20, 2018

Homicide detective Louise Rick chases a disturbing serial rapist in this fast-paced thriller in Sara Blaedel's breakout series, perfect for readers of Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, or Jo Nesbo.

An online flirtation can have horrific consequences, as Detective Louise Rick discovers when she is called to an idyllic Copenhagen neighborhood where a young woman has been left bound and gagged after a profoundly brutal rape attack.

Susanne Hansson met her rapist on a popular dating website. But the man is hiding behind a labyrinth of false pseudonyms, and neither Susanne―nor the police―have been able to trace his true identity. With the internet as his playground, the rapist will almost certainly strike again if Louise can't unmask him before it's too late.

Incredible suspense and a diabolical series of twists take Sara Blaedel's wildly popular series to new heights.




Grand Central Publishing - October 23, 2018

Sara Blaedel returns with another thrilling novel in her series featuring homicide detective Louise Rick―a strong-willed police investigator perfect for readers of Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Tess Gerritsen, or Jo Nesbo.

A young woman is found strangled in a park, and a male journalist has been killed in the backyard of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.

Detective Louise Rick is put on the case of the young girl, but very soon becomes entangled in solving the other homicide too when it turns out her best friend, journalist Camilla Lind, knew the murdered man. Louise tries to keep her friend from getting too involved, but Camilla's never been one to miss out on an interesting story. And this time, Camilla may have gone too far...

Emotionally riveting and filled with unexpected twists, The Midnight Witness is a tour-de-force from international phenomenon Sara Blaedel.



"Blaedel delivers another solid story with a surprise twist ending."―Library Journal

"The Louise Rick novels are must-reads for fans of Scandinavia’s female police detectives.”―Booklist

“Intrepid Danish police detective, Louise Rick, is back on the job”―New York Times


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Grand Central Publishing – February 6, 2018

School-portrait photographer Ilka Nichols Jensen is leading a modest, regimented, anything-but-extraordinary life in Copenhagen when unexpected news rocks her quiet existence: Her father―who walked out suddenly and inexplicably on the family more than three decades ago, and whom she hasn't heard from since―has died. And, even more surprising, he's left her something. His funeral home. In Racine, Wisconsin. Desperate for a connection to the parent she never really knew, Ilka makes an uncharacteristically rash decision and jumps on a plane to the United States.

There she stumbles on an unsolved murder and into the path of a killer. Suddenly, learning everything she can about the man who was her father becomes a matter of life and death―because what Ilka doesn't know might just kill her...


An Everything Zoomer Must Read

“A great start for mystery lovers looking to dip a toe into international intrigue.”―Library Journal

“This series debut has a lighter, cozier touch than the author’s award-winning Louise Rick procedural series, set in Denmark; fortunately, Blaedel’s astute storytelling also works outside the Nordic gloom.”―Booklist

“Compelling and unique, The Undertaker’s Daughter delves into a dark and fascinating world rarely explored in suspense fiction. Sara Blaedel knows how to reel in her readers and keep them utterly transfixed.“―Tess Gerritsen, New York Timesbestselling author of I Know A Secret

“Ilka Jensen is nothing if not resourceful…Blaedel has come up with an especially challenging occupation for Jensen, but this 6-foot-tall Viking goddess is strong enough to carry it all by herself.“―New York Times Book Review




Grand Central Publishing – January 2, 2018

#1 internationally bestselling author Sara Blaedel delivers an electrifying, page-turning new novel in which detective Louise Rick confronts a case that will change her life forever.

A journey to a new life or a prison of despair and death? A shocking murder on Copenhagen’s idyllic streets and an abandoned child reveal a perverse criminal underworld that crosses international borders.

A young woman’s body is found on the street with her throat slit, and the media is clamoring for the grisly details. Detective Louise Rick is investigating the gruesome murder when her friend Camilla Lind calls. Louise assumes it is because Camilla, a crime reporter, wants to be the first to hear of any juicy new developments. Instead, her distraught friend reveals that her ten year-old son found an abandoned baby on his way to school.

As Louise digs deeper into the murder and the mysterious foundling, every clue uncovered points to organized human trafficking from Eastern Europe, run by ruthless gangsters who won’t hesitate to kill anyone who gets in their way…

This gripping, heartwrenching, extraordinary new suspense novel from Sara Blaedel will keep you turning pages as fast as you can straight through to the electrifying finale.


“Wonderfully paced and addictive, this book (and this series) is the perfect Nordic Noir pick for those new to the genre and another must-read for us avid readers of Scandinavian crime fiction.“―Happy Ever After, a blog




Grand Central Publishing – January 2, 2018

#1 internationally bestselling author Sara Blaedel is back with a powerful and twist-filled new suspense novel featuring detective Louise Rick.

Louise gets a call from her son, Jonas. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: A school party has ended in terrifying chaos after a group of violent teenagers forced their way into the building in search of alcohol and valuables. Dashing to the scene, Louise discovers one of the students gravely injured―struck by a car while attempting to run for help. Now the girl’s distraught mother, pushed to her emotional breaking point, will do anything to make those who hurt her daughter pay.

So when someone targets the gang members with a vicious attack, the girl’s mother is the obvious suspect. But Louise can’t shake the feeling that the case might not be as cut-and-dried as it first appears. Someone is lying-but who?

Masterfully plumbing the darkest depths of human emotion in this propulsive new novel, Sara Blaedel again delivers an intense ride filled with unexpected turns that will have you on the edge of your seat…


“Sara Blaedel is amazing. She is in no particular hurry to get things moving in the first part of The Running Girl as she begins to set things up, but as secrets and schemes unravel, you will find that you simply cannot read fast enough.“―Bookreporter




Grand Central Publishing – January 2, 2018

#1 internationally bestselling author Sara Blaedel returns with a captivating new suspense novel: Detective Louise Rick encounters her most troubling case yet as she goes up against an extremely wealthy-but psychologically twisted-sociopath targeting vulnerable young women.

When the granddaughter of the wealthy Sachs-Smith family is kidnapped, Louise’s skills as a trained negotiator are put to work. She is tasked with helping the desperate mother negotiate what soon turns into a life-or-death situation. The kidnappers will only exchange the deathly ill little girl for an infamous stained glass panel―known as the Angel of Death―that has been in the family for generations. But there’s a problem… the Angel, worth millions, was recently stolen from the family home.

Racing against the clock as she matches wits with a criminal mastermind, Louise will be taken to the depths of human depravity. She’s about to learn the hard way that money can buy absolutely anything. But will she be able to find the little girl before her time runs out?

Sara Blaedel’s latest suspenseful and emotionally powerful thriller will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.


“There are a lot of moving parts to the plot, though Blaedel keeps everything well-oiled and moving with nary a squeak as she leads the reader through the book to a series of startling and satisfying conclusions…The Stolen Angel will leave both long-term fans of Blaedel and casual readers of her work wanting more.“―Bookreporter




Grand Central Publishing – February 7, 2017

Following the #1 international bestsellers The Forgotten Girlsand The Killing Forest, Inspector Louise Rick—head of the elite Special Search Agency in Denmark’s National Police Department—returns in Sara Blaedel’s newest crime thriller.

A housewife is the target of a shocking, methodical killing. Shot with a hunting rifle through her kitchen window, the woman is dead before she hits the ground. Though murdered in England, it turns out that the woman, Sofie Parker, is a Danish citizen—one who’s been missing for almost two decades—so Louise Rick is called on to the case. Then the police discover that the woman, Sophie, had been reported missing eighteen years ago by none other than Eik, Louise Rick’s police colleague and lover. Impulsive as ever, Eik rushes to England, and ends up in jail on suspicion of Sofie’s murder. Unsettled by the connection, and sick with worry for Eik, it falls to Louise to find the killer in what will become her most controversial case yet…


“Blaedel, Denmark’s most popular author, is known for her dark mysteries, and she examines the controversial social issue at the heart of this novel, but ends on a surprisingly light note. Another winner from Blaedel.”―Booklist

“As one of the preeminent voices in contemporary Scandinavian crime fiction, ­Blaedel solidifies once more why her novels are as much finely drawn character studies as tightly plotted procedurals, always landing with a punch to the gut and the heart.“―Library Journal, starred review

“Blaedel strikes a fine and delicate balance between the personal and the professional in The Lost Woman, as she has done with the other books in this wonderful series. The mysteries that she creates put one somewhat in the mind of the John Steed/Emma Peel era of “The Avengers” television series. Those who can’t get enough of finely tuned mysteries, particularly of the police procedural type, will find this book and this author particularly riveting.“―Book Reporter

“Long-held secrets and surprising connections rock Inspector Louise Rick’s world in Blaedel’s latest crime thriller. Confused and hurt, Louise persists in investigating a complex murder despite the mounting personal ramifications. The limits of loyalty and trust, and the complexities of grief, are central to this taut thriller’s resolution. A rich cast of supporting characters balances the bleakness of the crimes.“―RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

“Leads to…that gray territory where compassion can become a crime and kindness can lead to coldblooded murder.“―New York Times Book Review


“Deliciously dark…[A] great tale!“―Suspense Magazine

The Lost Woman is a well-constructed mystery and…a moving exploration of the sensitive issue of Death with Dignity.“―Popular Culture Association




Grand Central Publishing – February 2, 2016

Sara Blaedel, author of the #1 international bestseller The Forgotten Girls—which was roundly praised as “gripping” with “uncompromising realism” (Washington Post) and “tautly suspenseful” (BookPage)—returns with the thrilling next book in her series featuring police investigator Louise Rick.

Following an extended leave, Louise Rick returns to work at the Special Search Agency, an elite unit of the National Police Department. She’s assigned a case involving a fifteen-year-old who vanished a week earlier. When Louise realizes that the missing teenager is the son of a butcher from Hvalsoe, she seizes the opportunity to combine the search for the teen with her personal investigation of her boyfriend’s long-ago death . . .

Louise’s investigation takes her on a journey back through time. She reconnects with figures from her past, including Kim, the principal investigator at the Holbaek Police Department, her former in-laws, fanatic ancient religion believers, and her longtime close friend, journalist Camilla Lind. As she moves through the small town’s cramped network of deadly connections, Louise unearths toxic truths left unspoken and dangerous secrets.


iBooks Best Books of February 2016

A Powell’s Picks of the Season 2016

“Another suspenseful, skillfully wrought entry from Denmark’s Queen of Crime.“―Booklist

“Engrossing…Blaedel nicely balances the twisted relationships of the cult members with the true friendships of Louise, Camilla, and their circle.“―Publishers Weekly

“Blaedel delivers another thrilling novel…Twists and turns will have readers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens next.“―RT Book Reviews

“Danish author Sara Blaedel is one of the top names in Scandinavian crime fiction but, over here, she’s best known for the superb book The Forgotten GirlsThe Killing Forest is even better.“―The Globe and Mail

“This remarkable Danish crime fiction writer is back at it again with a new book in her addictive series, and with another story that will keep you up at night. Blaedel’s plotlines are creepy, complex, and wholly gripping. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better crime writer out there.“―Powell’s

“A compelling, spine-tingling read!“―San Francisco Review of Books




Grand Central Publishing – February 3, 2015

In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick—the new commander of the Missing Persons Department—is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed—and hidden—in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.


2015 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Contemporary Mystery

“Tautly suspenseful and sociologically fascinating, The Forgotten Girls demonstrates yet again that the finest contemporary suspense fiction emanates from Europe’s snowbound North.“—BookPage

“For readers who gorge on captivating characters and chilling suspense, The Forgotten Girls is a tantalizing treat. Enjoy yourself, America.“—Sandra Brown

“Sara Blædel is a force to be reckoned with. Everyone keeps talking about the ‘trend’ in crime writers—Scandinavian, German, Russian. Blædel is no trend. She’s a remarkable crime writer who time and again delivers a solid, engaging story that any reader in the world can enjoy.“—Karin Slaughter

“One of the best I’ve come across.“—Michael Connelly

“Crackling with suspense, atmosphere, and drama, The Forgotten Girls is simply stellar crime fiction. I loved spending time with the tough, smart, and all-too-human heroine Louise Rick—and I can’t wait to see her again.“—Lisa Unger

“If you like crime fiction that is genuinely scary, then Sara Blædel should be the next writer you read.“—Mark Billingham

The Forgotten Girls is without doubt the best the author has delivered so far…strikingly well done….the chances are good that The Forgotten Girls will become your favorite crime novel for a long time to come.“—Børsen (Denmark)

The Forgotten Girls has it all. At its heart, it is a puzzling, intricate mystery whose solution packs a horrific double-punch…Once you start, you will have no choice but to finish it.“—BookReporter

“Sara Blædel is at the top of her game. Louise Rick is a character who will have readers coming back for more.“—Camilla Läckberg

“[The Forgotten Girls] is gripping when it depicts some horrific crimes…[An] uncompromising realism…distinguishes this novel at its best.“—Washington Post

“To my mind, some of the most politically acute Scandinavian crime novels are being written by women who are grappling with these generalized woes in more specific ways. In Sara Blædel’s novels, her truculent Danish homicide detective, Louise Rick (a housebroken Lisbeth Salander), responds to the influx of immigrants by taking up the cause of marginalized women, including Muslim girls menaced by the tradition of honor killings and Eastern European girls recruited for the sex trade.”—New York Times

“Tightly knit.“—Kirkus Reviews

“A sharp protagonist who wrestles with her own failings and fears, in a skillfully told story that is typically dark in the manner of Nordic crime fiction.“—Booklist

“Chilling…[a] swiftly moving plot and engaging core characters.“—Publishers Weekly

“Already an international best seller, this outing by Denmark’s “Queen of Crime” offers trademark Scandinavian crime fiction with a tough detective and a very grim mystery. Blædel is incredibly talented at keeping one reading even as one wants to look away from the graphic scenes. Recommend to fans of Camilla Läckberg and Liza Marklund.“—Library Journal

“Sara Blædel’s The Forgotten Girls is an emotionally complex police-procedural thriller set in Denmark. With a gripping premise, fast-paced narrative and well-developed characters, The Forgotten Girls is an incredible read.“—

“This is a standout book that will only solidify the author’s well-respected standing in crime fiction. Blædel drops clues that will leave readers guessing right up to the reveal. Each new lead opens an array of possibilities, and putting the book down became a feat this reviewer was unable to achieve. Based on the history of treating the disabled, the story is both horrifying and all-to-real. Even the villains have nuanced and sympathetic motives.“—RT Times – Top Pick

Jessica SpiveyB