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”You don’t believe in ghosts, do you?”
”Of course not”

Michaela, who’s called Mikey, and her mum have just moved into an old house in a village in the north of Sweden. Their new life in the serene village is meant to become wonderful. On the very first day Mikey notices a strange shadow on the sun bleached wallpaper in her room. Sha starts talking to it, just for fun, but she soon realizes that the shadow talks back in subtle ways.

Is it true, as her new class mates say, that it’s the ghost of a girl who once lived in the house – a girl who was pushed into the river and drowned? When Mikey gets to know people in the village she realizes that what happened long ago still affects some of them. And certain things seem to repeat themselves, again and again. For ever?

To be published in Denmark and Germany in 2014-2015.

Reviews:

”A strangely scary ghost story that catches the reader in a firm grip. Lundberg Hahn has an impressively tight hold on her story, making the read a breathless experience.” (Lotta Olsson, Dagens Nyheter – Sweden’s leading liberal morning newspaper)

”A thriller for everyone from the age of nine and up. Well written, very exciting and with a serious tone and depth.” (Anna Hällgren, Norran)

”Lundberg Hahn is a master of scary children’s stories combined with engaging tales of frindship. Nature, above all the white water rapids, here have a critical as well as beautiful role.” (Jonna Fries, Smålandsposten)

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Vita Olsson lives with her mom in a flat in an old two-storey house. The Pizzeria Amore is on the ground floor and the smell of pizza makes Vita long for Italy where her dad lives. Dad is remarried to Angelina now, and they’re expecting Vita’s little brother.

Oh, how Vita wants her brother!

But there’s something strange going on in the house. Vita’s sure she can see glowing eyes at the bottom of the stairs when the light is off. And one night she wakes up to hear someone howling from downstairs, from the pizzeria. What if it’s a werewolf …

To be published in France in 2013.

Author’s note:
I’m a big fan of reading aloud. I read to my kids a lot. My mom read to me when I was a kid. And she didn’t stop just because I learned to read myself. Thanks Mom!
Reading aloud gives you so much more than the story itself – a moment of togetherness, the possibility to talk about things you come to think of.
I hope that Vita’s Secret will be read by adults and kids together.

PS! When Vita’s mom says there’s nothing to be afraid of – don’t believe her. It’s just that the really scary things are for real.

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”What Zac sees through the window makes him turn cold. Mimmi’s stolen bike is there. That stupid guy is bending over it with a wrench in his hand. But that’s not all …

Zac suddenly feels sick, all the muscles in his body tense. He’s got to hurry home, he’s got to tell someone. But before he even moves somebody grabs him from behind. Two strong arms pull him to the ground, drag him to the door and throw him onto the cold stone floor.
- Hey, this guy’s spying on us!”

Freddie is accused of stealing bikes, but he’s innocent. Mimmi has lost hers. Zac is obsessed with the idea of justice. Together they decide to try and find the thieves. But it turns out to be much more dangerous than they ever imagined.

Author’s note:
When I visit schools and they tell me they love the book, I naturally ask why. The response is the classic: ”It was so exciting!”
But then they start asking me about the characters:
What will happen to his brother? Why is his dad so mean to him? Will she and her best friend make up again?

Not all 11-12-year-olds solve crimes in their spare time, right? But all 11-12-year-olds have to deal with everyday realities, parents, friends and siblings, making mistakes and not wanting to tell, being secretly in love or sometimes just wishing they were somewhere else. 

Crime fiction with life-like characters with life-like lives  – that’s what I wanted these books to be. That’s why the students’ questions make me so happy.

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”The sound of footsteps from upstairs makes Freddie freeze. The ice cold feeling spreads from his head and his neck to his whole body, paralysing him.
- Freddie Hansson, he says to himself. It’s the middle of the night and you’re inside the house of a thief who’s twice your size and carries a black belt in judo. You’re crazy!”

Freddie is so much looking forward to the trip to Budapest with his judo club. But then someone steals the ticket money. Freddie can’t hide his disappointment. But their coach doesn’t seem to mind that much … and what about that violent guy, Nikos, who was having a fight with the coach?

Freddie’s new friends Zac and Mimmi want to help him. But at the same time there are things they don’t want to tell each other, and so they end up in deep trouble.

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”Freddie is tied to a chair a few steps inside the room. Mimmi is groping her way through the dark. Suddenly she has a goal and it’s as if the worst fear is washed away by the rain, hammering on the roof. The robbers in there are stumbling around, unable to find the flash light. Mimmi moves silently towards Freddie.

- Here it is!
It’s the tatooed guy’s voice. And then the flash light comes on.”

Mimmi’s neighbour is robbed right in front of her. Not long after that she and her friends Freddie and Zac find a bag, hidden in the woods. When they start looking into things they discover a connection. Before long they stand face to face with people who have ugly plans. And at the same time a storm is rolling in from the sea …

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There’s a tiny island off the coast, not far from Kajsa’s granny’s house. On the island there’s a tree with an old abandoned eagle’s nest.
Abandoned? No, not anymore. When Kajsa tries out her new pair of binoculars she discovers the new inhabitants – two eagles with a chick that’s just been hatched.

But what’s that white motor boat doing so near the island? Are they really just fishing?

When Kajsa gets a secret read-backwards letter from her friend Johan she gets really worried. The note says:
TCETORP EHT SELGAE. EREHT ERA SEVEIHT. KCEHC TUO EHT ETIHW TAOB.

Author’s note:
Of course this is not only a book about adventurous and brave kids, but also on another level about the relationship between man and nature. I would like for kids who read this book to be strengthened in their love of nature. Because what we love we are more likely to protect.

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”The vaccuum Gang strikes again. Police still without clues”. This is what the newspapers say on the day that Johan comes to visit Kajsa in town. That same night sirens and blinking blue lights in the city street outside Kajsa’s house wake them up. Someone has broken into Mr Sandstrom’s Jewel Shop opposite. Kajsa and Johan stumble out into the cold, snowy winter night.

Who has stolen Mr Sandstrom’s remarkable diamond? There are many suspects, and Kajsa and Johan are surprised more than once before they discover the truth.

Author’s note:
It was my great love for cinnamon buns (Swedish kanelbullar) that gave me the idea to this book. I was on my way to my favourite café in Göteborg when I suddenly saw a police car outside.
Oh, my! What’s happened?

Well, it turned out the policemen were as fond of cinnamon buns as I am. They were having a coffee break. But before I discovered that, the first seed of the story had already been planted.

It’s a wintery, Christmassy, cinnamony story about money vs friendship.

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When Kajsa and Johan spend a night in a tent in the woods near granny’s house they suddenly see a mysterious light jumping and moving between the trees. Is is a U.F.O?
Shortly afterwards there’s an inexplicable fire in granny’s garden, and then certain people in the village start receiving anonymous letters. Kajsa and Johan get suspicious. That new girl, Anki, seems to be able to do all kinds of stuff.

The night the vicarage burns down Kajsa slowly begins to see a pattern. There are ugly things going on under the surface of the nice quiet village.

Author’s note:
Who are the good guys? Who are the bad guys? And what about when the good guys start doing bad things? And the one you thought was the bad guy maybe isn’t so bad after all?

I know that school reading groups have had interesting talks about this book, about how we sometimes judge people too quickly. I’m happy to hear my book has had this effect.

Also I’m proud of the nomination for Best Crime Novel For Young Readers made by the Swedish Crime Fiction Academy in 2003. (OK, I didn’t win, but anyway …)

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The old abandoned mine is being rebuilt for tourists. No trespassing! But Kajsa and her friends Anton and Linn find a way to get in. They want to know if there’s any truth to the old tale about the forgotten gold.

While searching for the answer to that question mysterious things start to happen. One of the almost tame elks that visit the farm regularly disappears, and Kajsa wakes up in the middle of the night hearing gun shots from the woods. Their old neighbour knows all there is to know about both gold mines and elks. But dare they trust him?

Author’s note:
I grew up in the north of Sweden where my roots are set deep in the gold mines of Boliden – once Europe’s most important gold mine. My father used to go elk hunting every autumn. (Yummie!)

This thrilling story is set in the midst of this now changing society, where farming, mining and forestry are no longer the main sources of income. But first and foremost it’s a thrilling adventure in the land of the Scandinavian elk.

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Another adventure in a typical Swedish setting – Spain! Like many thousands of tourists every year, Kajsa and Johan travel to Spain in this book. Just as they visit the famous art museum a bold theft is committed. A painting by Pablo Picasso is gone without a trace, and no-one understands how it was done. But Kajsa and Johan have seen something. They start making enquiries on their own and soon end up in the centre of events.

False or genuine? That question goes for both paintings and people. Who’s lying? Who’s telling the truth?

Author’s note:
This is my version of the famous ”locked room mystery”. I was also inspired by settings and people I have met in Spain and Italy. The trick, in detective fiction as well as in real life, is to look behind first appearances.