Yrsa Sigurdardottir signed copies of her Icelandic murder mystery, Last Rituals, Wednesday afternoon at Baltimore’s BWI Airport, next to the IcelandAir terminal, as her publisher, William Morrow, made free copies available to all the passengers on the daily flight to Reykjavik—and, as you can see, the airline crew. (The story, about an Icelandic single mom and attorney who solves a grisly murder involving medieval witchcraft and modern body modification with the help of a handsome if aggravating German counterpart, could definitely keep those who chose to read it on the five-hour flight awake. Having read the book last weekend to prepare for the trip, I was busy catching up with Charles Ardai‘s Songs of Innocence—damn, that’s good reading.)
So far, our activities in Reykjavik have been largely non-literary. I got to drive a hydrogen-powered Prius at the local Hertz, one of the first hydrogen hybrids at a car rental agency in the world (and at $140K a pop, no wonder, but it drove great). And then we saw the Islendingur, a replica of a Viking ship, but it was way too dark for pictures, and went swimming in the middle of a rain storm at the Blue Lagoon hot springs, and then we had the most amazing arctic char I’ve ever eaten in my life for dinner, and then we came back to the hotel to crash. We’re supposed to meet with Sigurdardottir today to tour the city and then hear from the curator of a museum of witchcraft that figures prominently in her novel, and I’ve got a copy of another Icelandic mystery novel, Arnaldur Indridason‘s Jar City, to keep me occupied during any lulls in the activity… so more details whenever I get a chance.