Spotlight on “Helle and Death” by Oskar Jensen

by LitStack Editor

A snowstorm. A country house. Old friends reunited. It’s going to be murder. It’s going to be Helle and Death

Helle and Death and author Oskar Jensen

About Helle and Death

This witty murder mystery puts a modern spin on the classic country house whodunnit. A must-read for fans of Agatha Christie, Richard Osman and Janice Hallett.

Torben Helle – art historian, Danish expat and owner of several excellent Scandinavian jumpers – has been dragged to a remote snowbound Northumbrian mansion for a ten-year reunion with old university friends. Things start to go sideways when their host, a reclusive and irritating tech entrepreneur, makes some shocking revelations at the dinner table. And when these are followed by an apparent suicide, the group faces a test of their wits… and their trust.

Snowed in and cut off, surrounded by enigmatic housekeepers and off-duty police inspectors, not to mention a peculiar last will and testament, suspicion and sarcasm quickly turn to panic. As the temperature drops and the tension mounts, Torben decides to draw upon all the tricks of Golden Age detectives past in order to solve the mystery: how much money would it take to turn one of his old friends into a murderer? But he’d better be quick, or someone else might end up dead…

Praise for Helle and Death

A love letter to the classic Country House murder mystery … if Agatha Christie had written The Big Chill it would have been very much like this.—J.M. Hall, author of A Spoonful of Murder

As cunning as Christie, as elegant as Sayers, with a dash of Donna Tartt thrown in for good measure. Helle & Death is not only a fiendishly clever mystery on par with the best the Golden Age has to offer, but a deft character study in the complex entanglements of old friendships. Witty, erudite, funny, and wonderfully well-written, I am in awe of what Oskar Jensen has achieved with this book.—William Hussey, author of Killing Jericho

A brilliant update on the traditional country house murder. Oskar Jensen has a wonderfully descriptive style, pin-point accurate and loaded with atmosphere. If this is the start of Scandi-Cosy, I’m all for it.—Ian Moore, author of Death and Croissants

A glittering jewel in the crown of modern country house mysteries. We must have more of Torben Helle! Truly excellent.—Marion Todd, author of Old Bones Lie

Super tight plotting with a great cast of characters and wonderful Sorkin-esque dialogue. Huge recommendation for fans of Agatha Christie and Rian Johnson.—Tariq Ashkanani, author of Welcome to Cooper

A wonderful mix of golden age tributes, scandi not-so-noir, puzzling mystery, and a study of the sort of friendships that linger across the years, often against the odds… A belter of a book, and I’m already anxiously awaiting the sequel.—Katy Watson, author of The Three Dahlias

Oskar Jensen is a sparkling new voice in crime fiction. Loved it.—S.J. Bennett, author of The Windsor Knot

A highbrow cozy that takes a playful approach to the tropes and fetishes of the genre while effortlessly twisting the reader in circles. A hugely accomplished fiction debut.—Eva Dolan, author of Long Way Home

About Oskar Jensen, Author of Helle and Death

Helle and Death author Oskar Jensen

Oskar Jensen is an author and academic with a doctorate in history from Oxford University. He was named a BBC New Generation Thinker for 2022, and his previous books on British and European history have been published by Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. He is currently an arts and humanities fellow at Newcastle University. 

Oskar Jensen’s novels include Helle and Death, The Stones of Winter, and The Wild Hunt. His nonfiction books include Vagabonds, Napoleon and British Song. In love with London, he published two nonfiction books steeped in its cultural history: the co-edited volume Charles Dibdin and Late Georgian Culture, and The Ballad-Singer in Georgian and Victorian London. Oskar works on the project Our Subversive Voice and is an occasional writer for the New Statesman. He was also the historical advisor for the 2018 ITV/Amazon production of Vanity Fair.

You can find and follow Oskar on his beautiful website, on Facebook, and on X (formerly Twitter).

Titles by Oskar Jensen

LitStack What You Should Read

Other LitStack Resources

Be sure and check out other LitStack Spotlights that shine a light on books we think you should read.

As a Bookshop, BAM, Barnes & Noble,, Amazon, and Envato affiliate, LitStack may earn a commission at no cost to you when you purchase products through our affiliate links.

Related Posts