Where is Jostein Gardner's "Christmas Mystery" book set?
January 3, 2011 4:27 AM   Subscribe

Which town in Norway is the setting for the start of Jostein Gardner's book "The Christmas Mystery"? We'd love to take our children to visit...

We've read "The Christmas Mystery" by Jostein Gardner with our children every Advent for the past few years. We've had the idea of having a series of family holidays over the next few years (it might take quite a few years!), visiting the countries that Elizabet journeys through on her way to Bethlehem. We're in the UK so none of the countries in it are very far away, which makes it feasible to do one stage of the journey, through one country, each year.

The only problem is that we can't work out where to start. Wikipedia says it's Oslo, but the book makes it sound like a much smaller town. Does anyone know?

(For a bonus prize, is Joachim in the same town as Elizabeth lived in? I think so - but if not, where does he live?)

Thanks, mefites!
posted by monster max to Travel & Transportation around Norway (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't read the book, but according to Norwegian Wikipedia it's set in Oslo, "Fortellingen starter i Oslo 1948 og slutter i Betlehem i år 0.". Translation, "The story starts in Oslo in 1948, and ends in Bethlehem in year 0."

The article also mentions Elizabeth disappearing during Christmas shopping in Oslo.
posted by 73pctGeek at 6:44 AM on January 3, 2011

Best answer: I had a quick look at the book, and it seems to me like it's intentionally vague on where Joachim lives. It's has to be a small town, though - noone from Oslo would refer to "the bookshop", as there are lots.

The first place name they refer to is when they pass Halden. I'm guessing they don't start in Halden, then, so my guess would be either Moss or Sarpsborg.

It's "Gaarder", not "Gardner", BTW.
posted by Harald74 at 6:52 AM on January 3, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you very much Harald74 - and apologies for the mis-spelling! We thought it was deliberately vague too, but wondered whether someone from Norway, or some very devoted Gaardner fan, might know...

Really appreciate the suggestions. I'll get out the map and get planning!
posted by monster max at 2:56 PM on January 3, 2011

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