At least for now, all we have are the wildly successful first three books: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "The Girl Who Played with Fire," and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest." But Swedish journalist-turned-novelist Stieg Larsson had actually intended that his "Millennium" series would include at least five books, a plan cut short by his death in 2004.
Now, however, friends of Larsson's have come forward with details about what they say is a partially complete fourth book by Larsson. Larsson pal Kurdo Baksi is reported to have told Swedish newspaper Expressen that the fourth novel is set on the Banks Island in Canada – an intriguingly remote spot said to be home to more musk-ox than people – and features heroine Lisbeth Salander's twin sister Camilla. (So far Camilla has only been seen briefly in "The Girl Who Played with Fire.")
For now, however, such details are nothing better than teasers to Larsson's many fans. Larsson's long-time partner Eva Gabrielsson is locked in a bitter battle with Larsson's father and brother over the rights to his literary estate. Gabrielsson says she has the manuscript of the fourth book and can finish it – but it cannot be published without the consent of the author's family, which does not seem to be forthcoming.
For the moment, the only sure bet that Larsson fans have to look forward to is the December, 2011, release of the American film version of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig.
Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.