The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Reading Questions


  • Why is the man in the opening of the book receiving framed flowers in the mail?
  • What is the purpose of the highly detailed description and analysis of the latest flower?
  • What significance might the policeman’s failure to solve this crime have in a detective novel?

Chapter 1

  • What is the nature of the course case and dispute between Blomkvist and Wennerstrom?
  • How does Blomkvist get his nickname?
  • Why does Blomkvist give any credibility to the accusations and the story he hears from Robert Lindberg?
  • What is a “Bolshevik”?

Chapter 2

  • What (if any) hints are given here about trends of violence toward women in Sweden?
  • What do Armansky’s conversations and interactions with Lisbeth tell us about/help introduce her character?
  •  What does Salander reveal about Blomkvist’s relationship with Erika Berger?

Chapter 3

  • Is Blomkvist a “political” person?

Chapter 4

  • What circumstances brought Blomkvist to the Vanger residence previously during an earlier part of his life?
  • What does the personal connection between Blomkvist and Harriet Vanger add to the story? Or to the investigation of the mystery of her disappearance?
  • What is the Vanger family’s connection with Naziism?

Chapter 5

  • On p.  104 the book references the “locked door mystery” and “Dorothy Sayers”–explore their meaning.
  • What does this chapter tell us or show us about the contrasting investigative styles of Blomkvist and Salander?

Chapter 6

  • What finally convinces Blomkvist to take the case? The mystery? The money? Or something else?

 Chapter 7

  • How does this chapter address Blomkvist’s motivation for taking the case?

Chapter 8

  • What unique complications does the location of Hedestad pose for Blomkvist and his investigation?

Chapter 9

  • What does the detailed and comprehensive picture of the family and its extended lineage add to (or take away) from the story?
  • This is one of a series of chapters where we encounter parallel narration–a narrative “back and forth” between Salander and Blomkvist. Why might the author have opted to write the story in this fashion?

Chapter 10

  • What relative almost threatens a physical encounter with Blomkvist regarding his plans to write the Vanger family history?
  • Does Blomkvist learn anything helpful or insightful from his visit to Morell?

 Chapter 11

  • For the second time in the novel, attention is called in this chapter to the contrast between Blomkvist’s “working class” background and Berger’s “upper-class” upbringing.  Does this distinction play into their working or emotional relationship in the novel?
  • What surprising offer does Henrik Vanger make during Berger’s visit?
  •  What, at this point, do we know about the nature of the animosity between the Vanger family and Wennerstrom?
  • What changed during the last year or so of Harriet’s life and what might have been the reason for this change?
  • Blomkvist decides he has exhausted the leads pursued in the police records and decides instead to focus his investigation on what?
  • The close of this chapter paints a kind of contrast between the situations of Blomkvist and Salander — what is it?