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Full name

Elsa Olsen


Forensic Pathologist

A favourite of Mallory’s, Elsa provides the expertise on the unusual nature of the deaths. Wolfe first encounters her at the Iain West Forensic Suite as she guides them over the two corpses on the cold steel table. She is candid and refuses to speculate, conducting herself with the grace of a dinner hostess, and quickly endears herself to Wolfe providing him with another important ally in the course of his investigation.

Elsa Olsen is one of the leading forensic pathologists at the Iain West Forensic Suite at the Westminster Public Mortuary on Horseferry Road, a short walk from 27 Savile Row.

Unlike the detectives of the Murder Investigation Teams she advises, Elsa does not like to speculate about murder victims but sticks rigorously to the four eternals of death. Cause? Mechanism? Manner? Time? The final question – who? – she leaves to Max Wolfe and his colleagues.

A pathologist of genius, possibly the greatest since the legendary Iain West himself, Elsa becomes one of Max Wolfe’s most valued allies, and he seeks her out for guidance and advice in the restaurants of Soho.

“Elsa spoke with the effortlessly perfect English of the Scandinavian abroad. She was fortyish, Norwegian, tall and slim and dark, one of those black-haired, blue-eyed Norwegians who defied the Nordic stereotype. Mallory had told me that she was his favourite pathologist because she talked about the dead as if they had once been among the living. He said they did not all do that.”