Required reading from the week in books and comics. All hard-boiled crime edition!

Stieg Larsson The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" is the final installment of Stieg Larsson's best-selling mystery series about intrepid journalist Mikael Blomkvist and eccentric genius Lisbeth Salander. The series has gained international acclaim, with a Swedish film series already underway and an Americanized version in development. Sadly, Larsson passed away in 2004, just as his series was to be released. Now that all the books are out, this is your chance to discover perhaps the best crime thrillers in years.

Also in stores:
-- The Mike Hammer novel "The Big Bang" finds crime novelist Max Allan Collins picking up where the character's late creator, Mickey Spillane, left off. It's a tribute to the days when men were men, dames were dames and the hooch was hidden from "the fuzz" under card tables.
-- Rounding out our crime roundup, is Vertigo Crime's "The Executor," a graphic novel about a retired hockey player who must carry out the will of his high school sweetheart. You thought it was the other kind of "execute," right? Well, chances are someone's gonna get executed.