Helle Stangerup grew up in an academic and artistic family, daughter of the writer Hakon Stangerup and the actress Betty Søderberg, grandchild of the Swedish author Hjalmar Söderberg, and sister of the author Henrik Stangerup. She qualified in law, but now earns a living from writing. She was married for a time to Count Adam Knuth and has two children.
Helle Stangerup made her debut in 1967 with Gravskrift for Rødhætte, the first in a long series of detective novels. In 1985 she published the historical novel Christine (1985; Eng. tr. In the Courts of Power). Her later novels are almost all based on a historical personage or epoch. To a large extent, she is fascinated by powerful women in history, as is the case in her novel Spardame, 1989, about Leonora Christina. Her historical novels have attracted many readers on account of their colourful and dramatic scenes and entertaining stories. In 1995, however, she returned to the present day and to the genre of crime with her novel Stedfar.
Additions by the editorial team 2011:
The above biography was first published in 1998. Since then, Helle Stangerup has published the novels Skæbnegalleriet, 2006, and En forskers død, 2010. She has also written a retelling of Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum, 2000, and a non-fiction book on the same topic, 2004. In 2011 she published her memoirs, Bag skodderne.