Mikael Ekman, a friend and protégé of Larsson’s who collaborated with him on a nonfiction book, recalls sitting with Larsson one night in 2001. “We were drinking a little too much whiskey,” he told me, “and Stieg started talking about what he’d do when he was too old to work anymore. He said, ‘I will write a couple of books and become a millionaire.’ I laughed at him. I thought he was crazy.”
Three years ago, a man named Bosse Schon, who is a sort of professional Nazi hunter (and who might not have been averse to drumming up a little publicity for a TV documentary he had coming out), told Aftonbladet, Sweden’s leading afternoon daily, that he knew of a plot to kill Larsson, hatched in a pub years ago by a Swede who had served in the SS. But the evidence is close to overwhelming that Larsson died of a massive heart attack. Everyone agrees that he took terrible care of himself. He didn’t exercise, he smoked a lot and if he ever ate a green vegetable, no one has reported it. On the afternoon of Nov. 9, 2004 — the anniversary of Kristallnacht, if you’re looking for an eerie coincidence — the elevator at Expo wasn’t working, and Larsson climbed the seven flights to his office, where he collapsed. According to Kurdo Baksi, his last words were, “I’m 50, for Christ’s sake!”
Larsson explained that one of his main recurring characters in the Millennium series, Lisbeth Salander, is actually fashioned on a grown-up Pippi Longstocking as he chose to sketch her.There are also similarities between Larsson's Lisbeth Salander and Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise. Both are women from disastrous childhoods who somehow survive to become adults with notable skills, including fighting, and who accomplish good by operating somewhat outside the law.