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Plenty of real-life drama over "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series

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Celebrity arrived late in the life of Stieg Larsson, author of the mega-selling thriller series kicked off by "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Today, however, it seems difficult to scan headlines without seeing mention of his name.

Larsson, a Swedish journalist and political activist, became an international celebrity only after his sudden death at the age of 50 in 2004, when three of his unpublished manuscripts were brought to press. Today – under the titles of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "The Girl Who Played with Fire," and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" – these gritty thrillers are being read all over the globe. Reader fascination with Larsson's heroine Lisbeth Salander – an eccentric, intelligent, socially awkward 20-something with a photographic memory – last year turned Larsson into the second best-selling author in the world (behind "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini).

But what to do with Larsson's $20 million-plus fortune? Legally, because Larsson never married Eva Gabrielsson, his companion of 30 years, it goes to Larsson's father and brother. But the two sides have now entered into a very public feud over the money.

The latest news came Friday, when Gabrielsson refused the 20 million Swedish krona ($2.8 million US) offered to her by Larsson's father and brother.

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