The Charm of Ice

Rights sold:

WORLD ENGLISH: HarperCollins

CROATIA: Planetopia
ESTONIA: Rahva Raamat
FINLAND: Gummerus
FRANCE: Editions Leduc.s

Original title: Jään lumo

Author: Leena Lehtolainen

Illustrator: Leena Lehtolainen

Published: 2016

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Non-Fiction

Pages: 200

Reading material

Finnish edition
English synopsis

Download reading materials

The Charm of Ice tells the stories we don’t see

Pain, connection, justice.  These are some of the eight themes The Charm of Ice team spoke about with eighty star ice skaters around the world.  The Finnish trio, bestselling fiction-author Leena Lehtolainen, long-time figure skating journalist and editor-in-chief of the Finnish Figure skating magazine Kaisa Viitanen and globally renowned figure skating photographer and Sports Journalist of the Year 2016, Elina Paasonen interviewed and photographed Olympic- and World Champions and other skaters with interesting stories to tell across three different continents.

They met skaters in different conditions: off-season practices, during the ISU competitions, before and after glamorous ice shows.  The hard, daily life, the nerve-wracking championship battles and the glittery glamour of the shows were revealed to us by the intimate interviews and the masterful and captivating photos taken exclusively for this book.  Many of the skaters were surprised about the depth of the questions, many never asked of them before. A wide international community of figure skaters and coaches forms a kaleidoscopic view to the world of figure skating.

In The Charm of Ice the reader learns what kind of relationship the skater has with the ice; how you build a connection with your partner; and how one learns to endure the constant pain.  It tells how a competitor accepts being constantly judged, and the specifics a figure skater has to fight.  The Charm of Ice reveals the amount of physical strength the skaters have to achieve and the pressures they endure.  But all in all, the sport is about the charm, and the reader can experience it through their favourite skaters’ stories.

Elina Paasonen’s photographs form a unique collection, differing significantly from basic newspaper feature photos.  Paasonen, a former synchro-skating world medallist herself, can capture ’the’ moment of the program or off-ice setting in a unique and moving way, and many skaters are fans of her work.

Interviewees in the book include: Mao Asada, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Kiira Korpi, Daisuke Takahashi, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, and Ashley Wagner.

Rights sold:
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
JAPAN, Sunmark


Leena Lehtolainen is a fiction writer who has published more than 20 works, translated into 29 languages. Figure skating has been part of Leena’s life ever since she was a little girl.

Kaisa Viitanen is a freelance journalist who has learnt to love figure skating as an adult skater and a skating mother. She is the editor-in-chief of the Finnish Taitoluistelu (Figure Skating) magazine.

Elina Paasonen is a journalist, photographer, and fourth generation skater, raised at the ice rink. Photography has become Elina’s way of contributing to the story of the fantastic sport.


Foreign covers

Review links

Leena Lehtolainen

Leena Lehtolainen is the top female crime author in Finland: her new titles always head straight to #1 on the Finnish bestseller lists.

Leena’s brand new title The Ripple Effect will be published in August 2020. It is already the 15th book of the super popular Maria Kallio series that has sold over 2 million copies worldwide!

* * *

The 1993 book Ensimmäinen murhani (My First Murder) kicked off Lehtolainen’s first and on-going crime novel series, which has brought an enthusiastically-received female perspective to the male-dominated detective genre through its distinctively down-to-earth heroine Maria Kallio. The Bodyguard Trilogy, meanwhile, stars a New York-trained bodyguard who is fiercely self-sufficient, highly alert to her surroundings, and haunted by horrific violence in her past.

Lehtolainen published her first novel at the age of 12; this work of juvenile fiction appeared in 1976. Leena Lehtolainen has also published outside the crime genre; her book The Charm of Figure Skating was voted sports book of the year 2010 in Finland and A Life in Six Scenes showed her return to literary fiction.

In her free time, Lehtolainen enjoys all kinds of music from 70’s punk to Schubert and Bach – just like Maria Kallio, the heroine of Lehtolainen’s crime novel series. And just as events in the Bodyguard (trilogy take the heroine Hilja Ilveskero all around Europe, Lehtolainen’s own work takes her to book festivals, exhibitions and other events across the globe.





Leena Lehtolainen

My First Murder

1993, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Her Enemy

1994, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Copper Heart

1995, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Snow Woman

1996, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Death Spiral

1997, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Fatal Headwind

1998, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Before I Go

2000, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Rage

2003, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Indecent Nightingale

2005, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

On the Wrong Track

2008, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Where Have All the Young Girls Gone

2010, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Iron Triangle

2013, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

A Stroke of Sadness

2015, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Bodyguard

2009, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Lion of Justice

2011, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Devil’s Cubs

2012, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Eye of the Tiger

2016, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The End of Innocence

2017, Crime & Thriller

Below the Surface US cover image

Leena Lehtolainen

Below the Surface

2003, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Killer’s Girlfriend

2018, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Oathbreaker

2019 Fall, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Ripple Effect

2020 Fall, Crime & Thriller

Related news