Maria Kallio celebrates her 20th anniversary today!

During the last weekend, Leena Lehtolainen attended the  Beijing Literary Festival and Shanghai Literary Festivals and promoted her Maria Kallio series featuring the female detective.

Leena won a lot of new fans in China, and her session with the Chinese writer Qiu Xiaolong (photo on the right) at the Shanghai Literary Festival was simply magical – people were buzzing about it for some time after, said the organizers of the festival.

The Maria Kallio series kicked off in Finland in 1993 and rights have been sold in 28 languages to date. Amazon Crossing published My First Murder in December 2012 to great reviews:

“Leena Lehtolainen has a winner with her debut thriller. Detective Maria Kallio deserves a place alongside literature’s best tough but vulnerable female detectives.” – Mystery Scene Magazine

“Lehtolainen’s first entry (originally published in 1993) in a series long popular in Finland is an engaging Scandinavian procedural sure to appeal to Helene Tursten fans. It is also a good choice for readers who like a young protagonist trying to establish herself in a man’s world, not unlike Tess Gerritsen’s early Rizzoli and Isles titles.” – Library Journal

“A solid first in a series… The author does a good job integrating her dogged detective’s inner life with the murder inquiry.” – Publishers Weekly

Today, on March 6th, 2013 Leena Lehtolainen’s Finnish publisher Tammi wishes to celebrate Maria Kallio’s 20th anniversary, and has launched the 20th anniversary book of Maria Kallio:

The World of Maria Kallio  (Maria Kallio -Extra, Tammi 2013, 212 pp.)

The Maria Kallio fan book features fun trivia and interesting facts about the world-famous detective Maria Kallio. The book contains two previously unpublished Maria Kallio stories!

Congratulations Leena on your fantastic career and international success!
More happy news to follow soon!

Finnish editions
English editions of Maria Kallio series: My First Murder, Her Enemy
German editions: All Maria Kallio titles
German editions: The Bodyguard, The Lion of Justice
French editions of Maria Kallio titles: My First Murder, Her Place, Copperheart, Snow Woman
French editions: The Bodyguard
Spanish edition: My First Murder

Please contact the Agency for more information!

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 was published in August 2020. It is already the 15th book of the very popular Maria Kallio series that has sold over 2,5 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

The Ripple Effect

2020, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen


2019, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Killer's Girlfriend

2018, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The End of Innocence

2017, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Charm of Ice

2016, General Nonfiction, Memories & Biographies

Leena Lehtolainen

The Eye of the tiger

2016, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

A Stroke of Sadness

2015, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Iron Triangle

2013, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Devil's Cubs

2012, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Lion of Justice

2011, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Where Have All the Young Girls Gone

2010, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Bodyguard

2009, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

On the Wrong Track

2008, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

The Nightingale Murder

2005, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Below the Surface

2003, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Before I Go

2000, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Fatal Headwind

1998, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Death Spiral

1997, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Snow Woman

1996, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Copper Heart

1995, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

Her Enemy

1994, Crime & Suspense

Leena Lehtolainen

My First Murder

1993, Crime & Suspense

Related news