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 The book contains two previously unpublished Maria Kallio stories!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!

About author

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.

Lehtolainen created her successful protagonist, detective Maria Kallio, in 1993. Having already featured in 16 novels and a complete TV series, a new Maria Kallio TV reboot series was launched in Fall 2021 on C More. Lehtolainen’s novels have been translated into 30 languages and have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

And just like the events in Bodyguard, a that takes 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 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.

The Crossing of the Green Dragon is her first title for YA audiences.

In her free time, Lehtolainen enjoys all kinds of music and follows lynx trails in the forests – just like Maria Kallio.


2023, Crime & Suspense

A Crossing in the Darkness

Leena Lehtolainen

2022, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

The Crossing of the Green Dragon

Leena Lehtolainen

2021, Crime & Suspense

The Lynx Factor

Leena Lehtolainen

2020, Crime & Suspense

The Ripple Effect

Leena Lehtolainen

2019, Crime & Suspense


Leena Lehtolainen

2018, Crime & Suspense

The Killer's Girlfriend

Leena Lehtolainen

2017, Crime & Suspense

The End of Innocence

Leena Lehtolainen

2016, General Nonfiction, Memories & Biographies

The Charm of Ice

Leena Lehtolainen

2016, Crime & Suspense

The Eye of the Tiger

Leena Lehtolainen

2015, Crime & Suspense

A Stroke of Sadness

Leena Lehtolainen

2013, Crime & Suspense

The Iron Triangle

Leena Lehtolainen

2012, Crime & Suspense

The Devil's Cubs

Leena Lehtolainen

2011, Crime & Suspense

The Lion of Justice

Leena Lehtolainen

2010, Crime & Suspense

Where Have All the Young Girls Gone

Leena Lehtolainen

2009, Crime & Suspense

The Bodyguard

Leena Lehtolainen

2008, Crime & Suspense


Leena Lehtolainen

2005, Crime & Suspense

The Nightingale Murder

Leena Lehtolainen

2003, Crime & Suspense

Below the Surface

Leena Lehtolainen

2000, Crime & Suspense

Before I Go

Leena Lehtolainen

1998, Crime & Suspense

Fatal Headwind

Leena Lehtolainen

1997, Crime & Suspense

Death Spiral

Leena Lehtolainen

1996, Crime & Suspense

Snow Woman

Leena Lehtolainen

1995, Crime & Suspense

Copper Heart

Leena Lehtolainen

1994, Crime & Suspense

Her Enemy

Leena Lehtolainen

1993, Crime & Suspense

My First Murder

Leena Lehtolainen