German rights to Leena Lehtolainen’s forthcoming Maria Kallio novel sold to Rowohlt!

Lehtolainen_newsletter_July2015We are happy to announce that Rowohlt, publisher of iconic Finnish crime author Leena Lehtolainen in Germany, has acquired rights to A Stroke of Sadness (Surunpotku, Tammi 2015), the 13th entry in Lehtolainen’s well-known Maria Kallio series.

In addition to the Maria Kallio series, Rowohlt is the German home of Lehtolainen’s Bodyguard Trilogy. Other authors published by Rowohlt include Siri Hustvedt, Jonathan Franzen and Paul Auster.

“After all these years of publishing Leena’s fabulous series, her heroine Maria Kallio feels like an old friend. I am thrilled that A Stroke of Sadness is one of the strongest Maria Kallio novels to date.”
– Silke Jellinghaus, Editor, Rowohlt

A Stroke of Sadness, which will make its debut in Finnish bookstores in August, finds police officer Maria Kallio inspecting the murder of jewelry expert Jaakko Pulma. The victim’s lost phone soon begins to send out threatening messages, and Kallio and her colleagues receive tips of a money laundering operation. Buried in Pulma’s family history is evidence of blackmail and an accident that turns out to not have been one at all.

“Leena Lehtolainen is the flagship name for ‘Finland-Crime’.”
Hellweger Anzeiger newspaper, Germany

Rights to Lehtolainen’s works have been sold in 29 languages. In the United States AmazonCrossing published Book II in the Bodyguard Trilogy, The Lion of Justice (Tammi 2011) in June, and Snow Woman (Tammi 1996), the fourth book in the Maria Kallio series, in December of 2014.

The Maria Kallio series:
Original publisher:
WORLD ENGLISH, AmazonCrossing
BRAZIL, Autentica
ESTONIA, Pegasus
GERMANY, Rowohlt
GREECE, Livani
JAPAN, Tokyo Sogensha
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
SPAIN, Destino
TAIWAN, Linking
TURKEY, Bizim Kitaplar
TV RIGHTS, Studio Hamburg

The Bodyguard Trilogy:
Original publisher:
ARMENIA, Guitank
FRANCE, Hachette Livre
GERMANY, Rowohlt
NETHERLANDS, Unieboek | Het Spectrum
RUSSIA, Azbooka-Atticus
SPAIN, Destino
TAIWAN, Linking
TURKEY, Nemesis


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