Leena Lehtolainen’s new Maria Kallio novel, A Stroke of Sadness, published!

LehtolainenSurunpotkuThis week marks the publication of the 13th entry in author Leena Lehtolainen’s beloved Maria Kallio crime series,  A Stroke of Sadness (Surunpotku, Tammi 2015). We wish Leena our warmest congratulations!

The Maria Kallio series, which follows the career of a tough, down-to-earth and emotionally intelligent police officer, began in 1993 with My First Murder (Tammi).

Awaited by fans, A Stroke of Sadness has already received compliments from readers and critics. Rights have been acquired in Germany by Rowohlt. Altogether rights to Leena Lehtolainen’s works have been sold in 29 languages.

“Lehtolainen’s books have always had an element of social commentary…A Stroke of Sadness is a novel in which change is in the air and uncertainty breathes down the characters’ necks. In the end there are tears – for many reasons. It’s the kind of cliffhanger that makes one await for the next Maria Kallio title.”
Turun Sanomat newspaper, Finland

A Stroke of Sadness 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.

“While writing I thought about the way in which living in the shadow of an unsolved crime affects a person,” Lehtolainen said in an interview with Iltalehti newspaper.

In the United States AmazonCrossing published Snow Woman (Tammi 1996), the fourth book in the Maria Kallio series, in December of 2014. Books 1-3 are also available in English from AmazonCrossing.

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

Contact: info@ahlbackagency.com

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