A Stroke of Sadness by Leena Lehtolainen is Finland’s #1 bestseller!

Lehtolainen_Surunpotku_Sept2015Crime author Leena Lehtolainen’s reign at the top of the bestseller lists continues. A Stroke of Sadness (Tammi 2015), The 13th entry in her Maria Kallio series, was the #1 highest-selling Finnish novel in the month of August!

Beyond Finland, rights to the novel have been acquired by Rowohlt in Germany, where A Stroke of Sadness will publish in spring of 2016. Leena Lehtolainen’s works have been sold in 29 languages.

The Maria Kallio series follows the career of a tough, down-to-earth and emotionally intelligent police officer in Finland. A Stroke of Sadness finds her inspecting the murder of Jaakko Pulma, a jewelry expert and the husband of a politician.

Praise for A Stroke of Sadness:

”The book provides a sharp nut of crime writing…through a first-person narrative Maria Kallio has the final word in her own story.”
Savon Sanomat newspaper, Finland

”Both the daily routines of police work and the events of Maria Kallio’s private life are depicted in a nuanced and appealingly relatable way.”
Kymen Sanomat newspaper, Finland

”It was so wonderful to return to this series. I’ve been reading Maria Kallio books for as long as I have read adult fiction. Several of these books I’ve reread over and over, even though I don’t frequently revisit crime novels. These novels, however, provide so many elements [beyond a crime investigation] that coming back to them is easy.”
Lukutoukan kulttuuriblogi (”Bookworm’s Literature Blog”), Finland

“Lehtolainen’s books have always contained 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

In the United States AmazonCrossing will publish the fifth entry in the Maria Kallio series, Death Spiral (Tammi 1997) in December. Book 4, Snow Woman (Tammi 1996), currently has a four-star reader rating on Amazon!

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 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

The Charm of Ice

2016, Non-Fiction

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

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