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

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