Literary prize nominations and reviews – May 2017

Nominations and reviews for Pauliina Susi, Jussi Valtonen and Leena Parkkinen
In this month’s fiction highlights, we’re thrilled to share news of In the Rear Window author, Pauliina Susi’s nomination for the ‘Glasnyckeln’ – Glass Key – crime fiction prize for Nordic crime fiction writers.  A Swedish translation of the novel is now available. The Glass Key winner will be announced in August – watch this space!

Meanwhile, Jussi Valtonen’s Finlandia Prize winning novel, They Know Not What They Do, was recently published in Germany (Piper) and Hungary (Cser) to warm reviews, and will be out in English this November from Oneworld with the superb cover featured to the right here.

Also in the spotlight is Decent Ingredients, Leena Parkkinen’s sensuous and atmospheric novel about social politics, forbidden love and food in 1950s Helsinki, which recently sold in Italy (Sovera) and we are now delighted to be able to offer you a newly-extended English sample translation by the talented Lola Rogers.

Click here to request further information and reading materials.


They Know Not What They Do” is a great novel that shows ambition and the willingness to take risks” – Sand am Meer, Austria

“All in all a time critical novel that explores the individual’s increasing identity struggle, the struggle to root and consolidate.” – Buchtips, Germany

They Know Not What They Do speaks to a large audience. There are few contemporary novels that can address both adolescents and middle-aged people, university professors and young green activists, parents and children, Europeans and Americans. […] Different opinions collide, but no one is right and no one is wrong. They simply see things differently, as if they were living in another dimension. That’s what their tragedy is about.” – Olvass bele literary blog, Hungary

“Valtonen’s book offers a realistic prospect [of future], so this book is a great way to look a bit into the crystal ball that tells the future.” –  Librarius magazine, Hungary

“One of the most extraordinary books of recent times.” – Könyv utca literary blog, Hungary

“It is a thrilling, full-fledged, revolutionary, well-crafted work.” – Vilmos Csányi, Est Ujság, Hungary


“A fine novel that would have perhaps worked even without its plot about espionage. Bon appetit!” – Savon Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“Parkkinen hooks the reader with an intriguing story written in wonderfully ornate and rich language, which is, however, very accessible. She gives away so delicious recipes from Saara and Elisabeth’s kitchen that one can’t help one’s mouth from watering. Reading this book will make you hungry!” – Lukuneuvoja blog, Finland

“All in all a very readable book…” – Ja kaikkea muuta blog, Finland

“If you are at all interested in food, love, secret agents or well-told stories, you really ought to read Leena Parkkinen’s Decent Ingredients. Parkkinen’s third novel is so delicious that it is bound to be named by many as the best Finnish read of the year.” Aamulehti newspaper, Finland

“From the first page onwards, I became absorbed in that almost unbearably pleasurable reading frenzy that Parkkinen served in the world and characters she created. Decent Ingredients was a sinfully good novel, the reading of which you cannot stop once you’ve begun…” P.S. I love books, Finland

“Parkkinen is at her best when she describes the relationships between people. Saara’s clinging to Elisabeth is moving. And Elisabeth’s ruthlessness is annoying. The longing of two women’s bodies for one another is beautifully depicted.” Helena Ruuska, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, Finland

“Leena Parkkinen is one of those writers whose text you are allowed to expect a lot of. And she does not fail you this time, either. Decent Ingredients is a multi-layered story that must be carefully read, up until the last clause, in order to understand everything that Parkkinen is telling us.” Etelä-Saimaa newspaper, Finland

About author

Jussi Valtonen

Jussi Valtonen (1974) is an author and psychologist from Helsinki. He has studied neuropsychology in the United States and screenwriting in the UK, and has also worked as a science reporter. He has written three novels and a short story collection.

Carried by Wings (Siipien kantamat, Tammi 2007) was given second place in Bonnier’s novel competition, and received a warm reception from both critics and bloggers. In 2014 Valtonen was awarded the Finlandia Prize, the country’s highest-profile literary award, for They Know Not What They Do (He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät, Tammi 2014).

About author

Leena Parkkinen

Leena Parkkinen has authored three prize-winning adults’ novels set in 20th century Europe, often about people living at the margins society. Her skillful use of detail is often imbued with an element of suspense. She has also written two children’s story books.

Parkkinen has received numerous literary awards, such as Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for the best debut (2009), Academic Bookshop’s Bestselling Debut Prize (2009), Laila Hirvisaari Award (2010) and the Kalevi Jäntti Prize (2013), in addition to being nominated for the Tulenkantaja Export Prize 2017. Her works have been translated into seven languages to date.

About author

Pauliina Susi

Pauliina Susi is a versatile writer who has authored a number of crime novels and a non-fiction book about private investigators. She has a master's degree in political science and she has worked as a journalist and editor at several well-known Finnish magazines.

Susi is known for her ability to incorporate current themes into her prose. Her debut novel was nominated for the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and In the Rear Window is the Winner of the Clue of the Year 2016, a recognition of the best crime fiction or detective novel of the year. The readers and critics have been charmed by her Tuulia Raja cozy crime series which combines witty language with complex relationships and intriguing murder mysteries, evoking similarities with the 1980s TV series Moonlighting.

While doing research for her novel, Susi has also become a trained private investigator herself!