Copper Heart sold to Estonia and A Killer’s Girlfriend published in Finland!

We’re very glad to share more news regarding Leena Lehtolainen’s beloved crime novels.

A distinctively female take on the Nordic crime genre by Finland’s #1 bestselling female crime author with over 2 million copies sold worldwide and rights sold in 29 languages, her first Maria Kallio novel was published 25 years ago. Still our favorite lady cop keeps topping bestseller lists and charming readers. “Leena Lehtolainen is the flagship name for ’Finland-Crime’,” wrote Hellweger Anzeiger in Germany.

Lehtolainen’s newest book, A Killer’s Girlfriend, was published in early August to the delight of her devoted fans. It is a short story collection featuring the loved protagonists of her Maria Kallio and The Bodyguard books but expands also into mystery and ghost stories.

How does a librarian become a killer’s girlfriend? Is love stronger than death, and can a child have three fathers? The capturing stories take their characters in unexpected situations and don’t let the reader off the hook.

“Fans of Leena Lehtolainen will find many delightful encounters in these stories, but on the other hand this collection is a brilliant reminder of the fact that ‘the queen of detective novels’ handles many other literary genres in addition to crime,” wrote Amman lukuhetki blog of the collection.

While we’re eagerly waiting for more news from Hollywood, where a production company has optioned the Maria Kallio series to be developed into a TV series, new deals are being struck on the translation sales side. Pegasus in Estonia will continue publishing the Maria Kallio novels with the third book in the series, Copper Heart.

Copper Heart is a brilliant holiday read! It’s really hard to put it down. Copper Heart makes you look forward to the next Maria Kallio cases,“ said Tiiu Kraut, editor at Pegasus, Estonia.

Ask us for reading materials for Leena Lehtolainen’s books!

RIGHTS SOLD (Maria Kallio series):
Original publisher: FINLAND, Tammi
BRAZIL, Autentica
ESTONIA, Pegasus
GERMANY, Rowohlt
GREECE, Livani
JAPAN, Tokyo Sogensha
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
TAIWAN, Linking
WORLD ENGLISH, Amazon Crossing
TV RIGHTS, Hollywood production co. (TBA)

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