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)

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!

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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

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