Amazing week for the Finnish #1 Bestselling Crime Author – Leena Lehtolainen!

THE LYNX FACTOR now #1 title in Finland and two new deals for her in Germany!

Leena Lehtolainen is Finland’s bestselling female crime writer, known for her Maria Kallio and Bodyguard series that are both successful in Finland and internationally.

Her novels have been translated into 30 languages and have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

We are really happy to announce that Leena Lehtolainen’s German publisher Rowohlt has now acquired both THE LYNX FACTOR, the 5th title in the Bodyguard series, and the upcoming 16th title in her Maria Kallio series

German praise for THE LYNX FACTOR:

In her new case, we travel with bodyguard Hilja to the far reaches of Lapland, to a place that looks harmless but turns out to be more dangerous than expected. What is so special about this great text is not only the main character Hilja, for whom this journey will be more than a simple job, but also the spectacular scenery that awaits us in Lapland.  We are incredibly excited about this text and are thrilled to be able to publish it in Germany.
– Lea Daume, Editor, Rowohlt, Germany

That is not all for THE LYNX FACTOR! Today, the official Finnish bestseller list announced that it was also the #1 Fiction title in Finland in August!

Read more about both of the series below and feel free to ask for English materials!

by Maria Kallio

The Bodyguard Series stars a New York-trained bodyguard Hilja Ilveskero who is fiercely self-sufficient, highly alert to her surroundings, and haunted by horrific violence in her past.

The series has 7 international publishers, but the rights are still available in Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Netherlands etc.

Download the reading materials for Bodyguard series here.

BOOK I: THE BODYGUARD: In Russia, when bodyguard Hilja Ilveskero’s client is killed, Hilja becomes a suspect. She sets out to prove her innocence, but soon realizes that someone is after her.

BOOK II: THE LION OF JUSTICE: Hilja visits her lover, David Stahl in Italy where he is hiding from a Belorussian mobster. After he suddenly disappears, Hilja returns to Finland to help out a former client.

BOOK III: THE DEVIL’S CUBS: At the wedding of Hilja’s client, uninvited guests show up. A mystery soon begins to unravel and hidden truths are revealed: Hilja comes face-to-face with horrific events from her childhood.

BOOK IV: THE EYE OF THE TIGER: When the 92-year-old textile industry magnate Lovisa Johnson, who lives in a mansion that’s rumored to be haunted, offers Hilja a job as her bodyguard, she does not hesitate. Johnson is childless, but her grandnephews and -nieces are eager for their cut of the inheritance.BOOK IV:

BOOK V: THE LYNX FACTOR: Hilja Ilveskero is hired for a secret nature holiday center for the super-rich in Eastern Lapland called Ilvesvaara. The owner of the place fears the worst security threat is coming from the inside. When millionaire Aku mysteriously disappears, everyone in the resort comes under suspicion, including Hilja. Why doesn’t Aku’s wife want to report the disappearance to the police? Why did so many people in Ilvesvaara know Aku?


The Maria Kallio mysteries follow the career of a tough, down-to-earth and emotionally intelligent police officer who starts working in the Helsinki violent crimes unit. Every book centers around a murder, but there are also elements of social issues, and through the series Maria’s personal development is present, as we follow her struggle to balance police work and motherhood.

There are 11 Maria Kallio titles in English, and in the US, only Jo Nesbø has more translated crime titles than Lehtolainen.

The rights are currently available in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, Netherlands etc.

Maria Kallio just had a fresh launch in a Finnish TV series premiering in August 2021.

Download the reading materials for Maria Kallio series here.


#1 MY FIRST MURDER (Ensimmäinen murhani, Tammi 1993, 251 pp.

When a member of a student choir is found dead, young police sergeant Maria Kallio is given the opportunity to prove herself.

#2 HER ENEMY (Harmin paikka, Tammi 1994, 244 pp.)

Maria Kallio has left the Helsinki police force to work for a law office. When a new acquaintance is found strangled in her home, Maria is pulled back into the world of criminal investigation.

#3 COPPER HEART (Kuparisydän, Tammi 1995, 248 pp.)

Maria has returned to her old home town to serve as the summer replacement for the local sheriff. But her peace is disturbed, first by her old flame, and then by the discovery of a body.

#4 SNOW WOMAN (Luminainen, Tammi 1996, 352 pp.)

Elina Rosberg, the director of a women’s therapy center disappears. Clues point to murder, and the list of suspects includes participants of the current therapy group.

#5 DEATH SPIRAL (Kuolemanspiraali, Tammi 1997, 359 pp.)

A 16-year-old skating sensation is found slain with her own skates.

#6 FATAL HEADWIND (Tuulen puolella, Tammi 1998, 348 pp.)
Maria Kallio spends a weekend on the island of Rödskär, where one of her former boyfriends fell to his death. Soon another man loses his life.

#7 BEFORE I GO (Ennen lähtöä, Tammi 2000, 375 pp.)

An openly homosexual Green Party politician is savagely beaten: was this a personal grudge, a random act of violence or a hate crime?

#8 BELOW THE SURFACE (Veren vimma, Tammi, 2003, 314 pp.)

When a woman’s body turns up in a lake—with a bullet to the back of her head—Violent Crime Unit commander Maria Kallio, freshly back from maternity leave, is fast to get on the case.

#9 THE NIGHTINGALE MURDER (Rivo Satakieli, Tammi, 2005, 346 pp.)

When well-known prostitute Lulu Nightingale is murdered on live television, Maria dives into the convolutions of sex for hire and politics.

#10 DERAILED (Väärän jäljillä, Tammi, 2008, 378 pp.)

Maria Kallio is called back to investigate the murder of a sports official. The case appears to connect to recent threats against a journalist and a track-and-field doping scandal. A new house and an opportunity to play bass in a rock band with some other cops add some light to Maria’s life.

#11 WHERE HAVE ALL THE YOUNG GIRLS GONE (Minne tytöt kadonneet, Tammi, 2010, 342 pp.)

After returning from Afghanistan with a heavy heart, Maria Kallio starts investigating the mystery of several missing immigrant girls, and one of them turns up dead.

#12 THE IRON TRIANGLE (Rautakolmio, Tammi 2013, 352 pp.)

Two bodies turn up wrapped in plastic out in the archipelago: the man was shot and the woman drowned.

#13 A STROKE OF SADNESS (Surunpotku, Tammi 2015, 432 pp.)

The dead body of a diamond dealer is found at a church. The murderer appears to also have stolen a set of diamonds. The hunt leads the police into an international web of crime.

#14 THE END OF INNOCENCE (Viattomuuden loppu, Tammi, August 2017, 457 pp.)

Maria begins work in a new unit investigating crimes commited by and affecting minors and youths. When the body of a recently-released serial sex crimes offender is found in an abandoned traffic park in Espoo, Maria has a homicide investigation on her hands.

#15 RIPPLE EFFECT (Jälkikaiku, Tammi, August 2020, 450 pp.)

Maria and her team are assigned to investigate a rape of a young woman when things start to heat up. The accused rapist is a young man with an immigrant background, which causes a lot of racism and heated discussions in the papers and media.

Maria and her team are working to solve a new case, but online trolls are targeting them and doing everything to distract them. But when Maria is almost killed by an earless driver, it makes her wonder if all the harassment is related to the case, or could it be something more personal?

Rights sold for the Bodyguard series:

FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)

ARMENIA: Guitank Publishing
CZECH REPUBLIC: ARGO spol. s r. o.
GERMANY: Rowohlt
RUSSIA: Azbooka-Atticus
TURKEY: Nemesis Yayıncılık A.Ş.
UNITED STATES: Amazon Publishing


Rights sold for Maria Kallio series:

Original publisher: FINLAND: Tammi

ESTONIA: Pegasus
FRANCE: Gaia (Books 1-5)
GERMANY: Rowohlt
WORLD ENGLISH: Amazon Crossing


Reading materials:
Book 1-11 English editions
Books 1-14 German editions
Book 15 English sample, Finnish edition

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