My First Murder
by Leena Lehtolainen
The best-selling Detective Maria Kallio series begins in English!
Coming Dec 11. Available for preorder now, including as an audiobook.
For Inspector Maria Kallio, violent crime investigation is a calling. She’s wanted to be a police officer since she was a teenager. For this mixture of curves, muscles, and wit, playing with the boys is the norm. When a student choir’s animated practice sessions at a Helsinki villa are cut short by the death of a student, the case becomes a chance for Kallio to show what she can do. Behind the choir’s jovial facade lie bitter passions, and ferreting them out is hardly helped by the discovery that some of Maria’s old friends belong to the group.
I’m currently finishing up a translation of Seppo Jokinen’s award-winning Hukan enkelit (working title Wolves and Angels) for Ice Cold Crime. More details will be coming soon as ICC ramps up marketing, but suffice it to say that this is one of the best old-school detective novels I’ve seen come out of Finland. I cared about the characters from the very beginning, and I wasn’t sure “whodunnit” until the end. In other words, take a bow, Mr. Jokinen!
Author Tuomas Lius
by Tuomas Lius
From the Otava Rights Guide:
A lovable rural rogue and a female detective who’s coming to terms with her past are searching for a
priceless historical treasure
Private investigator Marko Pippurinen from the rural village of Tohmajärvi has revived his detective agency with the help of his young friend, Pyry Lehikoinen. Then Julia Noussair, the other half of the duo familiar from Lius’ previous books, Haka and Outside the Law, appears out of nowhere with an intriguing offer. Marko eagerly seizes this opportunity, but by doing so he sets off a game that forces him
to put more at stake than ever before. Everything culminates in a high-speed treasure hunt through the Nordic wilderness.
An English sample is available.
The Buyout, by Karo Hämäläinen
The Buyout, by Karo Hämäläinen
After reading this book, I felt like immediately changing my investment strategy (perhaps switching to cash in a mattress?), and my ability to stomach the nonsensical explanations of self-serving politicians about why the world is suffering from this financial crisis dropped through the floor. Karo Hämäläinen reminds us what really got us here: the greed and machinations of financial wizards who did their best to hide the risks and consequences of their actions in order to keep making money. The Buyout is that rarest of things in the thriller genre: a dose of reality. Murder mysteries are fundamentally at a remove from almost everyone’s normal lives, but The Buyout is about all of our lives. Anyone who has ever seen the value of their stock portfolio jump like a kid on a trampoline will read this new financial thriller with white knuckles.
From the Elina Ahlbäck Agency:
Original title: Erottaja | Published: 2011 | Publisher: WSOY
Class: Fiction | Pages: 462 | Format: 220 x 155 mm | Binding: Hardcover
In the world of big money, there are two emotional states. The markets are dominated either by fear or greed.
The international financial crisis is mangling capital markets, fortunes are being crushed in seconds and others are being made just as quickly. A Finnish asset management company founded by three friends descends into the eye of the storm, setting off a fierce competition: who will buy the company for themselves – and with whom?
The Buyout is a financial thriller. Instead of the world politics and violence characteristic of action thrillers, the suspense arises from the intrigues of people working in the capital markets. Karo Hämäläinen has combined the excitement of an action thriller with page-turning narration in a social novel. The result is a hybrid – a novel of unusually depth and narrative control that is also highly readable and entertaining.
As an investment expert, Hämäläinen has his facts straight and reveals a whole range of pitfalls present in the world of high finance over the course of the novel. The repurchase of the Finnish asset management company that functions as the framework for the action of the novel is based on actual events, the downfall of the Icelandic Glitnir Bank. Hämäläinen spent the blackest day of the financial crisis of 2008 in the offices of Glitnir, observing the actions and emotions of the toughest Finnish capital market professionals. He has also interviewed the most important Finnish bankers who were involved in the sale of Glitnir, receiving valuable behind-the-scenes information.
English sample available
“The managing editor of Arvopaperi, author Karo Hämäläinen, has written a book that verges on patricide.” – Henrik Muukkonen, Talouselämä (Finland’s leading business weekly)
“If you’re interested in the movements of big money and the fates of the people who operate on the dark side of the investment funds, you could hardly spend an evening better. – Hämäläinen’s latest is a chillingly realistic financial thriller. The story reads like reality, which the author can take as a compliment. – The Buyout could be considered one of the landmarks of the continuing economic crisis.” – Matti Posio, Aamulehti (Finland’s second largest daily newspaper)
“This hefty work keeps a hold on you until the very end. Instead of high-speed chases and firefights, the suspense of this thriller is created by investment risk, white-collar crime, corporate takeover negotiations, and power games. – What makes this carefully constructed, believable novel extraordinary is the analysis that parallels the plot. – The novel’s account of what happens behind the scenes in the banking and financial sectors will speak to every bank account holder.” – Joni Pyysalo, Suomen Kuvalehti (Finland’s leading current events weekly)
“The atmosphere is like on the savannah, where scavengers lie in wait for their prey and each other – This is the hidden appeal of Hämäläinen’s book. Negative humanity arouses the reader’s interest. The reader wants to know what will happen to these people. This is a book you have to read to the end. If you have to read a thriller to the end, then its author has succeeded in his work. Hämäläinen has.” – Juhana Rossi, Helsingin Sanomat (Finland’s largest daily newspaper)
by Tapani Bagge
From the Elina Ahlbäck Agency:
The year is 1940. Detective Sergeant Mujunen, familiar to readers of White Heat, is swept up in a new, more poignant chain of events. Mujunen, in mourning for the death of his wife, meets the Lithuanian dancer Ilse Anders at the cemetery, and his heart skips a beat. But his troubles are far from over.
A Finnish commuter plane vanishes after taking off from Tallinn, a bank is robbed in Kerava, and riots flare in Helsinki, the protesters demanding peace and brotherhood between Finland and the Soviet Union. Also involved is a big time gangster, Finnish-American Bill Kovanen, arrived too late to take part in the Winter War. Crime journalist Ossi Koho and photographer Sanna Rytkönen suspect a conspiracy: what if everything is connected with the accident where actress Sirkka Sari fell into the chimney of the Aulanko Hotel? The last act is played out on the windy shore of the Ice Sea, where Mujunen’s faith in mankind is put to the test.
My own thoughts: My favorite part is the milieu, the feel of 1940′s Finland. There are strong shades of our own US noir gumshoes, with just a hint of levity mixed into the narrative to avoid being overly earnest. The pace of the action is blistering. This is a book any mystery reader would love.
Tapani Bagge — The Blue Phantom — PDF Sample
By Leena Lehtolainen.
A complete translation is of this novel is now available. Please contact me or the Elina Ahlbäck Agency for more information if you are an interested publisher.
From the Elina Ahlbäck Agency:
The new installment of the Maria Kallio series is a chronicle of xenophobia and hate. Maria Kallio is investigating the disappearance of three Muslim girls – and the killing of another. Maria Kallio, working on an EU project training Afghani police, travels to the opening ceremonies for the country’s new police academy, with disastrous consequences. Upon returning home to Finland, Maria begins work in the Espoo Special Crimes Unit and is assigned to investigate the disappearances of three immigrant girls. The girls frequented the same girls’ club as Maria’s daughter Iida. Then the body of a fourth Muslim girl is found in the snow, strangled with her own headscarf. Are the cases related? Is a serial killer on the move? Or did the girls’ families have something to do with the disappearances?
Leena Lehtolainen’s Where Have All the Young Girls Gone is an engrossing exploration of the collision between tradition and the new multicultural Europe. It is a journey into a world where daily life is defined by ancient belief and deeply ingrained, habitual perception. Who is in the right when there are two truths?
Leena Lehtolainen — Where Have All the Young Girls Gone — Sample Translation (PDF)
Also by this author:
The Killing One
I recently finished a sample translation for the Elina Ahlbäck Agency of Leena Lehtolainen‘s novel Tappava säde, the current working title of which is The Killing One.
Leena Lehtolainen is the bestselling female crime author in Finland. Her new titles head straight to #1 on the Finnish bestseller lists. In addition to her career as an author, she has also worked as a literary researcher, columnist, and critic. Lehtolainen published her first novel at the age of 12; this work of juvenile fiction Ja äkkiä onkin toukokuu (”And Suddenly It’s May”) appeared in 1976. Five years later her novel Kitara on rakkauteni (”My Guitar is My One True Love”), about a teenage band, was published.
The 1993 work Ensimmäinen murhani (”My First Murder”) kicked off Lehtolainen’s series of crime novels, which through its distinctly down-to-earth heroine, Maria Kallio, has brought an enthusiastically received female perspective to the male-dominated detective genre.
The forthcoming Maria Kallio novel, Minne tytöt kadonneet (”Where Have All the Young Girls Gone”), is already the eleventh in this bestselling crime series. Recently Lehtolainen started a new thrilling trilogy with another convincing female lead, Hilja Ilveskero. The first novel of this trilogy, Henkivartija (“The Bodyguard”), came out in 2009. Lehtolainen has also published outside the crime genre, most recently the work Luonas en ollutkaan (”I Wasn’t With You After All”, 2007). Translations of Leena Lehtolainen’s works have already been published in 15 languages.
Read more about Lehtolainen’s work and a sample of The Killing One here.
Elina Ahlbäck Agency 2010 Rights Guide
Also by Leena Lehtolainen:
Where Have All the Young Girls Gone
Like Publishing, 2009.
By Tuomas Lius.
From the publisher:
A weapon of mass destruction from the Second World War.
A lake in Northern Karelia.
A distinguished female undercover cop and a redneck heartthrob.
These are the ingredients of Haka, a startling first effort which is shooting to the top of the thriller charts. It is a supreme mix of eccentric characters and multiple sources of suspense that culminates in a race to find an abandoned German recognisance device at the bottom of a lake in Northern Karelia.
Tuomas Lius (born 1976) moves through the story with a master’s touch, succeeding in building an unusually smooth and believable thriller with a style of its own, a book that will entertain readers across generations.
“Haka” is Japanese for “bury”, and is, in this book, the name of a weapon developed by the Japanese.
My take: I particularly like the intensity of the initial setup between the protagonist and the terrorist Mona Knaup. The beginning is a really grabber. The proof is in the pudding with this one, folks. Check out the sample.
Haka PDF Sample