Leena Lehtolainen


When you’ve been reading a detective series for a long time and a new book is published, it really is not an option not to read it. 


When I received the latest Maria Kallio novel from Liisa last fall, it was clear to me which book I was taking on the train to Frankfurt. Rautakolmio is the twelfth book in the Maria Kallio series and I first began reading them in 1995 when her third novel Copper Heart (Kuparisydän) was published. So, I really hate to admit this, but this series has been part of my life for the past nineteen years. After so long, it almost feels like a duty – albeit a pleasant one – to keep on reading, to find out what your heroine is going to do next. 


It just occurred to me that many people might know more about what the heroine of their favourite series thinks and does than they know about their own friends and family members, as one reads about them trying to juggle family and career, sees what is happening in her relationships and what secret thoughts she has (which she in turn does not share with her friends and family) and so her life may seem more familiar than that of those in one’s real life. 


After all this time, it wouldn’t feel right to stop reading the series and besides, the plots are interesting, there are always new characters and she’s honed her craft. You know exactly what you’re getting into when you curl up on the sofa and open to the first page. It’s a comfortable anticipation. In Maria Kallio’s case, the heroine ages along with the author and along with me. 


Funnily, such books also tend to get put on top of the (already teetering) book pile, as though by having been a part of your life for so long, the author has achieved a VIP status allowing his or her books to pass up the line of newer arrivals. Kind of like the frequent flyer status from airlines… 


Leena Lehtolainen has a new trilogy with an exciting female character, Hilja Ilveskero, a bodyguard who lives in Finland but has been trained in the U.S. 


Just went to my bookshelf and counted that I have eighteen books by this author: twelve Maria Kallio novels, the bodyguard trilogy and three other novels (Kun luulit unohtaneesi, Luonas en ollutkaan and Viimeinen kesäyö) 


For more information on her books in English:




in German:



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