My First Murder: A Maria Kallio Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen, trans. from the Finnish by Owen F. Witesman. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-61218-437-1
First published in 1993, this solid first in a mystery series from Lehtolainen, billed as “Finland’s bestselling female crime author,” introduces 23-year-old Sgt. Maria Kallio, of Helsinki’s Violent Crime Unit. Kallio’s initial low-level cases and paper-pushing lead her to begin law school, but boredom with her studies prompts her to return to the force for a six-month stint as a substitute officer. Her provisional status and sexist male colleagues complicate her first homicide inquiry, into the death of singer Tommi Peltonen, the leader of a quartet, who appears to have drowned in the sea off his parents’ summer house, though a blow to the head could have been a contributing factor. Peltonen was organizing a summer musical event for a double quartet, whose surviving members become the obvious suspects. The author does a good job integrating her dogged detective’s inner life with the murder inquiry. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 12/01/2012
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