cover image Palm Beach Finland

Palm Beach Finland

Antti Tuomainen, trans. from the Finnish by David Hackston. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-912374-31-1

In this inspired meld of crime and dark comedy from Tuomainen (The Man Who Died), Jorma Leivo hires two bumbling thugs, Kari “Chico” Korhonen and his friend Robin, a cook at a restaurant called Beverly Hills Dining (formerly the Hungry Herring), to vandalize the home of Olivia Koski. The scheme is part of Jorma’s plan to scare Olivia into selling him her property, which is situated at the end of a peninsula and essential to Jorma’s ambitions to rebrand his adjacent tourist resort as Palm Beach Finland. Unfortunately, Chico and Robin encounter someone else in Olivia’s home, and, even more unfortunately, unintentionally break his neck. The odd death attracts the attention of the Vantaa office of the National Bureau of Investigation, and Jan Nyman is assigned to pose as a math teacher vacationing at Palm Beach Finland and look into the killing, which is mistakenly believed to have been a professional hit. Colorful characters and awkward situations, as when Nyman becomes a person of interest to the locals, enhance the zany plot. Tim Dorsey fans will have fun. Agent: Federico Ambrosini, Salomonsson Agency (Sweden). (Apr.)