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My First Murder (Maria Kallio Thrillers) [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Leena Lehtolainen , Amy Rubinate
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 35.37
Price: 33.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Dec 2012 Maria Kallio Thrillers
Twenty-three-year-old law student Maria Kallio is recruited for a temporary position at the Helsinki police department. Sweet-faced but tough and hot-tempered, Maria faces pushback from her new squad – so when a young playboy is murdered at his family’s summer villa, the new detective is out to prove herself.

Found floating facedown at the water’s edge after a night of partying, Tommi Pelatonen appears to have been murdered by one of his closest friends – but why? As Maria discovers, bitter passion and jealousy seethe under the placid surface of the group’s privileged, carefree lifestyle. As Maria uncovers the victim’s unsavory secrets, motives for all seven suspects come to light. Now it’s up to her to untangle the clues before the killer strikes again.

The first book in Leena Lehtolainen’s international bestselling Nordic crime series starring Detective Maria Kallio, My First Murder serves up murder with a slice of life in the Finnish upper crust.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (11 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469210282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469210285
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 15.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Description

About the Author

Leena Lehtolainen is Finland’s bestselling female crime author, first reaching international acclaim for her hit detective series starring Maria Kallio. In the mere twenty years since she began the series with My First Murder (1993), Lehtolainen has become a classic of Nordic crime literature – Lehtolainen has been called “Finland’s answer to Henning Mankel” (Brigitte), while her Maria Kallio series has been ascribed “cult status” (Bunte).

Lehtolainen twice won the annual prize for best Finnish crime novel, and has also been nominated for the prestigious Glass Key award for the best Nordic crime novel. Readers around the world continue to discover Lehtolainen’s detective novels – to date, over 2 million copies of her titles have been sold in numerous languages including German, French, Italian, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Hebrew, and Chinese, and the Kallio series has been adapted for television. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should She Continue 6 April 2013
This book was recommended by a friend. A very quick read and only $2.99 as an e-reader. While looking up the author, I found this first translation from the Finnish mystery is over twenty years old! That explains a great deal.

The novel is categorized as a mystery, and it really is not. The plot line is easy to guess. A young woman, Maria Kallio, short, red headed with impossible hair, but by all accounts, very attractive is the lead detective. Now, this is surprising. The woman is a temporary detective, trying to figure out if the law or police work is her calling. This is her first murder, and it has come to her because of two reasons. 1. Her boss is an alcoholic and cannot be counted upon for much. 2. Her immediate superior is ready to start vacation. By all accounts this would not fly in any other police station, but, here we are.

A group of choir singers meet to practice at the summer house of the family of one of them, Tommi. As the book opens, Tommi is found dead. Maria tells the story in her own way, she interviews the singers, some of whom she knew when they were students together. Now, this should disqualify her from the get go, but, no, off she goes. Maria spends the rest of the book trying to investigate them. She is also very interested in the victim and his colleagues and family. Each chapter is headed with a line from the poem quoted in the preface, and, as we come to find out, they are relevant to the murder case. This part of the novel was very clever, but easily missed.

Maria is not a good detective from the start. First, she allows all of the singers to congregate together before she interviews them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First murder, first book, first try 5 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
All things Scandanavian seem to be a must for book publishers. Unfortunately, all things Scandanavian are not necessarily up to the standards of several authors we now could name. However, bearing in mind that this book was published in 1993 and a debut novel to introduce Maria Kallio, it is a worthwhile gamble to have the debut novel translated into English in the hope we'll follow her career.

Well, we might. Written for a different market, we Anglo-Saxons struggle with names that register a different mental image from those intended. In this book there are too many characters franklyt with very confusing identities. Too much choir stuff which means little to most of us, I suspect.

But, in the midst of this is Sergeant Maria Kallio. She's a gentle soul finding her way through the usual assortment of drunken officials, lazy peers and a host of friends, one or more of whom has probably provided Maria with her first murder victim.

Because of the time lapse, the book doesn't read too well. The translation is excellent if one is American. Otherwise, for we Europeans, the language grates all too often. Regrettably this adds to a sense of out-datedness with a more or less old-fashioned methodology in the hunt for the hiller?

I'm not sure. I certainly think the book does enough to deserve our attention towards book 2 in the hope that the publishers take on board the comments of reviewers. Probably they won't so I'll risk book 2 just in case. Now, if BBC4 has this in mind, there is a TV series created in Finland which has to be a shoe-in for their Saturday night 9pm slot. Now that would help the author's sales, I don't doubt. She does need a helping hand to bring to the attention of the UK buying public a rather charming detective for a change - one who hopefully doesn't descend into the lifestyle chaos some of her Scandanavian peers have already reached.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bare three, because I'm feeling kind 25 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read a lot of Scandinavian crime, and I'm always happy to encounter a new author. You have to bear in mind that this is not a new book - it was published in 1993 - and the author has a lot more experience since.

She is done no favours by a translator who adopts an Americanised idiom which I found jarred with the feeling of the text. It also means that the detective Kallio comes across as a miserable, self-absorbed and ultimately unsympathetic character. I don't speak Finnish so I can't be sure, but I'd be surprised if that tone were in the original.

The plot isn't particularly inventive, involving the death of a person who seems to have done his utmost to cause everyone to have a grudge against him, and while the pace is slow, I don't think that's unrealistic - the Martin Beck novels are relentlessly procedural but that only adds to the authenticity.

All in all, I found myself finishing it just because I'd invested a lot of time in reading it and didn't want to waste that. I'd got past caring how it ended; I just wanted it to end, and that's not what a reader should feel about a book.

I'd try another one in the hope that the translation would be more sympathetic and the writing would be tighter. Obviously Finns find the series compelling, so there must be something in it, but I don't think this translation can have captured it, whatever it is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable, gently-paced murder mystery 5 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My First Murder is the first book in Leena Lehtolainen's bestselling Finnish crime series featuring Detective Maria Kallio, and describes a student's murder.

The plot begins with Maria unexpectedly finding herself taking charge of a murder investigation because of her superior's alcoholism. The case involves the death of a student who was part of a student choir which was practising at a villa in Helsinki. As the detective digs a little, she discovers that behind the choir's jovial facade lie bitter passions, rivalries and secrets. Getting to the truth of the murder isn't helped by the fact that Maria knows both the victim and also a large number of the suspects. Maria also finds it a tough case because she is both young and a woman.

I found the Finnish names of both the people and places a little difficult to get used to at first, especially as a couple of the main characters have very similar names. You can also tell that the book was written some years ago (1993 in fact) because the technology is so dated - no mobile phones, Internet and so on.

I personally also found that there was too much description about the choir and the pieces of music they sing. In the middle portion of the book, these lengthy descriptions really slowed down the action.

I would describe the book's style as more relaxed than fast-paced. Neither is it a gritty crime thriller so much as a gentle murder mystery. I found Leena Lehtolainen's style of writing comparable to that of Swedish author Mari Jungstedt.

Overall, however, I did enjoy the book and look forward to reading the next instalment. Maria Kallio is a sufficiently engaging detective and I would like to read more about her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing new character in crime fiction
I read the Maria Kallio series in totally the wrong order - no matter, they all work as individuals. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mrs. Margaret A. Layton
2.0 out of 5 stars Even at 99p not good value for money.
Helsinki 1993. The body of Tommi Peltonen is found floating in the sea near his parents' summerhouse.Tommi was there with seven other members of a choir to practice for a concert. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Allan DB
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok
I did finish reading the book. The story was ok and the main character interesting. I found the American English translation a bit annoying. Too many " gottens" and "cops". Read more
Published 1 month ago by Justine Carroll
4.0 out of 5 stars Clunky translation
I wasn't sure what to expect given the rather lukewarm reviews. I was surprised, firstly, that it was written in the first person although I should have guessed from the title... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elaine Tomasso
3.0 out of 5 stars Ooh it's heavy
I have stuck with it as I want to see "who dun it"!! But it was heavy going. Problem with me was sorting out the
"main contenders" and their Finnish names... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joyce Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars my first murder - Fair
The story was ok, not overly exciting & I found the foreign names rather difficult, never knowing if they were male or female. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jacjoy
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Finnish!
An enjoyable story with very awkward names to all the characters only to find a full listing AT THE END! Arghhhh
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. A. R. Southwell
1.0 out of 5 stars My First Murder Leena Lehtolainen
Did not enjoy his book in face did not finish it, could not get my head round the characters, never got a grip of he book so not for me this author
Published 8 months ago by Mrs Paticia Ann Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars A little difficult to follow
As the names are so foreign to me I have found the book difficult to follow, the story (as far as I have read) seems to be very good but as I didn't know whether the names were for... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brenda Nolan
3.0 out of 5 stars A Finnish first
This is my first read of a novel by a Finnish author. It seems to follow the usual Scandinavian genre. Detective with personal issues. Bit gloomy and melancholic in places. Read more
Published 8 months ago by TonyT
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