My First Murder (The Maria Kallio Series) Paperback – 11 Dec 2012
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
On the procedural side, would it not have been a conflict of interest the protagonist knowing the group of people involved in the murder she was investigating? There is a distinct lack of evidence contamination by no latex gloves being worn etc. Or is it different in Finland? I noticed the book was written in the early 1990's so perhaps things have changed.
I'm also not a big fan of first person narration either. Much appeared to be made about the protagonist's life, hair, clothes and make-up, which seemed to pad the book out rather than focus on the investigation.
I found myself finishing this book only because I didn't want to appear to have wasted my time. I doubt though that I will read any more in this series.
Obviously the Finns loved it, and perhaps it is better read in the original Finnish, but the translation left me wondering what it was that made it so compelling for them.
I feel authors really need to think about who they get to translate their books, if they want to attract UK readers. People may think this pedantic, but unfortunately it really puts me off reading a lot of books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought this book might get going but it was awful - I dreaded going to bed to read so gave up half way through - definitely not recommended.Published 1 month ago by Lizzie Jane
This was quite a good well written interesting story but it was a bit flat at times. I got mixed up with the names of the characters at times and the plot could have been better.Published 2 months ago by A. D. Myerthall
An enthralling murder mystery novel of the intertwining lives of an abundance of intriguing characters with an enthralling plot captivating the reader right up to the unexpected... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dub Wise Dan
This series was suggested via my kindle, and as it is a series I thought rather than reading the one recommended I would start with the first however did not like this at all, I... Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. E. barker