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My First Murder by Leena Lehtolainen
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My First Murder (original 1993; edition 2012)

by Leena Lehtolainen, Owen Witesman (Translator)

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1531078,096 (3.13)10
Member:cathyskye
Title:My First Murder
Authors:Leena Lehtolainen
Other authors:Owen Witesman (Translator)
Info:AmazonCrossing (2012), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*1/2
Tags:Mystery

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My First Murder by Leena Lehtolainen (1993)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This book is okay. Predictably, it's a police procedural novel with the lead detective trying to solve a murder. The main character is a young police woman in her early twenties and it's her disposition that will keep you interested (or not) as the book is written in the first person. I originally gave it four stars but have downgraded it to three as it became more confusing the further on I read. I think this might have been down to losing track of who was who when it came to the suspects. They were all a bit similar. However, I live in Helsinki and loved reading the descriptions of the places I know. I also enjoyed the translation and this comes from someone who's read a lot of badly translated Finnish literature. A must if you like feisty female cops and nordic adventures! ( )
  Sarah_King | Mar 29, 2015 |
This Finnish detective story has loads of local colour and a likable heroine. I'll definitely check out the rest of the series. ( )
  jerhogan | Jun 10, 2014 |
My very first thought for this review is that if you are the kind of person who is able to easily participate in gossip and life-chatter, you will enjoy this book. Otherwise, it's not anything you should think of picking up. There was a lot of reflection on the main character's past that had nothing at all to do with what was happening with the murder case and there were so many characters that there actually has to be a character chart at the back of the book. I applaud someone wanting to take a large group of people and make them suspects in a murder mystery, but there's no mystery if you can't figure out what is going on. I think the only thing I got out of this book was that I knew what the murder weapon was and how it was discovered. I read to the end and I know who is guilty, but I'm still not very sure how this all came to be, because of all of the extra reminiscing and irrelevant jumble that were the beefy portions of the book. If all of the unnecessary chatter was edited from the story, I would have to say this would be a very short book indeed, but might be a good mystery. ( )
  mirrani | Mar 9, 2014 |
Rating: 3* of five

The Publisher Says: Maria Kallio has just been assigned her first murder investigation. To prove to herself and her squad that she has what it takes to be a detective, she’ll have to solve the death of Tommi Peltonen. Found floating facedown at the water’s edge of his Helsinki villa, Tommi had invited his choir group to spend a weekend at his retreat. But beneath the choir’s seemingly tight-knit bonds seethed bitter passion and jealousy. As Maria sets out to determine the difference between friends and foes, she uncovers the victim’s unsavory past—and motives for all seven suspects. Now it’s up to her to untangle a complex set of clues before the killer strikes again.

The first book in Leena Lehtolainen’s bestselling Finnish crime series starring Detective Maria Kallio, My First Murder offers hard-boiled realism from a female perspective.

My Review: I gave in and read a Scandicrime book. It's a serviceable police procedural told in first person by thirtyish Maria Kallio, law student and relentlessly single female interloper in the world of career police detectives. She appears as a replacement for a broken-down cop who injured himself in the line of duty, and she rapidly worked her way up the chain of command because 1) she's a girl and b) she's tough as nails.

Now, as to the mystery part, I liked it fine but didn't love it. Some interesting characters were adequately developed. What made my eyebrows rise was the reportedness of the atmosphere in which Maria works. She tells us a wee bit, basically a log-line, about the other crimes she and her department are pursuing; not enough to make us care, more than enough to make us curious, and just enough to bring the sense of urgency about the main case of this book to a halt. Can't put this down to first-book-itis, either, since this author had her first book published when she was twelve!

So what was I left with? A sea of Finnish names, all of which look wrong to me, and locations I know nothing whatsoever about, and a sense of being slightly seasick as Tommi and Tomppa and Tiina and Tiiu and Riku and Antti all blended into a mass of UUUUUIIIIUUYYPPPPAAAA. Finnish, when spoken, raises my hackles with its sheer alienness. When written, it causes me distress because it's got nowhere for me to grab hold of anything to give it meaning to me. Plus everything seems to wear umlauts, those freaky-deaky fangmarks that make all previously comprehensible sounds turn into strangled moans.

It's free to borrow on your Kindle, and that's what I'd recommend you do. At $2.99, it's not a break-the-bank download, but see if you can hang with the sheer Finnishness before committing actual funds to it.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ( )
  richardderus | Dec 1, 2013 |
I found this far too long. Too much unnecessary chatter that didn't add anything meaningful to the story. ( )
  Rayaowen | Nov 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Maria Kallio has just been assigned her first murder investigation. To prove to herself and her squad that she has what it takes to be a detective, she'll have to solve the death of Tommi Peltonen. Found floating facedown at the water's edge of his Helsinki villa, Tommi had invited his choir group to spend a weekend at his retreat. But beneath the choir's seemingly tight-knit bonds seethed bitter passion and jealousy. As Maria sets out to determine the difference between friends and foes, she uncovers the victim's unsavory past - and motives for all seven suspects. Now it's up to her to untangle a complex set of clues before the killer strikes again.… (more)

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