Saturday, July 26, 2014

My First Murder

Title: My First Murder aka Ensimmäinen murhani

Author: Leena Lehtolainen [Website]; Translated by Owen F. Witesman [Website]

Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Series: Maria Kallio Thriller, Bk 1

ISBN: 9781612184371

Length: 242 pages

Obtained: Library ILL copy

Why this book?:

I was updating a bookmark featuring Scandinavian Crime Authors, checking for who might need to be added.  I found Leena Lehtolainen (from Finland) but the library didn't own any of her books.  So I decided to read this one first before asking the library to buy the more recently translated copies and adding her to the bookmark.


I'm late writing this up, so I don't remember everything well.  But, I found this to be an interesting case.  I mostly liked Maria.  I did guess who the murderer might be and was incredibly annoyed with Maria for not having some sort of gut feeling about this.  Perhaps that is more true-to-life.  But Maria seemed pretty lonely and desperate for connections to other people, and I believe that contributed to her obtuseness when it came to the murder she was trying to solve.  On the other hand her tracking down all leads seemed pretty decent and I was pleased with the way she stuck with the case even when she was receiving pressure to wrap it up quickly.

I went into reading this book expecting much gloom, doom, and depression.  That has always been my impression of what one expects to find in a Scandinavian book (or at least the crime-types).  And I guess I could see that.  Maria is pretty mopey between her lack of a clear and determined future and her lack of friends.  And the alcoholism in various figures throughout the book was evident.  But it still wasn't quite what I expected.  Perhaps I had built this up more in my mind.

We will see, as I intend to not only continue reading books in this series (I have the second and third books - Her Enemy and Copper Heart - checked out and waiting) and by this author, but also expanding to the works by some other authors listed on the bookmark.  Perhaps I should participate in a Scandinavian author reading challenge... anyone know of any?

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