The Maria Kallio Series

11 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 542 ratings

My First Murder Publisher's Summary

After a student choir’s practice session at a Helsinki villa turns deadly, Detective Maria Kallio finds herself in the middle of the action - and her first murder case. Someone in the group wanted playboy Tommi Peltonen dead, but that’s one song these suspects refuse to sing. Behind the choir’s jovial facade lies bitter passion, and the victim’s seemingly perfect life hid a host of sins that made him a target of almost everyone in the villa.

As a young female - and a redhead to boot - Maria knows that solving this case will help her overcome her perceived shortcoming in the eyes of her colleagues. But as the case takes startling twists and turns, and friends and foes become interchangeable, will she be able to piece together the clues before the killer strikes again?

©2012 Leena Lehtolainen (P)2012 Brilliance Audio
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  • Book 1

    • My First Murder

    • Maria Kallio, Book 1
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 160
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 135
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 134

    After a student choir’s practice session at a Helsinki villa turns deadly, Detective Maria Kallio finds herself in the middle of the action - and her first murder case. Someone in the group wanted playboy Tommi Peltonen dead, but that’s one song these suspects refuse to sing. Behind the choir’s jovial facade lies bitter passion, and the victim’s seemingly perfect life hid a host of sins that made him a target of almost everyone in the villa. As a young female - and a redhead to boot - Maria knows that solving this case will help her overcome her perceived shortcoming in the eyes of her colleagues.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • First Published 1993 So Expect Some Social Change

    • By Sires on 01-11-13

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 2

    • Her Enemy

    • Maria Kallio, 2
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman (translated)
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 88
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 75
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 74

    After solving her first murder and leaving the Helsinki Police Department behind, Maria Kallio thought that a move to the neighboring city of Espoo would signal a fresh start - a chance to not only put her new law degree to use but to nurture her budding romance with Antti Sarkela. But when she discovers the strangled body of a new acquaintance, old habits die hard for the redheaded sleuth - especially since the accused is not only the victim's fiancé but a member of Antti's family. Though she works as a legal counselor, Kallio soon finds herself unofficially investigating the murder, now labeled a sex crime.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • All novels in this series were released...

    • By Wayne on 12-06-16

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 3

    • Copper Heart

    • Maria Kallio, Book 3
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 59
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 45

    Former police sergeant Maria Kallio gladly left her tiny Finnish hometown of Arpikylä without looking back. But even though Maria despises the small town and the acrid smell from its now-closed copper mine, when Arpikylä's sheriff asks her to serve as deputy sheriff for the summer, she agrees. What should have been a quiet summer soon turns dramatic - and deadly. Meritta, an outspoken local artist, plunges to her death from the copper mine's tower, and Maria immediately suspects someone helped her fall.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great series!

    • By KMargi on 04-18-16

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 4

    • Snow Woman

    • Maria Kallio, Book 4
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 60
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 48
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 48

    When the well-known director of a women's retreat center goes missing, Espoo Police Detective Maria Kallio is called to investigate. As the missing woman's friends and family quickly become the pool of suspects, Maria must soften her tough interrogation style to uncover the information she needs to solve the crime. Meanwhile, a killer Maria put in prison escapes and sets out to take revenge.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Good police mystery with excellent narration!

    • By Wayne on 04-28-16

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 5

    • Death Spiral

    • Maria Kallio, Book 5
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 40
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 35
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 35

    Noora Nieminen was destined to become a world champion. But when the sixteen-year-old skating sensation is found slain with her own skates, her promising career is unexpectedly cut short. Detective Maria Kallio is seven months pregnant, but that isn't going to stop her from putting everything she has into solving the murder. With a promotion on the line and her arrogant adversary, Pertti Ström, vying for the new job, Maria is determined to make an arrest.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Great murder mystery!

    • By Wayne on 05-02-16

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 6

    • Fatal Headwind

    • Maria Kallio Mystery Series, Book 6
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 43
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 38
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 37

    After months of maternity leave, tough-talking Espoo police detective Maria Kallio is ready to return to work. But before assuming her new post as head of the Violent Crime Unit, she vacations with her husband and daughter on the island of Rödskär. There Kallio learns that, one year earlier, her ex-boyfriend Harri had mysteriously fallen to his death from the isle's steep and treacherous cliffs.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Excellent story with ourstanding narration

    • By Wayne on 12-05-16

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 7

    • Before I Go

    • Maria Kallio, Book 7
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 29
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 28

    When Petri Ilveskivi is murdered in the street on his way to a city-planning meeting, Maria Kallio, commander of Espoo's Violent Crime Unit, and her team are first on the scene. Almost immediately, her focus is on the band of skinheads who brutally attacked the Finnish commissioner and his husband three years earlier. Did they finally finish the hate crime they started? But the trail soon reveals a web of lies - secrets Petri was keeping from even those closest to him - and a long list of suspects.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Rock solid suspense thriller!

    • By Wayne on 04-26-17

    Regular price: $10.49

  • Book 8

    • Below the Surface

    • The Maria Kallio Series, Book 8
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 25
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 20
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 20

    When a woman's body turns up in a lake - a bullet to the back of her head - Violent Crime Unit commander Maria Kallio, freshly back from maternity leave, is fast to get on the case. The victim is ID'd as Annukka Hackman, wife of a prominent publisher and author of an upcoming unauthorized tell-all book on Sasha Smeds, Finland's celebrated racing rally driver. Almost as soon as the inquiry starts, it goes off the rails, as those connected to Annukka - and to Smeds - seem to have more secrets than they have alibis.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Another excellent Maria Kallio detective novel

    • By Wayne on 11-09-17

    Regular price: $17.49

  • Book 9

    • The Nightingale Murder

    • By: Owen F. Witesman - translator, Leena Lehtolainen
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 26
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 24
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 22

    A grievously mutilated young woman arrives at the hospital in Espoo, Finland - only to vanish without a trace. Though the victim refused to identify herself, Violent Crimes Unit Commander Maria Kallio suspects she's connected to the city's sex-worker underworld. The next day her suspicions grow when celebrity call girl Lulu Nightingale is murdered during a live television broadcast. The victim's clients included some of the top names in Finnish society, but the list of suspects is longer: her infatuated bodyguard, a suicidal TV producer, and a talk-show host with political aspirations.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Maria Kallio suspense mystery Book 9

    • By Wayne on 03-30-18

    Regular price: $17.49

  • Book 10

    • Derailed

    • The Maria Kallio Series
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 7

    After surviving a terrifying assault during her last investigation, Maria Kallio traded in her badge for a comfortable desk job. But when the head of social affairs for the Finnish Athletics Federation is murdered - the victim of an apparent poisoning - Maria is drawn back into a race against more than murder. A series of crimes has unfolded, and to Maria’s trained eyes, they look like the makings of a conspiracy. As Maria follows the track to a doping scandal, a money-laundering scheme, domestic abuse, and explosive death threats leveled against a sports reporter, she collects the pieces of a baffling puzzle.

    Regular price: $17.49

  • Book 11

    • Where Have All the Young Girls Gone

    • Maria Kallio, Book 11
    • By: Leena Lehtolainen, Owen F. Witesman - translator
    • Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
    • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    After completing a dangerous mission training police officers in war-torn Afghanistan, Detective Maria Kallio returns to Finland as the head of a new special crimes unit. But what awaits her in her home country is her most challenging and unsettling case yet. Three immigrant Muslim girls, all members of the same social club, have gone missing under mysterious circumstances. When the body of a fourth girl is found in the snow, strangled with her own headscarf, the investigation takes on a grim new urgency. 

    Regular price: $14.99