My First Murder


Leena Lehtolainen is Finland’s bestselling female crime author, so it says on her Amazon author’s page. I find that statement easy to believe after reading her firs of many books, all of which have won awards.

In this story, Maria Kallio is taking a break from law school by taking a temporary assignment with the Helsinki police. Being the only officer available, she takes on her first murder case, one involving several people she has known for several years. She struggles to prove herself to all the chauvinist men in the department as she struggles to prove herself to herself.

It is a well written story of the life of a human with failings who has to deal with the failings of others to find the solution to the failing called murder.

A good read.

Mike Lawrence

March Violets


The British author has published 11 Bernie Gunther books, this one in 1989 and the most recent in 2016. March Violets was his first novel.

Herr Gunther is a private detective working Berlin in 1936 as the Games of the XI Olympiad are about to begin. A beyond-wealthy man hires him to find a necklace. As he exposes the complex case, he takes on a new client, Hermann Goering, who wants information related to the case, and later, Reinhard Heydrich, who does not offer him money but does allow him to live.

If you enjoy a tough talking PI in the mold of Marlowe and a richly described setting, you will enjoy Philip Kerr and Bernie Gunther.

Mike Lawrence