© Otava / Katja Lösönen

Outi Pakkanen


Outi Pakkanen (b. 1946) is known for her stylish detective novels depicting urban life and a Helsinki in flux. Many star graphic artist and home chef extraordinaire Anna Laine, who comes to the aid of the police and solves the crime. Pakkanen’s first crime novel, After the Murder, a Commercial Break, appeared in 1973. Pakkanen’s detective novels have also been published in German and Czech.


Press quotes

Pakkanen is well-versed in the warp and weave of detective novels. – Hämeen Kansa

In Pakkanen’s books, the murder is never the central issue. She considers the reasons that led up to it, people’s actions – whether intentional or unintentional – and their consequences and effects on their lives. – Itä-Savo

Whether by intention or instinct, she hits a bull’s-eye right in the centre of contemporary Finland. – Satakunnan Kansa

Enjoyably readable. – Ruumiin Kulttuuri Magazine, Published by the Finnish Whodunnit Society

Outi Pakkanen is definitely in a class of her own in Finland! – Iltalehti

Pakkanen is a master of the densely atmospheric urban novel. – Ilkka

Pakkanen is keenly perceptive and a humorous, compelling storyteller. – Karjalainen

Pakkanen knows how to weave a good thriller. – Hämeen Kansa

Her characterisation is good, the narrative is engaging and the events unfold naturally. – Ruumiin Kulttuuri Magazine, Published by the Finnish Whodunnit Society



Crime/suspense novels:

  • After the Murder, a Commercial Break (Murhan jälkeen mainoskatko), 1973
  • Monday is a Long Way Off (Maanantaihin on paljon matkaa), 1975
  • Chinese Dressing Gown (Kiinalainen aamutakki), 1982
  • Waiter, Please Wipe the Table (Tarjoilija, pyyhkikää taulu), 1986
  • Look Behind the Mask (Katso naamion taa), 1987
  • The Cat in the Moon (Kissa kuussa), 1990
  • Black Sun (Musta aurinko), 1991
  • From Love to Death (Rakkaudesta kuolemaan), 1994
  • Queen of the Block (Korttelin kuningatar), 1995
  • Death Joins the Party (Kuolema käy jatkoilla), 1997
  • Macbeth Is Dead (Macbeth on kuollut), 1999
  • Out of the Game (Pelistä pois), 2001
  • Overnight (Yön yli), 2002
  • The Red Chair in the Window (Punainen pallotuoli), 2004
  • At Any Price (Hinnalla millä hyvänsä), 2005
  • The Woman Who Cuts the Grass (Ruohonleikkaaja), 2006
  • Winterman (Talvimies), 2007
  • Night park (Yöpuisto), 2008
  • Memory Error (Muistivirhe), 2009
  • The Escort (Seuralainen), 2010
  • The Second Floor (Toinen kerros), 2012
  • The Lover (Rakastaja), 2013
  • Heat Wave (Helle), 2015
  • Mirror (Peili), 2016

Other published works:

  • Dear Emmi (Rakas Emmi), 1984
  • Aino Ackté, Prima Donna of Paris (Aino Ackté, Pariisin primadonna), 1988
  • From Reindeer to Parmesan: Anna Laine’s Cookbook (Porosta parmesaaniin: Anna Laineen keittokirja), 2003
  • Night of the Arts (Taiteiden yö), in the volume Women’s Crime: From Passion to Crime (Naisen rikos: intohimosta rikokseen), 2006
  • My Friend from the ’60s (All my loving: 60-luvun ystäväni), with Anja Salokannel, 2007



  • Golden Helsinki Medal awarded by the Helsinki City Board, 2003
  • Great Finnish Bookclub award, 2006



Published books