© Otava / Pekka Holmström

Reijo Mäki

More than 2 million Reijo Mäki’s books sold in Finland!

Jussi Vares Series

Reijo Mäki is a best-selling Finnish author, known escpecially for his dry humour and intriguing detective novels. Mäki published his first novel in 1985. He has almost 40 books to his credit. The private eye Jussi Vares, featuring in his Vares series, is also a well-known and well-loved movie character. Reijo Mäki was born in 1958 in western Finland and graduated in 1982 from the Turku School of Economics. For ten years he worked in marketing for one of the biggest banks in Finland, while writing on the side, but now he now lives in Turku and writes full time. Mäki’s books have been consistent sales successes and show up on the best seller lists year after year. Jussi Vares even has his own fan club.

Vares Movies

Nine movies have been made based on the Vares novels – Vares: Private Eye, based on the novel The Yellow Widow, came out in 2004 and was the most viewed Finnish movie that year. The next movie, The Frozen Angel, came out in 2007 and was just as popular with the public as the first film. In 2011 and 2012 six more Vares movies came out, based on the novels Kiss of Evil, The Girls of April, The Garter Snake, Dark Tango, No More Bets and Wanderers on the Narrow Path. This is the most ambitious film project ever in Finland. In addition to the six movies, a twelvepart television series was produced simultaneously. The most recent movie, The Sheriff, was made in 2015. Vares (Tango Reprise) has also been made into a play and garnered excellent reviews.

More about the movies: www.solarfilms.com.


Press quotes

Full of action. It works. – Suomen Kuvalehti

Reijo Mäki has a keen ear. The way his characters speak feels real and genuine. – Etelä-Suomen Sanomat

Reijo Mäki can even get Finnish men to read. Mäki’s incredibly clever language draws the reader in. – Ilkka

Juicy characters with juicy tales. – Länsi-Suomi

Reijo Mäki knows how to pull a reader’s leg and keep ahold of it – and readers are content to let him. – Pohjalainen Daily

Reijo Mäki is like hot dogs on the grill – without him you might as well skip summer and just go straight to October. – Kauppalehti


Jussi Vares Series:

  • The Cad’s Game (Moukanpeli), 1986, Karisto
  • The Nightingale Sang (Satakieli lauloi yöllä), 1987, Weilin & Göös
  • November is a Cold Grave (Marraskuu on musta hauta), 1988, Gummerus
  • The Garter Snake (Sukkanauhakäärme), 1989, Otava
  • The Frozen Angel (Jäätynyt enkeli), 1990, Otava
  • Conductor of Death (Kuoleman kapellimestari), 1991 Otava
  • Wanderers on the Narrow Path (Kaidan tien kulkijat), 1992, Book Studio
  • Angels With You (Enkelit kanssasi), 1995, Otava
  • Tango in the Dark (Pimeyden tango), 1997, Otava
  • The Kiss of Evil (Pahan suudelma), 1998, Otava
  • The Yellow Widow (Keltainen leski), 1999, Otava
  • The Taste of Soil (Mullan maku), 2000, Otava
  • The Thirteenth Night (Kolmastoista yö), 2001, Otava
  • Black Jack (Black Jack), 2003, Otava
  • The Girls of April (Huhtikuun tytöt), 2004, Otava
  • Tango Reprise (Nuoruustango), 2005, Otava
  • Hard Luck Cafe (Hard Luck Cafe), 2006, Otava
  • No More Bets (Uhkapelimerkki), 2007, Otava
  • The Western Man (Lännen mies), 2008, Otava
  • The White Russian (Valkovenäläinen), 2009, Otava
  • The Three-legged Man (Kolmijalkainen mies), 2010, Otava
  • The Sheriff (Sheriffi), 2012, Otava
  • The Indian (Intiaani), 2013, Otava
  • The Cowboy (Cowboy), 2014, Otava
  • The Volcano (Tulivuori), 2015, Otava


Other Vares Books:

  • Jussi Vares’ Drinks Guide (Jussi Vareksen drinkkiopas), 2003, Otava
  • Vares’ Meandering Wisdom (Vareksen vaeltava viisaus, koonnut toimittaja Ruuhio), 2008, Otava
  • One Star Man(Yhden tähden mies), 2009, Otava
  • Vares’ Turku (Vareksen Turku – Matkaoppaana toimittaja Ruuhio, toim. Markku Haapio), 2009, Otava


Other Mystery Novels and stories:

  • Angel Dust (Enkelipölyä), 1985, Karisto
  • The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful (Liian kaunis tyttö), 1992, Otava
  • Tropic of Money (Rahan kääntöpiiri), 1994, Otava
  • The Crown Calf (Kruunun vasikka), 1994, Otava
  • The Tattooed Sky (Tatuoitu taivas), 1996, Otava –New edition in 2006
  • Genuine Fur: Mystery Stories (Aito turkki), 2001, Otava
  • The Turku Job (Tukholman keikka), Joint edition, 2002, Otava
  • The Long Lunch (Pitkä lounas), 2002, Otava
  • Twilight Bells (Ehtookellot), 2007, Otava
  • Sawdust Revolver. The Most Beautiful Stories (Sahanpururevolveri. Kauneimmat kertomukset), 2013, Otava



2013 The Clue of the Year award by The Finnish Whodunnit Society (The Sheriff).


Works published in / Rights sold to:

Estonia (Eesti Raamat)
USA / World English (Ice Cold Crime)
Danish (Bazar Forlag)
German (Piper, Petterson Verlag)
Swedish (Bazar)


Published books