Matti Yrjänä Joensuu (1948-2011)
Matti Yrjänä Joensuu (October 31st 1948 - December 4th 2011), who died suddenly at his home in Valkeakoski on Sunday, was one of Finland’s most respected and widely-read writers of crime fiction.
In addition to his literary career, Joensuu worked as a police officer and a detective in Helsinki.
He retired from the Helsinki Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division in 2006, despite having been a successful novelist for some twenty years before this.
The best known of Joensuu’s works are his 12 Harjunpää novels, most of which were published between 1976 and 1993. They depict the life and work of Detective Sergeant Timo Juhani Harjunpää of the Helsinki Police Department’s CID unit.
Joensuu’s last novel was Harjunpää ja rautahuone (”Harjunpää and the Iron Room”), published in 2010, after a break of seven years.
A new novel was in the works at the time of his death.
Joensuu’s books have been made into a number of television movies and feature films, the latest one being Harjunpää ja pahan pappi (”The Priest of Evil”), which premiered in 2010.
Joensuu’s works have also been translated into more than a dozen languages, including English, Swedish, Norwegian, French, German, Estonian, and Russian.
Joensuu was awarded the State’s Literature Prize in 1982, and the Vuoden johtolanka (”The Clue of the Year”) prize for the best Finnish crime novel in 1985, 1994, and 2004, granted by the Finnish Whodunnit Society, the Finnish crime fiction society.
In 1987, Joensuu received the Martin Beck Award.
Matti Yrjänä Joensuu (Wikipedia)
Finnish Whodunnit Society