Mika Waltari
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258 pages

Inspector Palmu’s Mistake

Komisario Palmun erehdys

One of the best-known Finnish detective novels, with a legendary and unforgettable set of characters

Inspector Palmu’s Mistake revolves around the murder of Bruno Rygsack, a spoiled heir to a large fortune. Palmu and his team of detectives set out to solve the complicated network of blackmail and familial relations.

Inspector Palmu’s’Mistake was turned into a hugely popular film and it was voted the best Finnish film of all time by the Finnish Film Critics / YLE in 2012.

Presentation of the Palmu series

Mr Palmu, a gruff, sixty-year-old inspector in the Helsinki Police Department, is the hero of Waltari’s murder mysteries Who murdered Mrs Skrof? (Kuka murhasi Rouva Skrofin?, 1939), Inspector Palmu’s Mistake (Komisario Palmun erehdys, 1940) and It is Written in the Stars, Inspector Palmu! (Tähdet kertovat, Komisario Palmu!, 1962). Inspector Palmu is a man of integrity, although susceptible to the lure of teary-eyed ladies. The imbalanced and amusing relationship between him and his assistant echoes that most famous detective tandem, Sherlock Holmes and Watson.

The Palmu murder mysteries represent one of the many facets of Waltari’s endless creativity. The Palmu novels have been adapted to critically acclaimed feature films, all of which have become classics that almost every Finn has seen at least once. Classy but down-to-earth, the Palmu mysteries are yet more proof of Waltari’s mastery of language. One of Mika Waltari’s most popular protagonists, Inspector Palmu is the quintessential Finnish policeman: thorough, individualistic and fair. He sees through suspicious behaviour, but he has also the ability to spot the naturally innocent. Inspector Palmu’s Mistake is one of the best-known Finnish detective novels, with a legendary and unforgettable set of characters.

The Inspector Palmu novels are Mika Waltari at his funniest.


Published in

Czech (Omyl komisarie Palmua, 2003)
Danish (Kraemer mysteriet, 1943)
Estonian (Komssar Palmu eksitus, 1996)
German (Gefärliches Spiel, 1943)
Greek (Το λάθος του επιθεωρητή Πάλμου,2009)
Hungarian (Palmu felugyelo tévédese, 1969)
Norwegian (Mysteriet Rygseck, 1942)
Polish (Niebezpieczna gra, 1968)
Spanish (Juego peligroso, 1953)
Swedish (Mysteriet Rygseck, 1941).