View Full Version : The Helsinki Chronicles

June Pelo
08-09-05, 02:13
A while back I mentioned that Arthur Axelrad was writing a book about Helsinki and asked me for some input. The book has now been published as:


Here is a review of the book:
Review in Insights, Scandinavian American Foundation of Georgia, Summer 2005.

Start reading and you think you’re reading a Sherlock Holmes mystery. But this is really a tourist guide to Helsinki, presented in a most imaginative new way!

Whether you are planning your first visit to Finland’s capital or a repeat visit, this is the book for you. In fact, it may encourage you to visit again, now that you see how much you missed the first time.

The six “adventures” take you to different parts of Helsinki. Each mystery (which is solved by Dr. Louise C. Love and recorded by her chronicler, Arthur A.) is followed by “Notes” that elaborate on facts mentioned in the story, most of which will enhance your knowledge of Helsinki and Finnish history and important Finns. You will learn things no other guide book has covered, I am sure. Did you ever even hear of Kreeta Haapasalo? She was the most famous female kantele player, but did you know that she was a fifth cousin of the national poet J.L. Runeberg? She had 11 children,
listed in Appendix J. The appendices also include the full text (in the French original) of the Treaty of Hamina which ceded Finland from Sweden to Russia. But don’t let these examples discourage you; the book is stock full of useful information for those of you whose interest in Finland might not extend that far.

Not only will you learn about the sights (mostly buildings) of Helsinki but also about Finnish history and the Finnish language. Even though this is a black and white paperback, there are good pictures to orient you to the right building.
Dr. Love and Mr. Alexander are highly educated people, and their non-Finnish references (e.g. quotations from The Canterbury Tales or musical terminology, etc.) are amply explained in the Notes and will give the reader quite an education.

Mr. P. is a small white dog that plays an active part in the “Mysteries.” Could he be the Poika (in Olen Sukkela Poika, which Finnish speakers will get kick out of)? The trio is staying at the Hotel Kämp, famous hangout of the composer Sibelius.

This altogether charming and useful guide book can be obtained by . . .

Margareta Martin

Dr. Axelrad said his first royalty check has arrived, so the Finlandia Foundation National is about to receive a small gift.