As Red as Blood

Book review by
Julie A. Carlson, Common Sense Media
As Red as Blood Book Poster Image
Top-notch Finnish murder mystery has great female heroine.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

As Red as Blood takes place in Finland and features characters with Finnish, Swedish, and Russian names and has some words in those languages. 

Positive Messages

The importance of friendship; helping friends, family, and strangers; standing up against bullying and for yourself; and being courageous. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lumikki Andersson is a top-notch amateur sleuth. She's brave, and, although she mainly sticks to herself at school, she doesn't get involved with gossip or cliques. She isn't worried about trying to fit in, doesn't mind getting her hands dirty, and helps people when they ask. She also takes combat and self-defense training, and, after she beats someone up, she contemplates her anger and actions. 


There's a murder, chase scenes on foot and with a vehicle, and hand-to-hand combat.


There's a pretend seduction scene, but nothing goes very far. There's no sex or kissing.


"F--k," "s--t," "hell," "dumbass," "bullsh-t," "crap," and "bitch." Name-calling such as "idiot" and "stupid."


Louis Vuitton, Dior, YSL, Audi, Angry Birds, the Body Shop.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults and teens drink. At a party teens pop some kind of pill to get high. One character is a drug addict and gets rehab.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that As Red as Blood is the first novel in a Finnish mystery trilogy about a teenage girl. It has hand-to-hand combat, a murder, bullying, and swear words such as "f--k," "bitch," "dumbass," "crap," "hell," and "sh-tload" and name-calling such as "idiot" and "stupid."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byreccabecca March 13, 2017

Ruined with one sentence

While this is a great story, there is one sentence on page 212 referencing a room with "adult tastes" and other more specific tools. I could not in g... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 1, 2018


I (I’m half Finnish) really enjoyed this book and think it’s one of my favourites. It’s like Ruby redfort but for older kids there is a bit of swearing but sui... Continue reading

What's the story?

Finnish teen Lumikka Andersson lives in a studio apartment on her own so she can attend a private arts school. She's focused on school and stays away from the party kids; she likes to be alone. But when she stumbles across thousands of euros in cash washed (nearly) of blood in her school's darkroom, her sleuthing skills kick in and she recruits a few of her classmates. But, <span style="\&quot;font-size:" 12.7272720336914px;="" line-height:="" 18.9090900421143px;\"="">with each step they take in their investigation, things become more dangerous -- and even deadly.

Is it any good?

Mystery fans, especially those who like to read about foreign countries, will get a kick out of author Salla Simukka's novel. It has that dark noir quality inherent to Scandinavian crime fiction, and, with a plot that revolves around murder, stolen money, and blackmail, it's extremely thrilling. Lumikka Andersson is one tough heroine and extremely likable from beginning to end, and Simukka does a wonderful job of creating an atmosphere in the freezing and snowy Finnish winter. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the rise in European-based mystery novels. After reading As Red as Blood, are you interested in reading other mysteries set in Scandinavia?

  • What do you think about how the novel ties in fairy tales such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty?

  • Do you think the characters do the right thing by trying to solve the mystery themselves? Or do you think they should have asked adults for help? What would you have done?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love murder mysteries

Themes & Topics

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