A fair dinkum month – January 2012 (and a bit of December 2011)

Australian crime fiction in the news and on the web

I discovered that Andrew at Pulp Curry is a fellow Bryan Brown fan when Andrew re-posted this excellent review of THE EMPTY BEACH, a movie featuring the aforementioned Brown as private investigator Cliff Hardy in an adaptation of Peter Corris‘ 1983 novel of the same name. The review was written by Dave Riley who blogs about all things espionage related at Permission to Kill

Author of the Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman series Kerry Greenwood answered Booktopia’s Ten Terrifying Questions and also appeared In Conversation with fellow writer Tara Moss on 13Street TV (11 minute video).

Sulari Gentill spoke to THE AGE about her new book, about how many people you have to kill to get your crime fiction credentials and how she turned her series into a family affair by setting her books in a period on which her husband is a scholar.

Here at Fair Dinkum Crime

We neglected to do a round-up for December so here are our reviews for the past two months

And in case you missed it we both listed the five Aussie crime fiction titles that most impressed us in 2011

Reviews of Aussie crime fiction elsewhere on the web

Lenny Bartulin‘s third Jack Susko novel DE LUXE was reviewed at Booklover Book Reviews where Joanne said “this story is slick and sexy – everything the very endearing protagonist Jack Susko is not”. Must drag this one from my own TBR pile very soon.

Peter Corris‘ 1998 Cliff Hardy novel THE BLACK PRINCE (number 22 in a series which is now up to 37) was reviewed at Permission to Kill and described as more accessible than the earlier novels in the series but also indicating that the series has ‘lost some of its ferocious bite’ and rough edges. Corris‘ most recent novel COMEBACK was reviewed at Book’d Out where Shelleyrae found it “an entertaining and satisfying read” and at Aust Crime Fiction where Karen, who is a long time fan of the series, thought the book continued “the fantastic resurgence in this Australian crime fiction stalwart”.

Jaye Ford‘s BEYOND FEAR was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction where Karen found it had plot wobbles but was fast paced and might appeal to those who “are comfortable with the idea that the isolation of rural existence means that there’s just got to be a lot of nasty weirdos lurking behind the nearest gum tree”. This sentence made me laugh, not least because I, a city girl, just might occasionally be guilty of thinking that way.

Sulari Gentill‘s first novel in the Rowly Sinclair series, A FEW RIGHT THINKING MEN, was reviewed at The Banana Lounge where Tseen Khoo enjoys the author’s evocation of the 1930’s Australian art scene and well-crafted characters. Meanwhile the second book in the series, A DECLINE IN PROPHETS was reviewed at Fiction by Caroline Sully where the mix of fact, fiction and wry humour was a hit. And finally Sulari’s third book in the series, MILES OFF COURSE, was reviewed at Booktopia Blog, Aust Crime Fiction and  Authoraire where the reviewer “...loved the historical charm of the setting…and respected the gentlemanly approach to the story,  not overwhelming the reader with gore or profanity, yet still providing an intelligent, twisting tale of crime and conspiracy“. Exactly!

Kerry Greenwood‘s first ever Phryne Fisher novel COCAINE BLUES was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction. The first then books are being re-released over the next couple of months with swish new covers featuring Essie Davis as who is playing Phryne in the upcoming 13-part TV series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, to air locally on the ABC.

Adrian Hyland‘s GUNSHOT ROAD was reviewed by Sarah at Crimepieces who loved the language of the book and who picked up on the fact that all of protagonist Emily Tempest toughness couldn’t prevent her from receiving the rough treatment often handed out to women in society.

Noel Mealey‘s debut MURDER AND REDEMPTION was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction and Karen enjoyed the central plot that focused on illegal drug trafficking in Australia’s remote and sparsely populated north-west.

Finola Moorhead‘s 1991 feminist mystery STILL MURDER set in and around Sydney and tackling some dark themes including the notion of war as a crime was reviewed most intelligently at Petrona. It’s a complex and somewhat uneven book but Maxine gets to the heart of things in her review.

Malla Nunn‘s LET THE DEAD LIE was reviewed as part of the Australian Women Writers challenge by suspense writer Helene Young, who thought the book (set in 1950’s South Africa) depicted “a seedy, segregated world where white was right and anyone else was fair game”.

Peter Temple’s TRUTH was reviewed by ex-pat Aussie Kim at Reading Matters who got to the heart of the reason why I never did publish a review of the book as if she had been inside my own head with the line “the book feels claustrophobic — and depressing. I felt heavy-hearted whenever I picked it up and I was anxious to be rid of it”


A reminder that it’s never to late to join the Australian Women Writers Challenge or the Aussie Authors Challenge (or both) to motivate your 2012 consumption of Aussie crime fiction. 


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3 thoughts on “A fair dinkum month – January 2012 (and a bit of December 2011)

  1. Yes, thanks from me too ;-) (And thanks for recommending the book – at least, writing such an interesting post about the author that I felt compelled to get out my cheque book).

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