Review: BLOOD MOON, Garry Disher

  • published by Text Publishing 2009
  • ISBN 978-1-921351-87-7
  • 314 pages
  • Source: my local library
  • #5 in the Challis & Destry series

Synopsis (Amazon)

When hordes of eighteen-year-olds descend on the Peninsula to celebrate the end of exams, the overstretched police of Waterloo know they can expect party drugs and public drunkenness.

What they don’t count on is a brutal bashing that turns political. The victim is connected. And for Detective Inspector Hal Challis, newly embarked on a relationship with his sergeant, Ellen Destry, this is not the best time to have the brass on his back. Especially when a bludgeoned corpse is found outside town and it becomes clear something much darker than adolescent craziness is going down.

My take

When I recently read WHISPERING DEATH (#6 in the Challis & Destry series) I realised that I had somehow missed reading #5, BLOOD MOON.

The setting of BLOOD MOON is Schoolies Week, a week at the end of the school year when those finishing their schooling cut loose in various resorts all over Australia. There is an unbelievable level of tension as local residents hold their breath, waiting to see what damage the teenagers cause, how many of them are charged with drug abuse or drunkenness, how many clashes there are with the authorities. The events in BLOOD MOON align well with what the public “knows” can happen in Schoolies Week.

BLOOD MOON is a very authentic feeling police procedural with a number of concurrent investigations balanced against the personal relationships of the members of Hal Challis’ team, including his own with Ellen Destry. The investigation into the bashing of a school chaplain moves into the background with the murder of a female worker in the Planning Office whom we already know quite a bit about: that she is constantly stalked and watched by her husband, that she has been a leading participant in an attempt to preserve an old beach front house against demolition.The reader already feels well equipped to leap into this new investigation.

Domestic happenings and small town politics in an Australian setting make for an excellent crime fiction outing.

My rating: 4.7

Other reviews to check:

Other reviews of Garry Disher titles on MiP
4.7, WYATT

The Challis & Destry novels
The Dragon Man (1999)
Kittyhawk Down (2003)
Snapshot (2005)
Chain of Evidence (2007)
Blood Moon (2009)
Whispering Death (2011)

Review: MILES OFF COURSE by Sulari Gentill

MILES OFF COURSE is the third book in a series set in 1930’s Australia featuring Rowland ‘Rowly’ Sinclair, painter and reluctant amateur sleuth. Rowly is the youngest son of a wealthy pastoralist family which allows him to fund a reasonably lavish lifestyle for himself and his less well-off friends Edna (a sculptress), Milt (a poet and Communist) and Clyde (a painter like Rowly but of landscapes rather than the portraits Rowly prefers). Rowly is once again in danger as he is the subject of an unsuccessful kidnap attempt in Sydney before his brother Wilfred asks him to head into the NSW high country to look for their head stockman Harry Simpson who, it has been reported, has walked off the job. But the Sinclair brothers have known Harry since they were young boys and neither believes he would just walk away, even though everyone repeats it’s what ‘they’ (Aboriginal people) do.

What’s not to like about this delightful book? The historical setting offers the perfect mixture of interesting details of day-to-day life and real life people in minor roles for an added air of authenticity. For example a very famous name from Australian literature makes a pseudonymous appearance which is just credible enough to make you wonder if it’s based on fact and at least one real political figure and an artist make cameo appearances too. These tantalising titbits are scattered throughout a tale that sees Rowly and his friends in all manner of scenarios from a fancy society party to some rough and ready bush camping as they try to discover what happened to the Sinclair’s stockman. The mystery is satisfyingly complex, offering a new twist whenever the solution seems clear cut, and the ultimate resolution came as a surprise to me.

I don’t know how many people of Rowly’s class would really have mixed as comfortably with people from all walks of life as he does, but Gentill has developed him into a very believable and sympathetic character. He’s a good friend and dutiful family member even when he and his brother are at odds. In fact the relationship between the two brothers is a highlight of the novel as it mixes an innate brotherly love with a disconnect between two people who have vastly different goals in life. The clashes between them are credible and add some nice character depth to the novel. There’s no doubt that Rowly’s ability to operate at all levels of society helps add variety to the stories and scope to the tales of adventure but it never feels as forced or unrealistic as it might if these events were taking place in a country less blasé about issues of class.

The four friends provide an interesting twist to the standard character sets of crime fiction and it’s terrific to see good old-fashioned friendship being depicted in fiction for adults. In MILES OFF COURSE the character of Clyde plays a larger role than in past novels as the gang head into the part of the country where he grew up and where everyone knows him. The scene where they visit Clyde’s family home, a working-class place which is a far cry from the wealthy surroundings that Rowly is used to, had an authentic feel with Clyde’s mum being slightly awkward in the presence of Rowly but still well in charge of her domain.

Reading this book reminded me of the family movies that used to air on the Sunday nights of my childhood when the whole household would sit down to watch because they offered something for everyone to enjoy. In MILES OFF COURSE there’s a bit of politics, a bit of romance, a whodunit and some narrowly escaped near-death experiences for the hero and his friends. Along the way there are plenty of laughs, some nuggets of historical information that will make you look smart when you drop them into conversation at your next dinner party and there’s even a lovable dog. It is an intelligent, amusing, happiness-inducing book that sits proudly at the lighter end of the crime fiction spectrum. Highly recommended.

MILES OFF COURSE is released officially tomorrow (30 January) in Australia and should be available from your local independent bookstore or you could try online stores Booktopia or Boomerang. I have not seen the book in electronic format though the earlier two volumes are available for kindle so this one may be eventually too.

If you’d like to win a copy of this excellent book why not enter our giveaway?

I’ve reviewed the two earlier books in this series A FEW RIGHT THINKING MEN and A DECLINE IN PROPHETS.

We also subjected Sulari to our baker’s dozen questions during Australian authors month last year.

I’m counting this as my second contribution towards the Australian Women Writers reading challenge for this year.

My rating: 4.5/5 stars (rating scale is explained here)
Author website:
Publisher: Pantera Press [2012]
ISBN: 9780987068521
Length: 352 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: provided by the publisher for review
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Review: COMEBACK by Peter Corris

For reasons that I am sure are explained in earlier instalments of the series Cliff Hardy has been banned for life from holding a private investigator’s license and has been without that license for more than three years. As this book opens though Cliff is able to take advantage of a relaxation in the suspension rules and soon has his license back, a new office and even a website courtesy of his son-in-law. Finally he can make some much-needed cash. His first client is Bobby Forrest, the son of a former client of Cliff’s, who is apparently being stalked by the tenacious and threatening woman he spent a night with after meeting via an online dating site. Bobby is an up-and-coming actor and is in a promising new relationship so he wants the issue of his stalker to be sorted out quietly if at all possible. When Cliff is only a few days into the case Bobby is murdered and Cliff soon discovers there is an abundance of potential suspects, most of whom drive white commodores.

I don’t feel particularly well qualified to be reviewing this book given it’s the 37th in a series of which I can’t recall reading a single earlier instalment (though I may have done in the years before I kept note of such things). For at least the last few years I’ve thought I really ought to read one given my growing interest in local crime fiction but it is rather daunting to come to such a long running series so late in the game. I was somewhat surprised then to find COMEBACK very easy to get into. Sure I was meeting someone who clearly had a past but enough was explained for me to make sense of the present story and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on insider jokes or anything similar. Conversely, it feels like I could easily go back and read some of the earlier novels without there being too many spoilers from having read a later book in the series. I suspect this particular balance is not as easy to pull off as Corris made it appear.

The mystery is a good one, with plenty of twists and red herrings. There’s a nice mixture of old-fashioned style detecting (stakeouts, following people, getting a bit roughed up) and more technologically dependent work as well. Quite often in crime fiction detectives of a certain age are portrayed as complete technophobes and it rarely rings true for me so it was good to see Cliff, who I took to be somewhere in his 50’s, depicted as being willing to use technology when necessary.

I found Cliff Hardy a likeable enough character though not quite the toughened firebrand I might have expected from what I’ve gleaned of his earlier exploits. Then again we all slow down as we get older and I did rather enjoy the depiction of a man who was both reflecting on his past and looking forward with what seemed like new optimism to his future. The first person narrative and relatively short length of the book don’t allow for too many other characters to be depicted in great depth, though there were several people who added colour and flavour to the story.

I’ve no clue if this instalment would keep fans of the series happy or not but for this new reader COMEBACK proved a pleasantly engaging read, with enough to recommend it that I am keen now to seek out other books in the series (though I can’t imagine ever having the time to read them all). Corris’ dig within the novel at the padded length of much modern crime fiction is suggestive of the reason the book is at the shorter end of the spectrum which is another strong point in its favour.

If anyone can tell me the relevance of the cover to the story I will be eternally grateful. From memory no significant event from the book took place at night or in this kind of back alley so I am forced to ponder whether covers are just random these days.

My rating: 3.5/5 stars (rating scale is explained here)
Author website:
Publisher: Allen & Unwin [2012]
ISBN: 9781742377247
Length: 157 pages ?
Format: eBook (ePub)
Source: I bought it
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Review: THE WILL OF THE TRIBE by Arthur Upfield

Canadian crime fiction fan and blogger Bill Selnes from Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan has been reading more Aussie crime fiction and has kindly allowed us to re-post his review here. It is interesting, and a little sad, to see that a book 50 years old is, in many ways, still relevant in that it explores the inequalities in the treatment of indigeneous Australians.

Napoleon “Bony” Bonaparte is in the remote reaches of northwest Australia in the vicinity of the Kimberley Mountains. He has been called to investigate the death of an unidentified white man found in the centre of Lucifer’s Couch, a crater formed from a meteorite crashing into the earth.

Unlike other Bony investigations the authorities are less interested in finding the killer than in determining how this man reached the area unnoticed. Thus the book is a most unusual twist on the locked room mystery. Here the body is found in the middle of a room consisting of thousands of square miles of territory. How did he get there? He had to travel hundreds of miles to reach the crater. A horse or a vehicle would have drawn attention. A plane would have had to fly from an airport. It is impossible to see a white man travelling the vast spaces on foot without ample supplies.

Bony settles in at the Deep Creek cattle station with Kurt and Rose Brentner and their two daughters, Hilda and Rosie. Among those working at the station are Tessa and Captain, members of the local aborigine tribe who have been educated and given responsible positions at the station.

The book, one of the last Bony books, is the most challenging of the Bony mysteries I have read because of its treatment of the Aboriginal characters.The white characters definitely consider themselves superior. While no longer acceptable by the early 1960’s, the book makes clear it was not long before that time that it was acceptable for a white man to thrash an aborigine he considered disobedient.

The attitudes, particularly of the white people, felt accurate to me. I can well remember as a child in Canada 50 years ago the way Indian people were generally looked down upon by white society.

The aborigines of the area are divided into three groups. The wild blacks are some distance away in the desert. The station blacks are dependent on the station while living in their own camp. The educated aborigines, Tessa and the Captain, live at the station.
It is an era of transition. The lifestyle of the wild blacks is gradually being eroded. Official Australia would like to see the aborigines assimilated into the white population. The same approach was in place in Canada at that time. For decades it was our Federal Government’s policy to assimilate the Indian peoples of Canada with white Canadians.

Yet the book is far subtler than the surface portrayal of white discrimination and condescension. Bony, half white and half aborigine, has strong opinions on such matters as inter-racial marriage, aborigine connections with tribe and education of aborigines. How should the aborigines adjust to the vast white population that has taken over their continent? Should they assimilate? Should they seek to remain distinct? I found myself thinking more about the questions of culture and race than the mystery.

While I became involved in the societal issues raised the book is focused on solving a “locked room” mystery. For the vast open spaces needed to create the “locked room” it could only have been set in Australia or Canada or Russia or Antarctica.

The book is tied to the countryside and the people of Australia. Bony makes good use of his tracking skill and ability to question white and aborigine witnesses.

It is a good mystery which left me thinking not only about the treatment of indigenous people 50 years ago but how the same issues are being addressed today.

At Bill’s original review you’ll find some photos of the remote area in which the book is set.

Australia Day / First Birthday Quiz

Today is Australia Day and the first anniversary of the site’s re-launch as one dedicated to reviewing and discussing crime fiction by Australians or about Australia. To celebrate we’ve got a brand new copy of Sulari Gentill’s third crime novel MILES OFF COURSE to give away. The novel is set in 1930’s Australia and I think it’s a corker. It will be officially released on 30 January when I’ll also post my review. Here at Fair Dinkum HQ we think you should have to work a little for your prizes so we’ve devised a quiz with a historical theme. These questions either relate to historical Australian crime fiction or the history of crime fiction in Australia.

  1. Which author is the current holder of the Ned Kelly Award for best novel and what time period does the winning novel take place in? (2 points)
  2. Who won the first Ned Kelly Award and in what year was it awarded? (2 points)
  3. An Australian author who published 34 detective novels between 1926-66 gave his part-aboriginal detective the name of a famous figure from history. Who was the author and what was his detective’s full name? (2 points)
  4. Australia’s first crime novel was published in 1865. Who wrote it and what was it called? (2 points)
  5. In what way is that author acknowledged by the modern crime fiction community? (1 point)
  6. Which novel by Charles Dickens (published before 1865) featured the first Australian criminal in a novel? (1 point)
  7. America’s prestigious Edgar Award for best novel was first issued in 1954 to which Australian author and for what novel? (2 points)

If this is not enough Australian-themed quizzing for you feel free to test your Australian IQ with this quiz from our local paper. It’s nothing to do with crime fiction but it certainly is Aussie (full disclosure I scored 20 out of 25).

Happy Australia Day to you all and if you need some extra motivation to enter the quiz look out for my review of MILES OFF COURSE in a couple of days. I think it’s Sulari Gentill’s best book so far.

Competition Rules

  • Competition open worldwide but if someone from outside Australia wins their prize may be sent via sea mail which can take 12 weeks
  • The entrant with the most number of points will win. If there are multiple people with the same winning score those entrants will go into a draw using (as we only have one copy of the book to give away)
  • Send your answers to fairdinkumcrime AT gmail DOT com and put QUIZ in the subject line
  • Entries must be received by 5:00pm (ACST) on Friday 3 February 2012.

Review: THE BROTHERHOOD, Y.A. Erskine

  • Published Bantam, Random House 2011
  • ISBN 978-1-74275-015-6
  • 379 pages
  • source: my local library

Synopsis (Booktopia)

One dead cop, one small island and an impact that will last a lifetime.

When Sergeant John White, mentor, saviour and all-round good guy, is murdered during a routine call-out, the tight-knit world of Tasmania Police is rocked to the core.

An already difficult investigation into the death of one of their own becomes steeped in political complexities when the main suspect is identified as Aboriginal and the case, courtesy of the ever-hostile local media, looks set to make Palm Island resemble a Sunday afternoon picnic in comparison. And as the investigation unfolds through the eyes of the sergeant’s colleagues, friends, family, enemies and the suspect himself, it becomes clear that there was a great deal more to John White – and the squeaky-clean reputation of the nation’s smallest state police service – than ever met the eye.

The Brotherhood is a novel about violence, preconceptions, loyalties, corruption, betrayal and the question a copper should never need to ask: just who can you trust?

About the Author

Y.A. Erskine spent eleven years in the Tasmania Police Service. She was active in front-line policing and served as a detective in the CIB. She is also an historian with an honours degree in early modern history. Y.A. Erskine lives in Melbourne and is happily married with two dogs.

My take

Hobart, small city, big town, capital of Tasmania. TASPol, a small police force where everyone knows everyone else personally, working out of Hobart, in a state where about a third of the population gets some sort of government assistance, and another quarter works for the government.

I loved the innovative structure of this book. It reminded me of clock solitaire. The story is carefully layered. We start with a hook. The officer in charge of the investigation into the death of a fellow police officer is going through the deceased’s possessions and finds some items that puzzle the reader but for the investigator seem to have only one interpretation.

And then the reader is dealt a series of “cards”, the story as seen by a range of connected participants. We learn who the police officer was and how he was killed and through each chapter we see him through the eyes of another. Each chapter adds a layer to our knowledge until eventually we come back to where the book started.

And interlaced into the story are various strands: an Aboriginal population, the remnants of Australia’s original inhabitants, now welfare dependent, and in some cases only too willing to cry victimisation and brutality; an under resourced police force with more than usual difficulties in recruiting and retaining good officers; corruption in all professions, even among those responsible for managing the legal system; and an island state with significant social prejudices. It’s a heady mix.

THE BROTHERHOOD is certainly an Australian police procedural with a difference and worthy of attention.

My rating: 5.0

Places you might like to visit

Review: THE COLD, COLD GROUND by Adrian McKinty

In Northern Ireland in 1981 Sean Duffy, newly promoted to Detective Sergeant, is posted to the relatively safe town of Carrickfergus just outside Belfast. He’s a minority in the RUC, having a university qualification and being Catholic, so the bosses want him to stay out of harm’s way and learn all he can. But Belfast is experiencing nightly riots and regular bombings and Duffy is a potential target for Republicans (for having joined the police) and loyalists (for being Catholic) so safety is definitely a relative term but he is determined to just get on with his job. His first big case at his new posting looks, at first, like the routine murder of a low-level informant. But evidence starts to mount up that this is a different kind of killing, perhaps the sort of serial killing not normally seen in Ireland where ‘people of that mindset can join one side or the other’. Another murder and then the apparent suicide of a young woman all become Duffy’s problems to solve.

The backdrop to THE COLD, COLD GROUND is, not surprisingly, grim. The timing of the story is very specific, opening as Belfast erupts into a riot that plays out like a crazed ballet as a second hunger-striking Republican prisoner, protesting their loss of Special Category status, has died in Maze prison. Political and social tension is high, there is rampant unemployment and poverty, people are emigrating en masse to England or further afield, and things are, in general, the very opposite of peachy keen. But what I loved even more than this undoubtedly authentic and almost physically cloying atmosphere is that McKinty has teased out the drama, intimacy and dark humour in the lives people live while madness, hypocrisy and ignorance whirl about them. Somehow it’s the little details, like the foreign media’s disinterest in reporting on a brutal killing that isn’t considered part of the Troubles or the squad routinely dressing in riot gear just to attend a crime scene in an unfriendly part of town, that highlight the surreal nature of the situation to perfection.

Sean Duffy is a complicated character with his share of demons but he falls on the right side of the line that separates flawed and fallible from completely unbelievable basket case. I didn’t know what to make of him for much of the book – he has character traits that I admire,others I don’t and it’s never entirely clear what makes him tick or what choice he will make in any situation. But I think that’s why I was drawn to him: so many people (in real life was well as fiction) are so bloody sure of themselves they make me want to scream, whereas Sean Duffy is as confused about aspects of his own makeup as I am about mine. I couldn’t help but find that endearing. The quick humour, the spot-on analysis of the problem inherent in John Lennon’s Double Fantasy, the obsession with Serpico’s moustache and the drinking of plentiful vodka gimlets are all delicious bonuses.

I was, I must admit, a little wary when I started this book after seeing the pull quote on the back that suggested it would be similar to David Peace’s Red Riding quartet. Although I know it brands me a wuss (or an enemy of the proletariat?) frankly the one of those books I’ve read made me want to curl into a ball and weep for a week. I try to read a range of crime fiction but I don’t particularly enjoy having guilt heaped upon me for what is largely an accident of birth. Fortunately for me I found THE COLD, COLD GROUND a much more nuanced and accessible read. I’m not entirely sure McKinty will think that a compliment but it’s genuinely meant. Telling a story is only half of the equation, a story has to be heard as well and it’s the story teller’s job to entice us to listen.

THE COLD, COLD GROUND is  a damned enticing story. It is at times funny, uncomfortable, violent, frightening and sad and sometimes all of these at once. It is an eye-opening look at a time I feel blessed not to have lived through (because my grandparents emigrated a few decades earlier) as it exposes harsh realities about difficult lives. It isn’t an easy read but, due to its humour and the humanity of its protagonist, it isn’t unremittingly bleak either.  I liked it so much that even though I’ve just finished reading it I bought it today in audio format narrated by the beautifully voiced Gerard Doyle so I can ‘read’ it again (though this time with a proper Irish accent instead of the one I did in my head because even my imagination is crap at accents). I think this is a book all readers should take a chance on.

In case you are wondering why a book set in Ireland and written by a man born in Ireland is being reviewed on site devoted to Australian crime fiction I will admit to stretching the definition of Australian but not, I think, breaking it. Adrian has lived here since 2008 and thrown himself fully into local customs (well he has stuffed his family in a caravan at Warrnambool and called it a holiday which is, trust me, about as Aussie as it gets – I’ve still got the scar on my shoulder from where my brother’s bunk fell on me in the middle of the night 36 years ago in a Warnambool caravan park) and we have quite the tradition of quickly adopting talented foreigners as our very own (assuming of course they don’t land here in a leaky boat claiming refugee status but that is an entirely different story for an entirely different blog).

THE COLD, COLD GROUND is the first book in  a planned trilogy featuring Sean Duffy.

My rating: 4/5 stars (rating scale is explained here)
Author website:
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail [2012]
ISBN: 9781846688225
Length: 332 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: provided by the author for review
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Sisters in crime tell short stories

The Australian arm of Sisters in Crime introduced the Scarlet Stiletto Awards for short stories by Australian women crime writers in 1994. By the time 2011’s awards had been announced 2181 stories had been received for consideration since the awards’ inception. Such largesse could fill several volumes of anthologies but, to date at any rate, you have to make do with two collections, both now available in eBook format from Clan Destine Press. Unlike the US and UK, the Australian crime writing scene does not have a strong tradition of short story writing so this is a rare opportunity to dip into some award-winning Australian crime writing.

Scarlet Stiletto: The First Cut was first published in 2007 and contains the best 26 stories from the first 13 years of the competition. They are

  1. Dust Devils by Julie Waight
  2. Concealer by Kerry Munnery
  3. Psycho Magnet by Tara Moss
  4. Habit by Cate Kennedy
  5. Slasher’s Return by Jacqui Horwood
  6. Froth and Trouble or Sun Hill Blues by Margaret Pollock
  7. Still Life by Dianne Gray
  8. Thursday Night at the Opera by Christina Lee
  9. Birthing the Demons by Josephine Pennicott
  10. Shifty Business by Liz Cameron
  11. Pecking Order by Roxxy Bent
  12. The Bodyguard by Sarah Evans
  13. Mrs Wilcox’s Milk Saucepan by Roxxy Bent
  14. Everything $2 on This Rack by Cate Kennedy
  15. Operation Bluewater by Inga Simpson
  16. After Azaria by Ann Penhallurick
  17. Brought to Book by Liz Filleul
  18. The Supper Murder by Margaret Bevege
  19. What We Do Best by Phyl O’Regan
  20. Dead Water by Bronwyn Blake
  21. Luisa by Christina Lee
  22. Ripe Red Tomatoes by Ronda Bird
  23. Dead Woman in the Water by Janis Spehr
  24. Divine Intervention by Louise Connor
  25. Floating in a Live Circuit by Siobhan Mullany
  26. Vermin by Janis Spehr

The collection is available from Amazon (kindle) or Clan Destine Press (ePub)

Scarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut features the 1st Prize winners from 2007 – 2010 and a selection of category winners from the 17-year history of the Scarlet Stiletto Awards.They are

  1. Kill-Dead-Garten by Aoife Clifford
  2. Amanda by Lois Murphy
  3. Sally’s Seachange by Kristin McEvoy
  4. Cold Comfort by Sarah Evans
  5. Monitoring the Neighbours by Kirstin Watson
  6. Poppies by Kylie Fox
  7. Persia Bloom by Amanda Wrangles
  8. Kitchens Can be Dangerous by Ronda Bird
  9. The Key Suspect by Jane Blechyden
  10. Smoke by Aoife Clifford
  11. The Write Place by Liz Filleul
  12. Playing Chicken by Corinna Hente
  13. Side Window by Vikki Petraitis
  14. Bucket Time by Kerry James
  15. Undeceive by Evelyn Tsitas
  16. Fence Hanger by Linda Tubnor
  17. Plane Jane by Louise Bolland
  18. Xenos by Evelyn Tsitas
  19. Check-Out Time by Rowena Helston
  20. A Man of Fashion by Lesley Truffle
  21. Death World by Eleanor Marney
  22. Tallow by Eleanor Marney

The collection is available from Amazon (kindle) or Clan Destine Press (ePub)





2012 Australian crime fiction releases

Here’s a list of the books we’re anticipating reading at Fair Dinkum HQ this year, though as always with publishing the dates, titles and covers may change. Looks like good reading ahead

  • January – Gary Corby – THE IONIA SANCTION (already reviewed)
  • January – Peter Corris – COMEBACK
  • January – Sulari Gentill – MILES OFF COURSE (on the TBR pile, will read and review before publication date of 30 January)
  • January – Adrian McKinty – THE COLD, COLD GROUND (yes I know what you’re thinking but McKinty lives here now – as evidenced by his recent brush with local wildlife – and we Aussies have a long and proud history of adopting talented foreigners as our very own)
  • January – Noel Mealey – MURDER AND REDEMPTION (I picked this up in my ‘spend the Christmas vouchers’ shopping spree at a local bookstore last week so expect a review shortly)
  • February – Katherine Howell – SILENT FEAR
  • March – Felicity Young – THE DISSECTION OF MURDER (this is the start of a new series featuring Dr Dody McCleland, the first female autopsy surgeon working in London at the turn of the twentieth century)
  • April – Tony Cavanagh – PROMISE (a debut novel from long-time TV producer and writer)
  • May – Ruby J Murray – RUNNING DOGS
  • May – Malla Nunn – SILENT VALLEY (this is the third in her Emanuel Cooper series which looks like it will be published in the US in June under the title BLESSED ARE THE DEAD)
  • July – Kathryn Fox – COLD GRAVE
  • August – Sulari Gentill – PAVING THE NEW ROAD (yes that’s right, Sulari is publishing the third and fourth books in the Rowly Sinclair series this year as well as more books in her young adult/fantasy series!)
  • August – Michael Robotham – SAY YOU’RE SORRY
  • September – Gabrielle Lord – DEATH BY BEAUTY