Spotlight on Australian Crime Authors

Australian Crime Fiction

My advice to those people who are yet to discover the wonderful world of Australian Crime fiction is, do yourself a favour and make Australian crime fiction your next obsession!

Over the last couple of months, I have read some amazing Australian Crime fiction. Chris Hammer’s latest book, The Seven started me off. I loved the characters and nuances of small-town life, not to mention the mystery of who committed the murders.

After finishing The Seven and then re-reading all of Chris Hammer’s other books I decided to look for new Australian Crime authors to explore, and now I am two months in and can’t seem to stop! Strange though it might seem I find them relaxing.

So, in the hopes that you to, may find something new and interesting to read here, are some of my favourite Australian Crime reads to get you started or, assist longtime fans discover something new.

Happy reading!

Jody

Margaret Hickey

For those of you who are yet to discover award-winning Australian Crime author Margaret Hickey, you are in for a treat! Cutters End, Stone Town and Broken Bay all featuring Detective Mark Ariti are, simply put, unputdownable!

The pace, setting, dialogue and interaction of the characters is what makes Margaret Hickey’s books standout.

Margaret Hickey’s new book, The Creeper is due for can’t wait]. To read more about The Creeper and Margaret Hickey’s other books check out https://www.penguin.com.au/authors/margaret-hickey

Gary Disher

Hirsch Series

Paul Hirschhausen is one of my favourite characters! I re-read this series every year. Jody

For further information about Gary Disher and his incredible books check out his website.

You can even read a chapter of Sanctuary Gary’s new stand alone novel coming out later this year. Place a Hold now!

Christian White

Chris Hammer

Mark Brandi

Jane Harper

Darcy Tindale

Book Review The Rising Tide by Anne Cleeves

About the book

Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion.

Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now . . .

But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible . .

Comments

This book was enjoyed by all of our readers.

For a murder mystery there were many Red Herrings with multiple character storylines to keep readers enthralled and guessing as to who the “villain” was.

Each change of story line evoked another possible suspect and probable cause for the murders.

Most readers found the book compelling reading. The character development of the police investigation team was absorbing, and the exposure of each team member’s character flaws was enjoyed by our readers.

The sudden twist at the end of the book was found by all to be a real shock that nobody saw coming.

This book has encouraged many in our group to read more of the “Vera” books.

Read by the MJ Readers

Book Review A Song of Comfortable Chairs

Alexander McCall Smith

Summary

THE ONE WHERE MMA POTOKWANI SAVES THE DAY

Grace Makutsi’s husband, Phuti, is in a bind. An international firm is attempting to undercut his prices in the office furniture market. To make matters worse, they have a slick new advertising campaign that seems hard to beat. Nonetheless, with Mma Ramotswe’s help, Phuti comes up with a campaign that may just do the trick.

Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi is approached by an old friend who has a troubled son. Grace and Phuti agree to lend a hand, but the boy proves difficult to reach, and the situation is more than they can handle on their own. It will require not only all of their patience and dedication, but also the help of Mma Ramotswe and the formidable Mma Potokwani.

Comments

This book was very much enjoyed by our group of readers.

This story is not fast paced! The narrative develops slowly in a way that beautifully illustrates the point that nothing moves fast in Botswana. Just because this book is slow paced it does not mean that the story is not engaging and entertaining.

“A Song of Comfortable Chairs’” is book number 23 in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series of books by McCall Smith.

The main character, Precious Ramotswe, has a wise and unhurried approach to life. Throughout the story Precious has many wise internal musings that beautifully reflect her unhurried approach to life and her aim to do things that better improve the world, but more particularly, improve her beloved country of Botswana. Precious makes wise comments and observations on many themes such as feminism, body image, ageism, globalization and the different thinking between men and women and how to accommodate and respect the views of those others.

There are many delightful characters throughout the story that also bring their own wisdom, kindness, gentleness and humour to the story.

Precious conducts her investigations with bold planning and good sense. In this story she uses her investigative skills to help save the business of her good friend and fellow detective Mme Makutsis and her husband Phuti. Mme Makutsi and Phuti are also occupied in helping an old friend who has a troubled young son.

Our group felt this story left us feeling the need to read more of the “No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” book series and also investigating more of the work done by Alexander McCall Smith.

Read by MJ Readers

Book Review Scrublands

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Summary

In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself.A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin

can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest’s deadly rampage.Just as Martin believes he is making headway, a shocking new development rocks the town, which becomes the biggest story in Australia. The media descends on Riversend and Martin is now the one in the spotlight. His reasons for investigating the shooting have suddenly become very personal.Wrestling with his own demons, Martin finds himself risking everything to discover a truth that becomes darker and more complex with every twist. But there are powerful forces determined to stop him, and he has no idea how far they will go to make sure the town’s secrets stay buried.

Comments

For the most part, we enjoyed this book.  It had us engaged from the first chapter.  A priest in a rural community, is seen welcoming his parishioners before his Sunday services, enters the church to don his robes, he returns five minutes later, holding a hunting rifle. Killing five people, one of whom he was just seen greeting with a warm smile and a friendly handshake.  What could they have been discussing?

Scrublands is well written, and we liked the small insight into how the media, and in a particular a newspaper journalist works.  We loved the side characters and all their backstories, from single mum, Manadalay Blonde, to town recluse, Codger Harris.  However, it seemed to lose it’s way a little towards the end.  There seemed to be a lot going on in a small, rural town.  

Overall, we liked Scrublands and look forward to reading the next book in this series, Silver.

7.5/10

Read by Cultcha Club Book Club