A fair dinkum month – November (and some of October) 2011

Things were a bit frantic at Fair Dinkum HQ at the end of October so I neglected to do the normal monthly round-up and have included a few relevant items below.

Australian crime fiction in the news and on the web

This interview with crime (and now also fantasy) writer Tara Moss tackles a wide range of subjects including the reactions to Tara’s recent blog post which mused about gender bias in publishing, motherhood and where Tara would travel if she could access a time machine.

The Crime Fiction Lover site posted a list of top 5 debut Aussie crime writers, four of these have been reviewed at Fair Dinkum and we’d agree they’re excellent writers. Might be time for us to do some lists of our own eh?

There are two reading challenges for next year that could motivate you to read some great Aussie crime fiction. Full details of the Aussie Authors Challenge and the Australian Women Writers Challenge are available here.

The Australian Chapter of the Sisters in Crime handed out the Davitt Awards for full length crime writing by Australian women on 8 October and the Scarlet Stiletto Awards for short story crime writing by Australian women were announced on 25 November.

Reviews of Aussie Crime Fiction

Lenny Bartulin‘s THE BLACK RUSSIAN was reviewed at Page Turners where Becky enjoyed what was for her a home town book (it’s set in Sydney) and the humour of the larger than life characters.

Gary Corby‘s THE IONA SANCTION was released in the US on 8 November and was favourably reviewed at Earful of Cider where Sarah picks up on the way Corby makes ancient Greek history accessible and interesting and S.Krishna’s Books where Swapna thought it lived up to the high standards of Corby’s first novel . The book is due for release in Australia on 3 January (though I just managed to buy an audio book version which makes something of a mockery of geo-restrictions).

Garry Disher‘s WHISPERING DEATH was reviewed here at Fair Dinkum by Kerrie who said the consummate plotting and storytelling skills on display make Disher the equal of any international crime writer. Kerrie and I don’t always agree but on this point we are in total harmony. The book was also reviewed at Tas Book Lover where David thought it “a wonderfully enjoyable crime fiction novel with absorbing and interesting characters“.

Y.A. Erskine‘s THE BROTHERHOOD was the subject of one of my relatively rare 5-star reviews here at Fair Dinkum. It’s an outstanding novel, especially amazing when you realise it’s by a first time author, and one of those books that I keep thinking about long after closing the back cover.

John M Green‘s BORN TO RUN was reviewed here at Fair Dinkum. It’s a political thriller set in the US and is a great romp of a tale about a woman who wants to be President.

I reviewed Kerry Greenwood‘s COOKING THE BOOKS here at Fair Dinkum. It’s an intelligent cosy mystery which takes place on the set of a new TV drama being shot in Melbourne where someone is playing practical jokes on the show’s star.

Kerrie reviewed Peter Klein‘s RING OF FIRE here at Fair Dinkum and thought the tale of a racing steward was a nicely paced novel, attempting to get past the “who” and to explore, the “why”.

Media commentator and QC Stuart Littlemore‘s foray into crime fiction, HARRY CURRY COUNSEL OF CHOICE, was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction which saw the 5 short stories featuring a brilliant legal mind “a gently amusing little wander around in the far end of crime process”.

Barry Maitland‘s CHELSEA MANSIONS was another book I reviewed here at Fair Dinkum. It’s an above average police procedural full of characters who invite you into their lives, if only for a while, and a satisfyingly intricate plot and it brings to life a delightful-sounding area of London.

Carolyn Morwood‘s DEATH AND THE SPANISH LADY was also reviewed here at Fair Dinkum. It’s a historical fiction novel set after the end of the First World War as Spanish Flu has its grip on Melbourne but nurse Eleanor Jones gets involved in the investigation of one death that isn’t the fault of the flu.

Arthur Upfield’s 1957 novel THE BUSHMAN WHO CAME BACK was reviewed here at Fair Dinkum by guest reviewer Bill Selnes from Canada. It’s interesting to see what Bill makes of this book from another time and place. I must admit I’ve struggle to read Upfield’s books as I find them more dated than other contemporary works and I cringe sometimes at some of the thoughts expressed. But Bill’s thoughtful review does make me think I should re-visit this author who is a big part of Australia’s crime fiction heritage.

I reviewed Nicole Watson‘s debut novel THE BOUNDARY here at Fair Dinkum and thought it a fine addition to the growing library of contemporary Australian crime fiction which examines our society intelligently and realistically while telling a ripping yarn.

Hopefully you can all find something full of Aussie goodness amongst all of that.If I missed your review of an Aussie crime fiction novel or some news you’d like us to know drop us a line at fairdinkum crime [at] gmail [dot] com.

In Decorating news we had a bit of a redesign here at Fair Dinkum. For those who read these posts via email or RSS do drop by and check out our nice new header, designed by the lovely and talented Katie at KD Designs.

3 thoughts on “A fair dinkum month – November (and some of October) 2011

  1. Thanks for all this news & booky updates. I am going to read the Disher but still have another one or two to go to catch up with this series. I shall read The Brotherhood on the basis of your 5 stars & review, it is available on UK Amazon but quite expensive- maybe I’ll ask Santa for it. I shall be reading the Boundary soon owing to some kind Witch of Oz who sent it winging my way recently 😉


  2. This is a good round-up of books. I’ve read two books by Katherine Howell this year, thanks to your generosity. And between this website and Angela Savage’s top books of the year, I’ll be reading a lot of mysteries by women from Oz, including The Brotherhood and The Boundary, Death Mask, The Half-Child and more by Howell, since I’m hooked. I’ll see what else I can find around and about online booksellers. I’ll also read Garry Disher’s latest book because of rave reviews. I may try the Australian Women Writers Challenge since I’m heading in that direction.


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