I've got a fascinating book here that I've been dipping in and out of for quite a while now (and some of the authors mentioned will come up again in my Wednesday Waffles), but it's called The Anthology of Colonial Australian Crime Fiction - written by Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver.
The book starts off "The early colonial period in Australia saw the establishment of a number of local publishers, printers and booksellers, all of which played a crucial role in the development of a thriving popular literary culture". As those of you who read my most recent Feature post on the trailblazing women of crime fiction here will have noticed, the timeframe of their writing goes back to some of the very early times of Australian white / colonial history, and this book expands on even more of these writers - male and female.
There are so many names in this book that should be better known to Australian crime fiction fans, but alas, they seem to have been largely forgotten - or least it would seem by the blogosphere anyway, but names like Rolf Bolderwood (Thomas Alexander Browne), Norman Lindsay, Coo-ee (William Sylvester Walker), Francis Adams, Mary Fortune, Ernest Favenc and so on have sort of disappeared into the mists of bookshelves of only the most dedicated fan and followers I guess.
But congratulations has to go to Gelder and Weaver for putting together this Anthology which must do something towards remembering that we have our own back catalogue and our own back stories which deserve ongoing attention.
On current reading matters - A Darker Domain by Val McDermid is possibly one of the best of her books that I've read in a long long time. Not as dark as the Wire in the Blood series, this is a solid police procedural with a hefty, and subtle dose of social commentary and was - frankly - a stonkingly good read. I've also finished (and will write up a review once I've had a bit of thinking time) Witch Doctor's Vengeance by Andy L Semple - local debut author / thriller about killing politicians unless they return power to the people (now that's got to be a topic that sings to the hearts of one or two of us).