Karen Chisholm

Grant Nicol is originally from New Zealand but his fiction is set in Iceland, where he now lives. This is a bit more of a novella.

From the Blurb:

Everybody Makes Mistakes!

A mutilated body is found on a lonely street in Reykjavík.

Detective Grímur intends to see that justice is done.

Kjartan Jónsson vows that his daughter’s killer will be punished. And that the punishment will fit the crime.

Prime suspect Gunnar Atli desperately needs to prevent his own dark secrets from coming to light. And he’s not the only one.

Karen Chisholm

This year I've really made an attempt to keep up with debut Australian crime novels - although a few, as with this one, have dodged my faulty radar. Catching up now needless to say.

From the Blurb:

An astute novel about Australian racism — and about humanity prevailing over entrenched prejudice.

Karen Chisholm

Wanted something that's guaranteed to be a bit of fun - so this seemed perfect - being from a very good cosy series.

From the Blurb:

Six romance writers
Five secrets
Four poison pen letters
Three stolen manuscripts
Two undercover journalists
One over-complicated love life
Way too many teacups and tiny sandwiches

Karen Chisholm

Having been a huge fan of other forensic investigations of early Australian Crime Writers done by Lucy Sussex, I've been looking forward to this one immensely. Will be reviewed at http://www.newtownreviewofbooks.com.au(link is external)

From the Blurb:

Before there was Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there was Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab—the biggest- and fastest-selling detective novel of the 1800s, and Australia’s first literary blockbuster.

Karen Chisholm

Used to think I'd be able to keep up with the local crime writing output. Didn't realise I was quite that delusional. This is one from last year that I blinked and missed.

From the Blurb:

When Dimitri Telegonus is promoted to the Serious Unsolved Crime Unit to investigate the disappearance of a beautiful blonde escort, he thinks he’s finally made the big time. He’d always wanted to do detective work; thought it was his destiny.

Karen Chisholm

I've been shuffling this book up the stack for a while now, and somehow it keeps not quite making it to the top. Which is so annoying, that sometimes you have to knock the whole teetering pile to the floor and read what you bloody well want to read.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Dear reader, you may know of my love of Japanese crime fiction.

From the Blurb:

SIX FOUR. 
THE NIGHTMARE NO PARENT COULD ENDURE. 
THE CASE NO DETECTIVE COULD SOLVE. 
THE TWIST NO READER COULD PREDICT.

For five days in January 1989, the parents of a seven-year-old Tokyo schoolgirl sat and listened to the demands of their daughter's kidnapper. They would never learn his identity. They would never see their daughter again.

Karen Chisholm

Look I can't explain why I'm reading it either.

From the Blurb:

A woman is attacked in strange circumstances on a midnight street in Valletta, Malta. An island country known for its history of early civilisations and military might is the backdrop for a series of distant relations and revelations as we follow Jack Sant; a Knight of Malta, on his quest to solve some of the country’s worst cold cases. 

Karen Chisholm

This one has had me a little intrigued and a little uncomfortable as it's edged it's way to the top of the queue. Part romance, part detective story, investigating the perils and exhilaration of young love...

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Love a good thriller, so jumped at the chance to read this new offering from Pantera Press.

From the Blurb:

Stepan Volkov forfeited his future when he was paid to forget his past.

Forced to adapt, he ultimately became the world's most wanted killer... feared, vicious and brutal.

A tool of the Organizatsiya, a Russian crime syndicate that forged him into 'The Wolf', he's pursued by American spies and Australian agents, torn between his need to survive and his desire to be free.

Karen Chisholm

January, being a month in which we took a break from computers, meant a lot of reading and then a scrambling review catchup - which is still not caught up.

Read / To be Reviewed:

Girl Waits with Gun, Amy Stewart

Karen Chisholm

I've been wading around on the darker side for a while now, and this is very light, cosy stuff with a humorous side which kind of appealed over the weekend.

From the Blurb:

It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime ...

When Nell Forrest's life hits a speed bump (which is most definitely not a midlife crisis) a cruise around the Mediterranean seems like just the ticket.

Karen Chisholm

I did jump this up the queue. A lot. I just love short story collections, and there are some wonderful writers in this.

From the Blurb:

Is there really such a thing as an innocent person?

Teachers, cops, mothers, wives, everyone has their breaking point; that moment where it could go either way. From the prostitute with no way out, to the bitter author, and a cop who just wants his leave, the characters in this collection will baffle and bewilder you at every turn.

Karen Chisholm

When I was but a girl, my grandmother and I were a tad addicted to Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers books and we read them all although often lamenting the lack of local crime books with local settings. How excited were we both to discover in the late 80's / early 90's that there were local women writing really good crime fiction. Jean Bedford was one of those discoveries and we hoovered up the Anna Southwood books with relish - often reading the same book at the same time so we could share long telephone calls about them.

Karen Chisholm

Been hearing lots and lots of whispers about how good this interesting approach to true crime is. 

From the Blurb:

In 2004, the body of a young Perth woman was found on the grounds of a primary school. Her name was Rebecca Ryle. The killing would mystify investigators, lawyers, and psychologists - and profoundly rearrange the life of the victim's family.

Karen Chisholm

Due for release in early March so review will be published around then.

From the Blurb:

You don’t have to believe in ghosts for the dead to haunt you.

You don’t have to be a murderer to be guilty.

Within six months of Pen Sheppard starting university, three of her new friends are dead. Only Pen knows the reason why.

Karen Chisholm

From earlier in this week - something I've wanted to read for a while, so one of my "just because" reads for this month.

From the Blurb:

Called to a woman's refuge to take a routine witness statement, DI Marnie Rome instead walks in on an attempted murder.

Trying to uncover the truth from layers of secrets, Marnie finds herself confronting her own demons.  Because she, of all people, knows that it can be those closest to us we should fear the most . . .

Karen Chisholm

The 2nd in the Harry Belltree trilogy and the book I finished this afternoon when I should have been working.

From the Blurb:

Detective Sergeant Harry Belltree, back on the job after a near-fatal confrontation with corrupt colleagues, has become a departmental embarrassment. The solution is a posting away from Sydney and a quiet life in Newcastle.

Karen Chisholm

This book, from India, has such a wonderful sense of place and culture, partially due to the "tone" of the writing, which is beautifully lyrical.

From the Blurb:

The mysterious and alluring Pramila, resident of Avantika Heights, is brutally murdered. Sudhir Das, the security guard from the Golden Red Security Agency, is caught red-handed. 

In steps Sudhir's boss, young Orko Deb, the hesitant avenger. 

His cautious sleuthing, all over Kolkata, throws up more questions than answers. 

Who is Pramila? 

Karen Chisholm

The 4th book in the excellent Cate Austin series, because I'm an absolute idiot, I've missed the 3rd. Now will have to restack the teetering stacks!

From the Blurb:

When Ellie goes missing on the first day of Schueberfouer, the police are dismissive, keen not to attract negative attention on one of Luxembourg’s most important events. 

Karen Chisholm

Wanted a change of pace and something from the true stacks.

From the Blurb:

Ever since the First Fleet dropped anchor, Australia's ports have been a breeding ground for many of Australia's most notorious criminals, and a magnet for local and overseas crime syndicates.

Karen Chisholm

Third book from 2 time Ned Kelly Award winner - I've been hoarding this just a little, until I could sit and do a one / two sitting read. Perfect for the last weekend of holidays then.

From the Blurb:

If Detective Frank Bennett tries hard enough, he can sometimes forget that Eden Archer, his partner in the Homicide Department, is also a moonlighting serial killer . . .

Karen Chisholm

Somewhere in the middle of the month - actually remembered to post some best of's for 2015. Other than that, this is a combination of books read, read and reviewed, and reviews caught up with, because I didn't really keep track of what was what. I was on holidays - from computers and PM tools if nothing else. 

Reviewed in December:

Karen Chisholm

It's always a Good New Year when you open a book from Adrian McKinty and from the starting paragraph you're hooked. 

From the Blurb:

It’s just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy: riot duty, heartbreak, cases he can solve but never get to court. But what detective gets two locked-room mysteries in one career?

Andrea Thompson

Due to be published Jan 2016.

Review to come!

Karen Chisholm

Technically I'm not here - we're taking a few weeks off from computers to try to recharge battered batteries. It's been so bloody hot here we've nearly melted and nope it hasn't rained. Not a bloody drop.

Which has meant some reading time in amongst the hourly trips outside to make sure the poultry at least are surviving this appalling weather.

American Blood, Ben Sanders

Karen Chisholm

I'm mathematically challenged at the best of times, and never more so than when greeted by the need to come up with a "list" of a certain number. Okay so that's probably less to do with maths and more to do with a pathological hatred of arbitrary rules. So let's just go with this being the best of list of all the books (currently at 147 or so) that I was fortunate (in the main) to have read in 2015.

Karen Chisholm

Read this one over the weekend. Review to come.

From the Blurb:

BRISBANE, 1984. Jim Harris is a hard-drinking Australian detective on his way to a nervous breakdown. Every day, he works alongside corrupt cops and dangerous crooks. That is, until a brutal murder case unravels his career, bringing past indiscretions to light. Alone, afraid, and out of control, Harris makes a pact with himself: Four days to locate the killer. Four days to take revenge. Four days to find redemption.

Karen Chisholm

Reading this for a series review at Newtown Review of Books.

From the Blurb:

When Rowland Sinclair is invited to take his yellow Mercedes onto the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed, he agrees without caution or reserve.

But then people start to die.

The body of a journalist covering the race is found in a House of Horrors, an English blueblood with Blackshirt affiliations is killed on the race track. and it seems that someone has Rowland in their sights.

Karen Chisholm

A big November, with a welcome back to Andrea Thompson who is posting reviews and blogs now around her busy day job(s), kids, fostering animals, coffee drinking day to day activities :)

Reviewed This Month:

Inside the Black Horse, Ray Berard

Karen Chisholm

Didn't get a heap of reading done over the weekend (went to see The Dressmaker yesterday which took a big chunk out of the day), but I did start this one last night.

From the Blurb:

You can run from everything but your fears.

Three years after a gang brutally murdered his wife and son, Sergeant Cam Fraser has returned with his daughter Ruby to the country town where he was raised - a town too small for trouble. But then a body is found on the school grounds, badly burned and unrecognisable. Who in Glenroyd could possibly be a murderer? And why?

Andrea Thompson

My first Simon Beckett!  Half way in, really intrigued as to when the bubble will burst for the main character. 

Summary from Random House Australia:

Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...

Karen Chisholm

A change of setting and some very high paced action.

From the Blurb:

A high-octane thriller with a heart-stopping conclusion about a mysterious American woman who disappears into the Cambodian underworld, and the photojournalist who tracks her through the clues left in her diary.

Karen Chisholm

From the "should probably have already read this" but now reading for next f2f bookclub meeting...

From the Blurb:

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Karen Chisholm

Debut from Kiwi based writer Ray Berard, which came with a very big rap from Craig Sisterson.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

2nd book in the DI John Mahoney series, set in Tasmania.

From the Blurb:

Tasmania is in trouble. 

While mainland Australia surges through the backwash of the GFC the island state is struggling. Political infighting, bureaucratic ineptitude and a lack of investment have curtailed progress. Too many people are lodging on ‘Struggle Street’. 

Karen Chisholm

The 3rd Cormoran Strike novel, and the 2nd that I've read in the last week :)

From the Blurb:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible--and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

Karen Chisholm

Another busy October with slightly improved reading numbers. 

Read and Reviewed this Month:

Crime Fiction

Poison Bay, Belinda Pollard

Television reporter Callie Brown likes safe places with good coffee. But she joins friends from the past on a trek into New Zealand’s most brutal wilderness, in the hope of healing a broken heart.

What she doesn’t know is that someone wants them all dead.

Karen Chisholm

Having just had a week of holidays (well partially holidays / partially off-air because we hit the limits of our Internet data cap and have been desperately trying to avoid being shaped which meant no non-essential online activity), got a fair bit of reading done! Stand by for more on this book in December.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Set in Australia, written by an English author, from the world of international diplomacy.

From the Blurb:

Diplomat Jess Turner is the British Consul in Canberra. When a British businesswoman is brutally murdered in a Queensland resort, Jess travels to Brisbane to liaise with the police, and help the victim’s next of kin, her journalist sister, Susan. 

Karen Chisholm

A debut novel steeped in archaeology and librarianship, very much from the cosier end of the crime fiction scale.

From the Blurb:

Yearning for her former life as an archaeologist, Australian librarian Dr. Elizabeth Pimms is struggling with a job she doesn’t want, a family she both loves and resents, and enforced separation from her boyfriend.

Karen Chisholm

One of those books that I could have sworn I'd read, but then couldn't find a note of it anywhere. Got into it and realised, nope, hadn't read it. 

From the Blurb:

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

Karen Chisholm

Another from this past week's reading (got a lot of catching up done) - this from NZ based author Katherine Hayton.

From the Blurb:

Elisabet wakes with amnesia. The care offered to her by a husband she doesn’t remember descends within weeks into aggression and violence.

Lillian lies hogtied in an underground cell. Forget about escape; unless she can manage the necessities of life she’ll be dead within days.

Karen Chisholm

There's nothing like a new Wyatt to make a reader very happy.

From the Blurb:

Wyatt needs a job.

A bank job would be nice, or a security van hold-up. As long as he doesn’t have to work with cocky idiots and strung-out meth-heads like the Pepper brothers. That’s the sort of miscalculation that buys you the wrong kind of time.

So he contacts a man who in the past put him on the right kind of heist. And finds himself in Noosa, stealing a painting for Hannah Sten.

Karen Chisholm

No idea what to expect with this one but felt like something a little different. Got that.

From the Blurb:

The Euganean Hills golf community in northern Italy is a golfer’s paradise. With a perpetual smell of freshly cut grass, rolling green plains, and bright blue skies, it seems nothing could go wrong for the tight-knit group that lives there.

Karen Chisholm

Latest thriller in the Dan Taylor series, which I will admit to really liking.

From the Blurb:

Dan Taylor has survived two attempts on his life. The rest of his team are missing, and now a terrorist group has stolen a radioactive isotope from a top secret government project.

Can Dan survive long enough to prevent a nuclear disaster on British soil?

Karen Chisholm

Having got out of order on these, now going back to read the first of the Ash Henderson books.

From the Blurb:

The tabloids call him the Birthday Boy. He snatches girls just before their 13th birthdays. One year later the family get a homemade card in the post - 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!' scrawled in blood-red ink above a Polaroid photograph of the missing girl. Detective Constable Ash Henderson is seconded to the investigation.

Karen Chisholm

Debut book from Australian author for review at Newtown Review of Books.

From the Blurb:

Introducing Stella Hardy, a wisecracking social worker with a thirst for social justice, good laksa, and alcohol.

Karen Chisholm

I started this a while ago and had to put it aside due to scheduling, but it stayed with me. Now real life is intruding on finishing it in a most annoying manner.

From the Blurb:

Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children's books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease - enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.

Karen Chisholm

Bit of a self-indulgent pluck from the middle of books that I should be reading.

From the Blurb:

A jilted bride weeps on an empty beach. A local doctor is attacked in an isolated churchyard. Trouble arrives at a bad time to the backwater village of Morfi, just as the community is making headlines with a visit from a high-ranking government minister. Fortunately, where there's trouble, there's Hermes Diaktoros, the mysterious fat man whose tennis shoes are always pristine and whose investigative methods are always unorthodox.

Karen Chisholm

Recently launched, ‘Provocare’ is a multimedia verse thriller created by Meg Vann, writer; Mez Breeze, interaction designer; and Donna Hancox, research lead for Creative Industries at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). It is the first work to be commissioned and produced for ‘Queensland Writers on the International Stage’, an Arts Queensland funded programme created by QUT and The Writing Platform.

Karen Chisholm

September Monthly Summary (told you I had a cunning plan). Although the posting itself is late because of RIDICULOUSLY early fire weather with extreme heat and gale force winds. In October.

Good grief.

Not much reading last month - time off in an attempt to get some things organised before himself headed off on a work trip.

Karen Chisholm

Author that lives in Brisbane, who has written a book set in a particularly brutal part of the New Zealand wilderness.

From the Blurb:

“The Maori call this place Ata Whenua—Shadow Land.”

Television reporter Callie Brown likes safe places with good coffee. But she joins friends from the past on a trek into New Zealand’s most brutal wilderness, in the hope of healing a broken heart.

What she doesn’t know is that someone wants them all dead.