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.

Karen Chisholm

Overnight it was announced that Henning Mankell has died. Diagnosed with cancer early last year, he seemed to move behind the scenes after he wrote a diary about the experience. We knew he was ill, we probably all realised that he was unlikely to survive, and yet, 67 seems too young. Too young particularly, to remove a writer of such thought-provoking and insightful books as those that Mankell has penned. 

Karen Chisholm
Paul Cleave wins Ngaio Marsh Award

Paul Cleave became the Crown Prince of antipodean crime writing when his thriller FIVE MINUTES ALONE was named the winner of the 2015 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel on Sunday night.

Karen Chisholm

irst from a long, hot weekend of reading. Did I mention hot. It's OCTOBER and it's stinking. Sigh.

From the Blurb:

"Do you think it's possible to live again, Monsieur? ... I mean ... is it possible to die and then ... live again in someone else?"

Karen Chisholm

Got quite a bit of reading done over the weekend what with the heat and daylight saving meaning I had an extra hour of a night to get a few things done. He's off to Amsterdam middle of this week though so I'm not promising this can / will continue.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

One more from over the long weekend.

From the Blurb:

Travelling from England to Australia in the late nineteenth century, Abigail Sergeant and her brother, Bertrand, are looking forward to their new life.

Leaving behind the prejudices that would likely have seen Bertrand committed to an institution before he reached adulthood, Abigail hopes their new life will offer freedom and security.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the week off - am really behind with this series, so hope to start the second soon.

From the Blurb:

At night Armand lay in bed with a sadness in his heart that ballooned until there was room for nothing else.

He thought with horror of the lying-down room...

Paris; in the stifling August heat, Commandant Serge Morel is called to a disturbing crime scene. An elderly woman has been murdered to the soundtrack of Faure’s Requiem, her body then grotesquely displayed.

Karen Chisholm

The final from the week off's reading, a book I've been looking forward to very much.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Have taken a week away from the computers so a bit of "whatever I want" reading is being fitted in around farm chores.

From the Blurb:

Mumbai, murder and a baby elephant combine in a charming, joyful mystery for fans of Alexander McCall Smith and Rachel Joyce.

On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits two unexpected mysteries.

The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved.

And the second is a baby elephant.

Karen Chisholm

As is always the way when we take a week off in Spring to get started on fire season preparations, there's an arctic blast that drives freezing cold winds through. No rain of course, but lordy it's cold out there so we all (me / him when he's not in the shed doing mysterious things, Meg the old dog, Mambo the Puppy, and Injira the new terrier, 2 hiding cats) are in front of the fire. They're snoring. I'm reading. There is red wine.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Needed some non-confrontational reading this weekend so perfect time to return to the first of the memoirs of Clive James.

From the Blurb:

'I was born in 1939. The other big event of that year was the outbreak of the Second World War, but for the moment, that did not affect me.' In the first instalment of Clive James's memoirs, we meet the young Clive, dressed in short trousers, and wrestling with the demands of school, various relatives and the occasional snake, in the suburbs of post-war Sydney.

Karen Chisholm

Second from a weekend's reading of taking it very easy.

From the Blurb:

Terry Pratchett’s fantasy classic Wyrd Sisters, a novel in the Discworld series, is the story of Granny Weatherwax, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have.

Karen Chisholm
Past Winners

THE NGAIO MARSH AWARD, in association with WORD Christchurch and The Press, is pleased to reveal that whodunit and who-won-it will be announced at a great event at the Court Theatre on 4 October.

Karen Chisholm

First from this NZ based, Swedish born author.

From the Blurb:

Karen's life is abruptly thrown into chaos when her flatmate is gunned down in front of her in the street where they live.

Within days she is forced to take drastic action to ensure her own safety. She criss-crosses New Zealand to evade the killers, changes her appearance and settles into a small community as 'Cara'. But danger still stalks her and she is forced to make dramatic choices in the face of threats and brutal violence.

Karen Chisholm

Didn't get a lot read this weekend again because, visitors and out and about on Saturday night. But started out with this one on Friday.

From the Blurb:

Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda stands a hundred metres high; its exterior coated with gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and topaz. This opulence pales in comparison to the pagoda’s centrepiece—a single seventy-six-carat diamond perched atop the pagoda’s spire since 1871.

Karen Chisholm

From the Ned Kelly nomination list, and the winner of the 2015 Best Adult Davitt - this one's been sitting here for a while now for re-read / review.

From the Blurb:

'I guess it started with the mothers.'

'It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.'

'I'll tell you exactly why it happened.'

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. Was it murder, a tragic accident...or something else entirely?

Karen Chisholm

I know, I've tried to do these monthly summaries before and lost interest but I have a plan. No really. Stop laughing. Right, so August was another interesting month at AustCrimeFiction. Only 14 books from myself this month, with a few reviews from last month, and some added by Robert Goodman as well - so in date within category order:

Karen Chisholm

This debut from the 2014 Ned Kelly S.D. Harvey Award for Short Story writing is for review at Newtown Review of Books.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

The second from a quieter reading weekend than usual (honestly whoever came up with this idea of having to work around the place...)

From the Blurb:

When a major Parisian modern art event gets unexpected attention on live TV, Chief of Police Nico Sirsky and his team of elite crime fighters rush to La Villette park and museum complex. On the site of the French capital's former slaughterhouses, the blood is just starting to flow, and Sirsky finds himself chasing the butcher of Paris, while his own mother faces an uncertain future.

Karen Chisholm

I should be reading lots of other things, but damn it, I'm reading this.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

In a darkened bar, up a wide old stone staircase, deep in Trades Hall Melbourne on Saturday night we gathered for the 20th Anniversary of the Ned Kelly Awards.

These awards were special for a few reasons - they were back in Melbourne, it was the 20th Anniversary of the Neddies (as they are affectionately known) and ACWA had a few surprises up its various sleeves. And I don't just mean the winners of the awards.

Karen Chisholm

Reading this for review at Newtown Review of Books - you can read Robert's review of the book in the meantime.

From the Blurb:

I close my eyes and feel my heart begin racing

Someone is coming

They're going to find me

Karen Chisholm

Acclaimed author, journalist and screenwriter Helen Garner has won the 2015 Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s Best True Crime book for ‘This House of Grief – the Story of a Murder Trial’.

It is the second Ned Kelly Award for Garner, who picked up her previous award ten years ago with ‘Joe Cinque’s Consolation’ – another account of a murder that involved revenge, jealousy and betrayal.

Karen Chisholm

A first for me from this author, written in a very engaging manner.

From the Blurb:

For Keiko Nishisato, leaving Tokyo is a rare adventure, but it’s living in the quiet little town of Painchton, Scotland, that shows her how far she is from home.

Karen Chisholm

Read this over the weekend - one of those stories that sort of sit in the back of your mind, but the details were sketchy.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

From the "no idea why but let's read it anyway pile".

From the Blurb:

If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney - that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest.

Karen Chisholm

Flagged as a number 1 bestseller in Sweden, this is a very unusual book featuring a most unexpected protagonist.

From the Blurb:

A naked and bloody seven-year-old girl walks into a bank, clutching a grubby teddy bear. She plays a threatening recording, demanding money. No one dares intervene. 

The child leaves the bank and disappears, without leaving a trace of evidence.

Karen Chisholm

Another series I'm slow off the mark with, unfortunately.

From the Blurb:

A Greek gangster arrives in Stockholm, only to be murdered in a macabre fashion at Skansen zoo, his body consumed by animals.

As the Intercrime Unit – a team dedicated to solving international violent crime – investigate what brought him to Sweden, eight Eastern European women vanish from a refugee centre outside of the city while an elderly professor, the tattooed numbers on his arm hinting at his terrible past, is executed at the Jewish cemetery.

Karen Chisholm

One of Australia’s most well-known authors, Helen Garner is among a strong list of writers competing for this year’s Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime. The shortlist, announced by the Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) on Saturday August 8 at the Byron Bay Writers Festival includes journalists Debi Marshall, Kate McClymont, Linton Besser, David Murray, Amy Dale and freelance writer Liam Pieper.

Karen Chisholm

Reading for this for f2f bookclub this weekend.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Slight change of pace before heading back into the stacks of crime fiction around here.

From the Blurb:

BEHIND THE WALLS OF GOULBURN JAIL

An unprecedented spate of murders in the 1990s – seven in just three years – earned Goulburn Jail the ominous name of ‘The Killing Fields'. Inmates who were sentenced or transferred to the 130-year-old towering sandstone menace declared they had been given a death sentence. 

Karen Chisholm

It was cold this weekend, dry because ... you know non-existent drought in Victoria ... but reading weather because frankly too cold to battle it out the vague pointlessness of the garden.

From the Blurb:

Joel Fitch used to be a con artist.

That is, until his scam paid off but his life went belly up. Now, two years later, at the ripe old age of 22, Joel has a mattress full of cash and no idea what comes next. The movies never tell you what to do after you’ve walked into the sunset.

Karen Chisholm

Right - subject matter of this one's been a bit of an issue in getting started, but big girl's pants on and reading underway.

From the Blurb:

The hunt is on

A GRUESOME GAME

A madman is kidnapping women to hunt them for sport.

A FRANTIC SEARCH

Detective Janine Postlewaite leads the investigation into the disappearance of Samantha Willis, determined not to let another innocent die on her watch.

A SHOCKING TWIST

The killer's newest prey isn't like the others. Sammi is a cop. And she refuses to be his victim.

Karen Chisholm

To be honest I was leery about another Darian Richards book being so completely over the utterly mad serial killer thing. But this is different and I'm finding it very hard to put down.

From the Blurb:

Darian Richards is an ex-cop, a good one. He did whatever it took to solve a crime and stop the bad guy. Whatever it took! But after sixteen years as the head of Victoria's Homicide Squad, he'd had enough of promising victims' families he'd find the answers they needed. He had to walk away to save his sanity.

Karen Chisholm

One from a cold weekend's reading

From the Blurb:

Set in Queensland, this debut crime novel Double Madness by Caroline de Costa, takes us into a sordid underbelly of psycho-sexual depravity. 

As local residents and authorities in Far North Queensland assess the damage in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi, a woman's body is found in bizarre circumstances deep in the rainforest.

Karen Chisholm

Soji Shimada, author of over 100 mystery novels, is a designer, musician, and astrology writer. Let's hope this isn't the only one of his books translated because it is wonderful.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

A debut novel from Melbourne based author - to be reviewed at http://newtownreviewofbooks.com.au(link is external)

From the Blurb:

Kurt Cobain stands at the top of the stairs, wearing the brown sweater. ‘Please don’t leave me,’ she yells up at him. But it’s too late; he’s turning away as the tram slows for the stop out on the street.

Then she’s lying on the road. Car tyres are going past, slowly. Somebody is screaming. A siren howls.

Karen Chisholm

The first of last weekend's reading.

From the Blurb:

Rebecca Wilding, an archaeology professor, traces the past for a living.

But suddenly, truth and certainty is turning against her. Rebecca is accused of serious fraud, and worse, she suspects – she knows – that her husband, Stephen, is having an affair.

Karen Chisholm

Sneaking in a "want to read" rather than a "have to read" as a bit of a reward for good behaviour. When I say good behaviour of course I mean sticking to the must read piles, as opposed to actual good behaviour. Don't want anybody to get the wrong idea. I'm ridiculously behind / out of order with this series which has been frustrating to say the least.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

An unusual cross genre book - to be reviewed at http://newtownreviewofbooks.com.au/(link is external)

From the Blurb:

When washed up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out.

When more tattoos appear — accompanied by visions of war-torn Afghanistan, bikies, boat people, murder, bar fights and a mysterious woman — he begins to dig a little deeper.

Karen Chisholm

In a weekend where reading was somewhat brief and fleeting, this was such a lucky choice. Fascinating little book.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Second from this weekend, this author says his influences are John Mortimer, PG Wodehouse and William Boyd and you can definitely see that :)

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

A new book from Crickey correspondent, set in the world of corporate / government cyber-terrorism.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

This year I've promised myself a red hot go at reading the entire submissions list for all 3 of the Ned Kelly Categories. Preferably before the 2016 Submissions List is released although there are days when I think I might have bitten off more than I can possibly chew. Still - getting there :)

Next up Best Crime - kept the best to last :)

Karen Chisholm

Been looking forward to this one immensely. Readers who haven't discovered this series yet - can't recommend it highly enough. For review at http://newtownreviewofbooks.com.au(link is external)

From the Blurb:

The fourth engrossing mystery in the acclaimed Dr Dody McCleland series, featuring Britain's first female autopsy surgeon.

Karen Chisholm

Nothing more annoying than knowing you've loved the first book in a series, and despite promises, haven't read the 2nd until there's now 3 and 4 out. Sheesh.

From the Blurb:

DI Helen Grace returns in Pop Goes the Weasel, the electrifying new thriller from M. J. Arlidge.

The body of a middle-aged man is discovered in Southampton's red-light district - horrifically mutilated, with his heart removed.

Hours later - and barely cold - the heart arrives with his wife and children by courier.

Karen Chisholm

This year I've promised myself a red hot go at reading the entire submissions list for all 3 of the Ned Kelly Categories. Preferably before the 2016 Submissions List is released although there are days when I think I might have bitten off more than I can possibly chew. Still - getting there :)

Next up Best First Crime - which is looking better in terms of keeping up with the submitted books.

Karen Chisholm

This book was sitting on one of the hillocks in front of Mt TBR around the place when last weekend my partner happened to pick it up (the hillock was close the couch and he was somewhat movement hampered by 3 dogs demanding nurses). From the first chapter he was extolling its virtues so I thought I should take a look :)

From the Blurb:

At a remote military base in the Indian Ocean, the CIA is trying to get a prisoner to confess. But the detainee, a suspect in an Islamist-inspired terror attack in the United States, refuses to talk.

Karen Chisholm

For our f2f bookclub, this won the 2013 Ned Kelly True Crime Award.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

FIVE OUTSTANDING novels full of mystery and intrigue have been announced as the shortlist for the 2015 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, which will be presented at a WORD Christchurch(link is external) event in late September.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the Ned Kelly nomination - this time the Best First category.

From the Blurb:

One dark secret. Two troubled souls. The lie that brings them together could tear them apart.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the 2015 Neddies Best First category read over the weekend.

From the Blurb:

When a battered wife disappears from a women's crisis shelter after her husband's murder, guilt-driven journo Lexie Reed, has to push the already besieged DSS Wil Saddington to help as she uncovers human trafficking of Melbourne's most vulnerable.

If her husband hadn't been murdered - would anyone have noticed she was missing?