Born in Sydney in 1917, Jon Stephen Cleary, left school at 14 and worked at a variety of jobs before joining the Army in 1940. He served in the Middle East and New Guinea, during which time he started to write seriously, and by the war's end he had published several short stories in magazines. His first novel, You Can't See Round Corners, was published in 1947, and won the second prize in The Sydney Morning Herald's novel contest. It was later made into a television serial and then into a feature film. Cleary worked as a journalist in London and New York from 1948-1951. It was in 1951 that his most well known book, The Sundowners, was published. It was later made into a successful movie. Cleary has been a prolific writer, having published more than 50 books. The first Inspector Scobie Malone novel appeared in 1966, and there are now 20 books in the series. Degrees of Connection won the 2004 Ned Kelly Award for Best Novel and is the final in the Scobie Malone series. In 1995 Cleary was awarded the Inaugural Ned Kelly Award for his lifetime contribution to crime fiction in Australia.
From Australia's 'national literary institution' (Sydney Morning Herald), the latest mystery featuring homicide detective and family man Scobie Malone The time has come for Scobie Malone to leave the Homicide and Serial Offenders Unit of the Sydney police, and his last investigation could be the most bizarre case ever to cross his desk. Called in when a housemaid is found dead in a dotcom millionaire's penthouse, Scobie suspects he's dealing with a kidnap that's gone wrong. In fact, it couldn't have gone more wrong.
The kidnappers thought they had grabbed the millionaire's girlfriend -- how were they supposed to know he liked slipping into her designer dresses when she wasn't around? The plot thickens further when it is revealed that the dotcom bubble has burst, leaving the erstwhile millionaire in debt to the Yakuza and Scobie on the trail of some old adversaries. Throw in the ex-wife, a mistress or two, and the mother of all outlaws, and you have a case that would confound the greatest detective and entertain the most discerning of readers.