When pilot Claire Hardcastle stumbles over human remains hidden in a swamp, she and her partner, DSS Jack Body, are happy to leave the investigation in the hands of the police and continue their holiday.

They're visiting Jack's uncle to participate in the annual sheep muster and for Claire to meet Jack's extended family. 

Then Claire meets two guests from a luxurious hunting lodge who are searching for their father. Suddenly all the people she’s mixing with seem to have motives for concealing or revealing the truth behind the body in the swamp. 

In a few exciting days that encompass a sheep muster, earthquake, flooding and piloting a sabotaged aircraft, Claire has to survive and understand the mystery of whose body was in the swamp, and why a hunting lodge in New Zealand, catering to international celebrities, has become embroiled in violent crime. 


Penelope Haines

Penelope Haines became a writer when she realized she could gaze out of the window with a glass of wine in her hands and claim to be working.  Her previous occupations of Nurse, Management Consultant, Parent, Farm Manager, CEO and Commercial Pilot failed to achieve this simple clarity. Her training as a nurse taught her not to kill patients; her training as a flying instructor convinced her to be patient as students attempted to kill her. Penelope’s current status as ‘alive’ is a testament to the speed of her reactions.  Writing detective novels allows her to explore new and creative ways of murdering those who have offended her. So far the results of that exploration have remained purely fantastical. Penelope's interests are centered round reading, writing, music, theatre and horse-riding. She maintains she is a single minded person, having one dog, one cat, one horse and one husband.

Country of Origin


Series: Claire Hardcastle

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Review Straight and Level, Penelope Haines
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Review Death on D'Urville, Penelope Haines
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Blog #amreading Straight and Level, Penelope Haines
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
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