Karen Chisholm
2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards Longlist

Young offenders, criminal histories:

Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed

An extraordinary literary tag-team is among several tales inspired by historic events to be named today on an eclectic longlist for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

Karen Chisholm

There's a bunch of reviews in the unpublished queue here that have never been pushed live for a number of reasons - many of them boring admin problems, some of them because the book hasn't exactly been to this reviewers taste and, believe it or not, I don't always like posting negative reviews, especially if I've struggled to find a positive about the book. I'd hasten to add - these are in the minority / most of them are because I've been flat out and haven't had a chance to verify / check the review content.

Andrea Thompson

Those books that you hear of one minute, read the next, and then see it has been snapped up by a film production company?

This is one of those.

Karen Chisholm

For the last few months there's been a lot of hammering, sawing and scaffolding lying about the place as a whole new AustCrimeFiction release has been bullied and cajoled into place.

Along the way I've attempted to catch up with missing books / updated covers / new authors / new bios / new odds and ends but have undoubtedly missed something. If you happen to notice any updates that should have occurred then drop me a line via the Contact page and I'll attempt to catch up... again.

 

Karen Chisholm

I'm actually half way through this extremely promising piece of writing.

From the Blurb:

Jessica James had the perfect life. She had a good job, supportive friends, and her husband Geoff and her son Jack both adored her. Everything changed the moment she found out she was having another child. 

Karen Chisholm

Lots and lots of noise about this one.

From the Blurb:

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town--brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he's hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne--something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can't remember the night in question.

Karen Chisholm

Australian independent booksellers, members of Leading Edge Books, are thrilled to announce their Shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2019, for the best Australian books published in 2018!

Established in 2008, the Indie Book Awards recognise and celebrate this country’s incredible talent and the role independent booksellers play in supporting and nurturing Australian writing.

Who will win in each category in 2019?

Who will take out the overall ‘2019 Book of the Year’ Award?!

Without further ado, here is the Shortlist for the 2019 Indie Book Awards:

Karen Chisholm

L. A. Larkin, acclaimed thriller author, will introduce Harry’s Quest, the new novel from A. B. Patterson

L. A. Larkin is an internationally acclaimed British-Australian thriller writer of several outstanding novels, including The Genesis Flaw, Thirst, and Devour. Her thrillers have drawn many excellent reviews and award nominations.

Karen Chisholm

Given how long it took me to get the spelling of reminiscences right, I think I'm still in holiday mode. Or a lousy speller. We took a few weeks off over Christmas and New Year and actually took the time off - very little was done on computers, tablets and smartphones. We nearly melted in a couple of early season heatwaves that just reinforce the idea that we're all going to hell in an incinerator ... where was I oh yeah, 2018 Reading Reminiscences. There were some very good books around in 2018 and this is less recommendation and more a meander around in the ones I really enjoyed.

Karen Chisholm

A nice comic styled novella just because.

From the Blurb:

A rookie spy. Europe on a knife edge. A distinct lack of coffee.

Eva Destruction is back in her first ever assignment. Straight out of the MI6 academy, Eva is on the trail of a supposedly dead fellow agent. It’s a nothing assignment given to a rookie, but when suicide bombers hit a NATO conference the mission is kicked into high gear. Eva chases a carnage of gunfire and explosions across Europe in search of the mysterious shadowy organization, ‘The Tempest’. 

Karen Chisholm

Second in the Rory James series from Bendigo based author Colin King.

From the Blurb:

When a Melbourne couple in witness protection are found assassinated in their bed, zoology student Josh Marshall recognises the address. He quickly realises he had inadvertently been an unseen witness to a bent cop divulging the couple's location to the hitman ... and he has the hard evidence to prove it.

Andrea Thompson

VOX is one of those books that we've heard that is frightening for only being a couple of steps away from our current reality.  Modern life is a horror story.

Full review to come!

THE BLURB:

Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Andrea Thompson

So much to unpack from the reading of this book.  Full review to come!

FROM THE BLURB

In 2009, in the NSW country town of Armidale, a mentally ill young man is shot dead by a police officer. Senior Constable Andrew Rich claims he ‘had no choice’ other than to shoot 24-year-old Elijah Holcombe — Elijah had run at him roaring with a knife, he tells police.

Karen Chisholm

Second in the DCI Daley series - I've been listening to this one recently - really enjoying the slight touches of humour in this series.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

This has been the most fascinating listening. So fascinating I did a ridiculous amount of unpicking of sewing seams over the weekend.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Because life isn't complicated enough - this is my in car listening at the moment. I will die if I keep laughing this much.

Karen Chisholm

As you know I don't blog a lot of personal stuff, but it's probably time to mention that I'm no longer on the ACWA committee so not monitoring the social media accounts, not getting emails from the website etc.

Karen Chisholm

I'm very behind with posting things - got some major website work under way so I'm behind, I'm disorganised and I'm very distracted at the moment. I finished this book night before last - coming out later in November from Echo Publishing, but more on that when the review is posted.

From the Blurb:

An atmospheric crime novel with a burning moral dilemma at its heart.

Karen Chisholm

Started this one last night and what with the heat and never-ending dry it feels like home... ;)

From the Blurb:

For Cass Tuplin, proprietor of the Rusty Bore Takeaway (and definitely not an unlicensed private investigator), it’s weird enough that her neighbour Vern has somehow acquired a lady friend. But then he asks Cass to look into the case of the dead rats someone’s dumped on Joanne’s doorstep.

Karen Chisholm

Started reading the third Georgie Harvey / John Franklin novel by Sandi Wallace last week ... this time set in the Dandenong Ranges, which was a bit of a blast from past - rain / storms / fog / trees down / cold. Vaguely remember how all of that worked.

From the Blurb:

How could police lose three children?

Three missing children.

A wild storm.

A long way from home.

Melbourne journalist Georgie Harvey is on hand when three children disappear from a police-run camp in the Dandenong Ranges.

Karen Chisholm

Cato Kwong is back in the much anticipated fourth novel in the series, and I'm blissfully happy about that.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Back in pre-computer days when the History taught in our schools seemed to be fixated on Medieval England to the exclusion of everywhere and everything else (including Aboriginal history which has always pissed me off in the extreme), we, unsurprisingly given the myopic focus, never explored events surrounding either of the World Wars. Since then my forays into education in this sphere have been shamfully sporadic so I'm grateful for this novella and essay which is casting some light into this corner. 

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

From the shamefully overdue pile (turns out I have quite a few shameful piles...)

From the Blurb:

Cocaine. Construction. Corruption.

The unholy trinity of Sydney

Self-made property mogul Tina Leonard has already lost her business, her home and custody of her children because South East Banking Corporation left her bankrupt. Now it appears she is being framed for the murder of her banker Oliver Randall, a senior executive of the corporation. Her motive? Revenge for ruining her life and her business.

Karen Chisholm

I remember very well when this triple murder occurred, so I'm hoping this book will cast some light into dark places.

From the Blurb:

'The slaughter was extravagant and bloody. And yet there were people in the small town of Wedderburn in Central Victoria who, while they did not exactly rejoice, quietly thought that Ian Jamieson had done them all a favour.'

Karen Chisholm

Another from the was reading pile (I've been computer avoiding for a few days).

From the Blurb:

Four years ago, in the small town of Birravale, Eliza Daley was murdered. Within hours, her killer was caught. Wasn’t he?

So reads the opening titles of Jack Quick’s new true-crime documentary. A skilled producer, Jack knows that the bigger the conspiracy, the higher the ratings - and he claims Curtis Wade was convicted on flimsy evidence and shoddy police work. Millions of viewers agree.

Karen Chisholm

This is the latest in the rural noir pile, and 50 or so pages in feels like a very good entry indeed.

From the Blurb:

Perhaps if Sweetapple hadn’t stopped to help the idiots who had just near run him off the road in their ute, things may have gone entirely differently.

Karen Chisholm

Backcountry mystery outshone big city crime at WORD Christchurch Festival on Saturday evening as Alan Carter and Jennifer Lane were named the winners of the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards.

Karen Chisholm

Post the #neddies it is sometimes hard to get back in the reading groove, so I'm starting with something rather different from what I'd normally contemplate going near. So far the plan is working...

From the Blurb:

The Girl on the Train meets Before I Go to Sleep with a dash of Bridget Jones in this chilling tale of love gone horribly wrong …

Karen Chisholm

From the just finished pile.

From the Blurb:

An outsider detective. The vigilante killer with a message. A cold case they both want solved.

From Amazon Bestseller S.D. Rowell comes a heart-pounding crime mystery that will keep you thinking until the final page… 

Karen Chisholm

In 1942 Peter Corris was born in Stawell Victoria. 122ks away, I arrived in a similar part of the world sometime later. In 1980 I was newly arrived in Melbourne, and by absolute happenstance, a crime fiction fan, living around the corner from Murder Inc in Auburn Road, Hawthorn. My delight at that stage was the discovery of a ready source of John Wainwright's books. And then Malcolm, the lovely and profoundly knowledgeable gentleman who ran Murder Inc, asked me if I'd like to try something local for a change. The Dying Trade was my first Cliff Hardy novel.

Karen Chisholm

So on the weekend we (as in the ACWA Committee(link is external) - Rochelle Jackson, Robert Goodman, David Whish-Wilson, Louisa (LA) Larkin, Andrea Thompson, Jacqui Horwood, Deb Crabtree, Georgina Heydon, Meg Vann and I) did a thing.

Karen Chisholm

Big change of pace, but I'm actually reading something written by someone who is not from our neck of the woods!

From the Blurb:

Murder wasn't the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He's done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there's someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn't the man on trial.

Karen Chisholm

From the heaving great pile of reading matter that I'm very behind with.

From the Blurb:

When Andy and Mel’s double date turns into a snuff film, Andy fights back, killing one of her attackers, leading to an unwanted aftermath of attention and threats. 

Detective Daniel Connor links the attack to the recent discovery of six female bodies found buried in bushland on Sydney’s Northern Beaches – three double homicides now thought to be part of an organised snuff-film ring. 

Karen Chisholm

I've been wanting to read this interesting analysis for sometime now so yesterday sat down and did so.

From the Blurb:

Alison Hoddinott writes about the history of crime fiction set in Oxford, from the early decades of the 20th century to the present. Her emphasis is on novels written by women and the ways in which their fiction deals with both the mystery and its solution and with the situation of women within the university and in the wider community.

Karen Chisholm

You've probably noticed that there are a few of us posting here, and recently it's turning into a bit of a three way tussle who gets in first with a review (okay 2 way, it's rarely me :) ) so given that predictabilty - my turn to read this now.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

There's a LOT of buzz going around about this one.

From the Blurb:

In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot dead himself. 

Karen Chisholm

Slight (okay extreme) change of pace.

From the Blurb:

Rebecca wondered if she was looking at an elaborate hoax. She wasn't.

Along with a dozen other journalists and food-industry celebrities, she had just witnessed the unveiling of the baked head of one of Adelaide's most celebrated chefs. The head of Leong Chew sat on a pewter platter. The cloche had just been removed, revealing Leong Chew, clearly not at his best.

Karen Chisholm

One that I finished over the weekend - review to come asap.

From the Blurb:

A fugitive in the present. A runaway in the past.

Eliza Carmody returns home to the country to work on the biggest law case of her career. The only problem is this time she’s on the ‘wrong side’ – defending a large corporation against a bushfire class action by her hometown of Kinsale.

Karen Chisholm

So I read this one over the weekend but it's another that a review will come out in the next day or so, in the meantime ... read it.

From the Blurb:

‘Her name is Sammy Went. This photo was taken on her second birthday. Three days later she was gone.’

On a break between teaching photography classes, Kim Leamy is approached by a stranger investigating the disappearance of a little girl from her Kentucky home twenty-eight years earlier. He believes she is that girl.

Karen Chisholm

Twenty-five years ago, serial killer Paul Denyer terrorised the Melbourne bayside suburb of Frankston.

It began on 11 June 1993 when Elizabeth Stevens was murdered on her way home from the library. Then, on 8 July, Debbie Fream left her new baby boy with a friend while she dashed out for milk. She was abducted and killed.

True crime writer Vikki Petraitis was researching her second book, after writing The Phillip Island Murder (Kerr Publishing, 1994), when she unexpectedly found herself in the middle of the hunt for a serial killer.

Karen Chisholm

Catching up on some of the true crime books stacked about the place.

From the Blurb:

Career criminal John Killick was involved in the most audacious prison break in Australian history when he escaped from Sydney’s Silverwater prison after his partner in crime Lucy Dudko commandeered a scenic helicopter flight at gunpoint.

Australia’s ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ spent 45 days on the run before being caught… Killick was sentenced to 23 years jail; Dudko to ten. After his release, the pair meet up again but are they the same people? Is the magic still there?

Karen Chisholm

Following on from Gideon Haigh's A Scandal in Bohemia, a factual account of the life and fate of Molly Dean, now The Portrait of Molly Dean, a fictional look back and Molly's life from the point of view of independent art dealer Alex Cayton. A fabulous read.

From the Blurb:

An unsolved murder comes to light after almost seventy years...

Karen Chisholm

This year’s longlist for the Ned Kelly Awards announced by the Australian Crime Writers Association celebrates the novels of well established crime writers and talented newcomers.

“Crime Fiction is one of the most popular genres in the world and Australian authors have a strong and distinctive voice.” says ACWA chairperson Rochelle Jackson.

“These longlists celebrate the best of Australian fiction and non-fiction crime writing and show that we are up there with the best in the world.”

 

Karen Chisholm

Finished this late last night because I wanted to read it and because next up (after a bookclub read) it's Katherine Koviac's book The Portrait of Molly Dean.

From the Blurb:

An unsolved murder takes one of Australia’s foremost writers of non-fiction into the 1930s Bohemian demi-monde, exploring the fate of a talented young woman trying to make her way in that artistic, sexualised, ‘liberated’ world.

Karen Chisholm

Because I've been doing a lot of "required reading" recently, I decided to indulge myself in random dips into the Discworld series on audio. Of course a while ago I also promised myself I'd read the entire Discworld series from start to finish again, so I'm blithely ignoring myself and am, as a result, all over the place - Unseen Academicals being Book 37 in the series. I'd pretend that I picked it because of the coincidental timing with the World Cup but we all know that's tosh. I picked it because I picked it.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Turns out that injury to my partner (he's okay) is something that will bite into your reading time. Things ground to a bit of a halt last week what with himself managing to require hospitalisation for a back injury. He's feeling a lot better now and might have got off with one of those dreaded "you're not as young as you think you are" warnings over a back which we all know is dodgy. Anyway, this has been lurking on the reading pile for way too long.,

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Started this one last night.

From the Blurb:

Not all murder victims are mourned, but the perpetrator must always be punished ...

For Robert Church, superintendent of the Parramatta Female Factory, the most enjoyable part of his job is access to young convict women.Inmate Grace O'Leary has made it her mission to protect the women from his nocturnal visits and when Church is murdered with an awl thrust through his right eye, she becomes the chief suspect.

Karen Chisholm

I am sort of keeping pace with myself again, having just finished this book...

From the Blurb:

All she wanted was to escape. But why does she still feel trapped. A gripping psychological drama by the author of Mothers and Daughters and Into My Arms.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the pile up of things I should have mentioned a week ago.

From the Blurb:

A top executive dies suddenly.

An accident?

A murder?

An inside job?

Hundreds of suited suspects in one city office.

Detective Sergeant Brian Shaw is recalled from Yorke Peninsula.

From sleepy country town to throbbing city throngs, clashing personalities, old scores to be settled, frustrated ambitions, jealousies, and something new: female tellers.

A hotbed of suspicions from managing director to tea lady.

Karen Chisholm

 

Latest, just finished read. Hopefully this is the start of another series.

From the Blurb:

The young detectives call Alan Auhl a retread, but that doesn’t faze him. He does things his own way—and gets results.

He still lives with his ex-wife, off and on, in a big house full of random boarders and hard-luck stories. And he’s still a cop, even though he retired from Homicide some years ago.

Karen Chisholm

A memoir originally published in 2015 I listened to Sue Perkins on the audio version of this and thoroughly enjoyed it.

From the Blurb:

When I began writing this book, I went home to see if my mum had kept some of my stuff. What I found was that she hadn't kept some of it. She had kept all of it - every bus ticket, postcard, school report - from the moment I was born to the moment I finally had the confidence to turn round and say 'Why is our house full of this shit?'

Karen Chisholm

I am actually reading this one right now. I'm all caught up in other words!

From the Blurb:

Ten years after surviving special operations in Afghanistan, Danny Clay is working as a scriptwriter in the emotional war zone of TV production. His best mate and editor is Vietnamese neighbour Zan who may or may not have killed a man with her bare hands. When their writer friends start dying in mysterious circumstances, Danny must resurrect his old army sapper skills to prevent himself and Zan becoming the next victims.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the have read pile - this is the 3rd book in the Natalie King series.

From the Blurb:

Natalie King has been hired to do a psychiatric evaluation for the children’s court. A custody dispute. Not her usual territory, but now that she’s pregnant she’s happy to do a simple consult.

Turns out Jenna and Malik’s break-up is anything but simple. He claims she’s crazy and compulsive; she claims he’s been abusing their daughter Chelsea.