It’s on my pile. Still on Crows Nest by Nikki Mottram. She has another…Killarney…coming out soon. Not sure I’ll pursue it. Crows Nest will need to pick up in the second half.

Just finished it. Son of a Croatian gang boss is murdered, seemingly copying after Serb and Italian gangsters are murdered. But wait…there are more thugs.

And there’s surely a sequel.

Well worth a read.

Everything written by Haruki Murakami :wink:

I was the same! I finished all the Thomas Covenant books, and loathed the lot of them. I actually picked up a completely different series by the same author (more in the hard sci-fi vein) years later, and discovered that he had the same plot device of protagonist rapists there too, so I quickly said no thanks. Someone has capital-I Issues

As for fantasy recommendations for @rylandoz - some series I’ve really liked (limiting myself to completed series only!) are Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes, Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Eternal Sky by Elizabeth Bear, Daevabad by SA Chakraborty, Dragon in Chains by Daniel Fox, Bas-Lag by China Mieville, Black Company by Glen Cook, Chathrand by Robert Redick, Winter of the World by Michael Scott Rohan, Mrs Quent by Galen Beckett, Obsidian and Blood by Aliette de Bodard, and Temeraire by Naomi Novik.

Thanks - just used an Audible credit on it.

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I just finished Red Queen by Juan Gómez-Jurado on Audible.

It’s very much a thriller with echoes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Antonia Scott is a very highly intelligent woman who’s used by Interpol to solve the crimes the police struggle with (The Red Queen project). She’s been out of action for 3 years, in seclusion and despair since an attack on her husband which has left him in hospital. But now there are crimes which need her expertise…and to aid her, a disgraced gay Basque police inspector, Jon Gutierrez.

But the son of the bank president of Santander has been murdered and the daughter of the richest man in the world, a textile king, kidnapped,

All set in Madrid, it’s a fascinating game of cat and mouse.

I now see on Amazon that Gómez-Jurado has completed a trilogy of Antonia Scott-Jon Gutierrez novels, only one of which has so far been released in English…and I must say I wish it was translated into English, not American. I particularly liked him referring to “three one-syllable words, god, good and bad”. In Spanish, they’re all of two syllables.

Not brave enough to buy the books in Spanish (been there, done that) but having to refer to a dictionary 4 or more times a paragraph does slow you down a tad.

There are actually 5 Antonia Scott books, but only 3 Red Queen ones. This is the first of them, followed by Black Wolf and White King (his crime novel about bleach).

I listened to the interview between the author and the narrator, and apparently they’ve already cast the series and the main two characters are both leads out of Antidisturbios (SBSOD), Vicky Luengo as Antonia and Hovak Keuchkerian as Jon (also played Bogotá in Money Heist). To be shown on Amazon Prime.

2 more crime fiction books by female Australian authors…

The Blackout by Ruth McIver. Her first book, I Shot the Devil, was set in the US, a bit of a no-no for me, and I wasn’t particularly impressed by the story. This one is based around a series of ‘80s Perth murders and the trial in 2014. But in Melbourne in 2015, ex-cop Joel is being hassled by his older sister because her daughter, Georgina, a true crime podcaster, a girl who’s not especially stable, has gone missing. It comes together quite well. Listened to it via Audible.

Second one, The Trivia Night, by Ali Lowe, set on Sydney’s northern beaches, has a massive amount of jealousy and friction between groups of mothers from a primary school. At the trivia night, they discover that one couple are swingers…keys in the bowl types…and a night of wanton debauchery ensues…but someone has been taking photos. I thought the book was heading down one path. But it didn’t, which is a credit to the author.

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I’m reading another new Australian female author called Karina Kilmore with her debut novel Where The Truth Lies. The protagonist is a journalist (with a dark past, naturally) who is investigating workplace deaths and other shenanigans at the Port of Melbourne involving a major stevedoring company and a waterfront union.

It’s been a bit of a slog to be honest and I’m hoping the last third of the book picks up and rewards the time I’ve put into reading it.

I know I have that one, and i think I started it, but don’t remember finishing it.

I think that goes down as not a recommendation.

Just finished it. In racing form guide parlance … “prefer others”.

I’m onto a new author, Robert M Smith’s Purgatory, set in Manangatang in the early 80s.

Greg Bowker is a senior constable posted there from Ballarat. Something dodgy happened in Ballarat involving him and his wife and an unknown (to us) person isn’t prepared to forget it.

Everyone seems happy to see him but there are some questionable elements in town. Only about a quarter of the way through. So far, so good.

I shouldn’t buy any more for the next few months, but I have about 15 unread ones and Abbey’s have listed 5 new Oz crime books with only one author I’ve read before. So…I will.

Just finished Educated by Tara Westover. It’s autobiographical, about her cooker Mormon family. Weird, totally unrelatable but riveting.

I always go through Abbey’s (bookshop in Sydney) monthly list of new releases, concentrating on Australian crime fiction.

One for this month (or was it last month) was Gathering Storms by Kerry McGinnis. It’s about a woman in Queensland’s Gulf Country who has her bigamous late husband’s daughter dumped on her.

I’d hardly call it crime fiction, although there are some murders, but apart from that, I enjoyed it a lot. It’s more Australian rural fiction.

Onto a Book Club offering at the moment…The Enigma of Garlic, a 44 Scotland Street book by Alexander McCall Smith. I gather it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for some, as I likened it to Seinfeld…a story about nothing. The 14th in a series about some odd people.

Back to the gritty stuff tomorrow.

I don’t think I’ll be revisiting Alexander McCall Smith…bit of a pompous twit.

I had The Call by Christian White (The Wife and the Widow, The Nowhere Child) and Summer DeRoche on Audible. Probably a novella because it went less than 4 hours. A couple get a phone call asking them to vacate their house overnight in return for $100,000. All the usual guilt complexes occur, as we’ve seen in so many films and books, but it did have a really nice twist.

Now onto Taken by Dinuka McKenzie, her sequel to The Torrent. Det Sgt Kate Miles is back from maternity leave and recovering from a bullet wound, and thrown into a child abduction case. In addition, her father, a previous boss of her northern NSW police station, is drawn into stories of a long-standing homosexual affair with a dead NSW (political) minister with associated suspicion of corruption. So far, so good.

Well, I wandered into Abbey whilst back in Sydney during April. Great bookshop still … asked one of the staff moving books around on trolleys (as they do) … can you help me please? I’d like a few brand new Australian novels. No idea who’s who these days but could you recommend?

Came back with a pile 2’ high.

I’m a Tim Winton, Patrick White, Patrick O’Brian (yes), Stephen Fry, Daphne Du Maurier, Sally Rooney and good bios kinda guy. I picked up Madelaine Lucas’s Thirst for Salt but wished I didn’t. Probably shouldve gone with The Prize or The Bookbinder I initially was leaning to.

So many books and authors out there. Sometimes I get lost looking these days. Admire your prolific reviews and reading basically.

I agree with you about Alexander McCall Smith, although I’d say he’s just a bit twee rather than pompous. The Precious Ramotswe No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series was good, but I think he stopped writing them years ago. He’s incredibly prolific.

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Yeah, twee is a better word. I think his frequent Latin epigrams pushed me to pompous.

Finished Dinuka McKenzie’s Taken. It was good, rather than great. The lead detective was still lactating after giving birth at the conclusion of the first book, and it was very front of mind.

Now onto Kerryn Mayne’s Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder. Lenny is a 37-yo primary school teacher out in the Dandenongs. So far, reminds me strongly of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. She has sociability issue and probably has OCD.

Just finished ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ … the story of a female chemist in 1960s America and her journey through life with her child, dog, partner and various other bit players…quirky, funny, dark and endearing.

Definitely recommend.

One of the hazards of reading sci fi/fantasy is that everything seems to be released in trilogies or series, often years apart, so you either read the early books and have forgotten what happened by the time the later books come around, or you have to wait until all the books are out before starting the series at all.

I’ve got 6 weeks travelling coming up, and I’m revelling in the opportunity of a lot of long-haul flights and hotel room time that’ll give me the chance to actually finish some series, and possibly in some cases going back and reading the early books so I remember what’s happening in the process. Daevabad, Jade City, Children of Time, Lotus Kingdoms, Spirit Walker, Tiger’s Daughter, Dominion of the Fallen, Sands of Arawiya, Blackwood and Harrington … it’s going to be glorious!

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