THE LADY FROM ZAGREB
Hachette Australia RRP $29.99
It’s 1942 and Bernie Gunther, the wisecracking, Nazi-loathing detective continues to survive and maintain a passing acquaintance with his self-respect. The novel follows our German gumshoe through Berlin, Yugoslavia, Switzerland and back again, becoming involved with espionage, psychopathic ex-priests, murderers and movie stars, all while falling in love and trying to stay in Goebbel’s good books.
So far I had only read the first of the series, March Violets, (the next two novels The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem are waiting patiently on my book shelf) so I was very pleased to receive this review copy. It is a mark of Philip Kerr’s skill that in its eleventh book the series is still fresh, still saying interesting things about life on the German home front–a subject rarely touched upon in literature or film. Continue reading
Published 1st September 2014, Jonathan Cape (Random House)
I started reading The Quick without knowing what it was about. I bought it because the cover attracted my attention and the purposely vague blurb on the back pricked my interest. I enjoy reading good Victoriana and halfway through the first page I was confident I had found it.
Simon & Schuster (Mar 2015; ISBN 9781471124211)
In the outskirts of the idyllic town of Sidwell lives a lonely girl named Twig. She and her mother have a secret. A secret which makes them virtual recluses on their apple orchard. Everything changes though, when a family moves into the old witch’s house nearby. The possibility of friendship arises, so does the chance to bring the secret to an end. But there will be trials to navigate before the prize is won.
This is a delightful story. Hoffman is a skilled writer who spins an interesting and dramatic tale about the better aspects of human nature. It is a story of trust and friendship, honesty and kindness.
THE FIREBIRD MYSTERY
Darrell Pitt ISBN: 9781922147752
I must first declare an interest. I too am a steampunk writer, living in Brunswick and also published by Text (we also have the same shirt size).
The Firebird Mystery is a fast paced romp through an alternative steampunk England, set between the wars – think The 39Steps with teenagers and robots. We met orphaned circus acrobat, Jack Mason, and try to keep up with him as he and his companions, Scarlet and Mr Doyle, pursue a dastardly criminal conspiracy through chapters of ever increasing stakes. I could almost hear the orchestra playing the ‘chase’ score from the Saturday morning adventure series as I read. Continue reading