August 2022

Crime/Mystery

The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

Reviewed by Gail McDonald Sandie Jones, the author of The Blame Game, is a freelance journalist and has contributed to the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Women’s Weekly and Hello magazine. She is also the author of many other novels such as: The Half Sister, The First Mistake, The Other Woman and The Guilt Trip. This

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General Fiction

The Only Child by Kayte Nunn

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Kayte Nunn is the author of The Only Child. It is her seventh book and all her previous novels have been very popular and published in several languages. The Botanist’s Daughter won the Winston Graham Historical Fiction Prize in 2020. In the Acknowledgement section of this latest book, the author tells

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An Interview with the author of The Liars – Petronella McGovern

Photo by Giles Park 3 An Interview with Petronella McGovern The Liars is a very contemporary novel dealing as it does with social issues such as toxic masculinity, teenage activism, and the whitewashing of Australia’s early history with Indigenous peoples. Was the subject matter of your novel a deliberate choice in order to highlight these

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Crime/Mystery

The Liars by Petronella McGovern

Reviewed by Rod McLary The title of this book – brief as it may be – immediately flags what it is about: lies, untruths, evasions and secrets.  Set in the small seaside town of Kinton Bay somewhere near Newcastle NSW, the novel explores and exposes many of these lies and the truth is rather confronting.

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General Fiction

The Paris Mystery by Kirsty Manning

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Kirsty Manning’s latest contribution, The Paris Mystery, is promoted as being the beginning of a new crime series. There is much in this story that echoes back to the TV program Murder She Wrote. The protagonist is a woman who gets to wear beautiful clothes and is on the scene when

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History

Harold Holt by Ross Walker

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Ross Walker has opted to tell history as a story. A tale of Holt’s private and public life is a useful way to bring to readers the personality of Holt the man while allowing the decisions relating to his public life to be reported. The book reveals that Holt’s private life

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History

Unmaking Angas Downs by Shannyn Palmer

Reviewed by Ian Lipke With Shannyn Palmer we meet a writer who is very difficult not to quote. We can paraphrase her but always run the risk of producing a lower-rate product. What does this strangely titled book set out to tell us? Why do we need a new work of history that seeks to

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General Fiction

Titans of War by Wilbur Smith with Mark Chadbourn

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This latest volume in the Ancient Egypt Series sees the host nation on its knees. For more than fifty years, Egypt has been beset by a ruthless enemy, she is a civilisation in ruins. The Hyksos, a bloodthirsty barbarian people from the distant east continue to advance, crushing armies in their

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History

Budapest: Between East and West by Victor Sebestyen

Reviewed by Richard Tutin Reading Victor Sebestyen’s very rich and detailed history of Budapest reminded me of when my wife and I visited the city as members of a tour group in 2010. That brought on the urge to dig out of their various hiding places some video and photos we took during the two

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Crime/Mystery

Armored by Mark Greaney

Reviewed by Gerard Healy This is an action story on steroids by Mark Greaney. He’s the American writer whose book The Gray Man has recently been made into a Netflix movie starring Ryan Gosling. Armored starts in Beirut where we meet our all-American hero Josh Duffy, an ex-Army sergeant now working as a mercenary employed

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The Ned Kelly Awards 2022

The Australian Crime Writers Association received 135 entries for the 2022 Ned Kelly Awards, in another strong year of crime writing. The entries were narrowed to a shortlist of 19 books, across the four award categories: Best Crime Fiction, Best True Crime, Best Debut Crime Fiction, and Best International Crime Fiction published in Australia. Two

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Children

Paper Boat, Paper Bird by David Almond

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The title suggests the aspect of the novel that is, like the art of origami, delightfully creative. This Japanese skill is extremely precise and delicate in its essential simplicity. Special papers are carefully folded to create unlimited possibilities. In this book for children, it is a bird and a boat. Mina

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Non-Fiction

So you want to Live Younger Longer by Dr Norman Swan

Reviewed by Clare Brook An author that provides readers with scientific research concerning health and wellbeing and can be simultaneously amusing is clearly a gifted communicator.  Dr. Norman Swan has achieved this in his latest book. So you want to Live Younger Longer? is packed with a wide range of material.  First off it’s all

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Crime/Mystery

1989 by Val McDermid

Reviewed by Rod McLary 1989 is the second book in Val McDermid’s new series of crime thrillers – the first was 1979 – which centres on Allie Burns.  However, ten years after the first in the series, the world has moved on and taken Allie with it.  She is no longer an investigative journalist with

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Children

Flipper and Finnegan by Sophie Cunningham

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve People of all ages who value our wildlife will undoubtedly love the story of Flipper and Finnegan. Based on the events following the oil spill off Phillip Island in Victoria in 2001, it focuses on two little penguins who belong to the smallest of this species of bird. Unsuspecting of the

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