May 2023

Crime/Mystery

The Signatory by Stuart Black

Reviewed by Ian Lipke This book straddles the shaky fence between crime and thriller writing.  It is best described as a crime novel amply boosted by patches of quite scary writing that makes the heart skid into overdrive until the situation is resolved. Such passages combined with some very good writing make a much more

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General Fiction

The Summer Place by Janette Paul

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This internationally published author, writing under the pen name Janette Paul, has once again provided an enjoyable read for those looking for contemporary women’s fiction and romantic comedy which she writes. She is a former news and sports journalist who also writes suspense novels under the name Jaye Ford. The story,

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Young Adult

They Hate Each Other by Amanda Woody

Reviewed by Rod McLary Who doesn’t enjoy a good romance?  Especially when the protagonists – at least initially – seem to dislike each other, but by the conclusion of the book or film, end up together.  One only needs to think of Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen or Rex Harrison and

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Fantasy/Science Fiction

Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Violet Sorrengail, who has never been completely well all her life, had planned to join Basgiath War College as a member of Scribe Quadrant, where she would have had a better than even chance of surviving her training period. However, her mother, a commanding general, has ordered her daughter to enter

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Literary Quiz and Answers

Our last Literary Quiz asked for the name of the authors of these books with animal titles.  Here are the answers. Kangaroo D H Lawrence White Tiger Aravind Adiga Cat’s Eye Margaret Atwood The Leopard Giuseppe Tomasi The Goose Girl Shannon Hale The Maltese Falcon Dashiell Hamment The Silence of the Lambs Thomas Harris The

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2023 Age Book of the Year

The winners of the 2023 Age Book of the Year Award have been announced. Robbie Arnott won the fiction award for Limberlost (Text) and Kim Mahood won the nonfiction prize for Wandering with Intent (Scribe). Announced at last night’s Melbourne Writers Festival opening gala, the winners each receive $10,000 courtesy of the Copyright Agency. The judges praised Arnott’s skill in describing the Tasmanian landscape

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Health/Medicine

The Flying Nurse by Prudence Wheelwright

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke This book covers twenty years in the remarkable life of a young woman, Prudence Wheelwright, who was born on a merino sheep station in New South Wales. The writing of the book was undertaken to help her to recover from trauma which had built up through her work as a nurse,

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Historical Fiction

Where Light Meets Water by Susan Paterson

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke For a debut novel, Susan Paterson’s Where Light Meets Water is a delightful read. The imagery she has created with her descriptions is vivid, the information about various places around the globe is interesting and her characters are complex and endearing. For the storyline, she has created the fictional character, Thomas

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Crime/Mystery

The Rush by Michelle Prak

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The Rush is, at long last, an outback thriller with backbone. No longer is some suburbanite translated to a property south west of Nowhere, who thinks like a city person armed with a bit of knowledge she has read in some novel located in the corner store. Rather we meet people

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History

She’s a Beauty by Don Loffler

Reviewed by Richard Tutin It’s amazing how words and phrases are handed down as part of the folklore of various events over the years. Such is the exclamation “She’s a Beauty!” said to be uttered by Prime Minister Ben Chifley at the launch of the first Holden car in 1948. It’s not the first time

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Memoir/Biography

King Charles III by Robert Jobson

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke It would be very hard to write a book about someone whose whole life has been lived in the media. Yet this is what Robert Jobson has done. With the death of the long reigning Queen, Charles has now become the main focus of the media. Jobson is no doubt well

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Historical Fiction

That Bligh Girl by Sue Williams

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It is always good to receive a book by Sue Williams. I recall Elizabeth & Elizabeth and now before my eyes is Williams’ latest, the fabulous That Bligh Girl. I must hasten to add that Williams is a tough writer. The hours she would have devoted to meticulous research must be

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Crime/Mystery

Echo Lake by Joan Sauers

Reviewed by Ian Lipke  Echo Lake was meant to scare its readers. It is the standard “who-dunnit” that, apart from the aim of untangling clues and deciding who caused the death of Victim X, builds an image that scares the reader as it unfolds. It is the author’s intention that readers should be left uncomfortable

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Non-Fiction

Formula One Down Under: Australian Grand Prix History

Reviewed by Richard Tutin It’s always interesting when a governing sports body calls its prize event a circus. It can mean one of two things. They may be referring to the event’s peripatetic nature as it travels the world through the year, or it could refer to the behind-the-scenes dramas and semi-dramas that assist the

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General Fiction

The Albatross by Nina Wan

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The pandemic had varied and profound effects on the world, many were tragic. However, there are reasons to smooth the horrific memories that flooded our screens, daily. One is that creativity flourished as people were forced into long lockdowns. Nina Wan’s book, The Albatross, is a splendid example of this. Her

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