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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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Business/Finance

On Your Own Two Feet by Helen Baker

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders Financial adviser Helen Baker’s latest book is billed as “The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women”. That sets a pretty high bar but, with some reservations, she manages to jump it. The first challenge is to whittle down a huge range of possible topics, while still appealing to a

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General Fiction

Lionhearts by Nathan Makaryk

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Lionhearts opens with England in dire need of a king. But Richard 1, the Lionheart, has been captured while on Crusade and is held fast in Austria pending payment of a ransom. To raise the money needed to bring him home, every lord has increased taxes and the common people are

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Memoir/Biography

Heartache & Birdsong by Sam Bloom

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve From a heartache, deep and near unbearable, to the carefree beauty of birdsong, the road crawled along by Sam Bloom is an unforgettable experience she shares with her readers.  The horror of her predicament, after a catastrophic accident on a family holiday in Thailand, is graphically and movingly conveyed in her

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Non-Fiction

Where Shadows Have Fallen by Adrian Mitchell

Reviewed by Ian Lipke All those women, like so many restless houris, each demanding to possess his memory. All those equally wavering details, supporting a romanticised idea of the poet. The one thing that is securely on the record is the poetry itself, a poetry of light and shade, and uncertain ways. A poetry of

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Children

A Clue for Clara by Lian Tanner

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve It is widely accepted that there is an insatiable thirst for the detective genre in novels, as is evidenced by the number of books bought or borrowed.  Most devotees are women especially book club members.  Therefore, it was with an air of familiarity that I picked up A Clue for Clara.

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General Fiction

The Tolstoy Estate by Steven Conte

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The Tolstoy estate is the setting for this novel.  It is where the revered Russian writer is buried, in a glade in his lands west of Moscow and where he lived most of his later years. Estate can also mean legacy and this book surely is a valued indication of that.

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General Fiction

State Highway One by Sam Coley

Reviewed by Rod McLary It is always exciting to read the first published book of a new author.  Sam Coley is the author of this book describing a road trip undertaken by Alex and his twin sister Amy following the sudden death of their parents.  The circumstances which lead to the road trip and the

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Buried by Lynda La Plante

Reviewed by Ian Lipke In the longevity stakes Lynda La Plante has no equal. I remember reading the first volume of Prime Suspect as a young man, never realizing that it would be the first of a gripping series. Before we knew it, there were televised versions of most of the Prime Suspect series. Lynda

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The Viennese Girl by Jenny Lecoat

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke The author of this novel, Jenny Lecoat, is a veteran writer. Yet, The Viennese Girl (Hedy’s War), is her debut novel. Since the 1990s, Jenny Lecoat has been a professional screen writer in various formats. Prior to this time, she made a name for herself as one of the first female

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The Truth Hurts by Andrew Boe

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Andrew Boe’s new book is both a record and a reminiscence of a series of cases in which he has been involved over past decades. He alerts his readers to shortfalls in the Australian legal systems, using case studies to make his points. His name is familiar to Australians who follow

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Under Pressure by Robert Pobi

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Robert Pobi’s Under Pressure, his second in the Lucas Page series, like his City of Windows, is a well-presented book with a richly endowed cover, this one depicting a city skyline devastated by a black cloud suggesting a catastrophe of mammoth proportions. (A cruel observation would be that the black cloud

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Written in Blood by Chris Carter

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Those who like fast-paced American crime novels will like this book. Those who can hail a police detective and praise him for making lightning decisions that are invariably correct will love this novel. Those who can understand humanity by basing judgments on theories of psychology will be right at home here,

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The Storm Before the Calm by George Friedman

Reviewed by Ian Lipke It is not often that a non-fiction book makes me excited but George Friedman has succeeded in doing just that. I rarely concur with the blurb that publishers insert in the covers of books but statements like ‘an illuminating, provocative new book by the master geopolitical forecaster’ strikes a chord with

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Reasonable Doubt by Dr Xanthé Mallett

Reviewed by Norrie Sanders The content of this book is summed up on the cover “Lost lives, justice delayed, criminals walking free: exposing Australia’s most wrongful convictions”.  Author, criminologist and TV presenter, Dr Xanthé Mallett, has once again tapped into the rich vein of Australian true crime to provide disturbing examples of innocent people sent

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