Fiona Hardy

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Website: http://readingkills.com/

Twitter: @readwatchtweet

Fiona Hardy blogs about Crime Fiction at readingkills.com and puts together the Dead Write column for the Readings Monthly newsletter. In her spare time she sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

As usual, there was a fair internal fight about what should be this month’s Book of the Month (as I’m not allowed to take up eight pages with my extended thoughts on each title), but something about …

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Black Teeth by Zane Lovitt

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

If you are a local who decides to rush out and buy Black Teeth just after you read this review, you’ll find yourself with the ultimate literary luxury: reading a book in July in Melbourne set in a Me…

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Sunset City by Melissa Ginsburg

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Short and anything but sweet, Sunset City paints a neon-soaked picture of Houston’s grimiest places, visited by a drunk and bereaved Charlotte Ford, trying to find solace after the death of her oldes…

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The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Inspector Ashwin Chopra (retired) has a perplexing task in front of him indeed after taking his wife to Mumbai’s Prince of Wales Museum to see England’s crown jewels, only to have them stolen just as…

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The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

In a San Franciscan hotel, Caleb Maddox cleans the cut on his forehead. His girlfriend threw a crystal tumbler at his head, and it didn’t miss. It’s all he can do to fix himself up and then go and fi…

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All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Over the few days I read this book, I wouldn’t steal small moments to read a page when I could, but instead find a place to relish the act of reading with the same slow-burn intensity the book itself…

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All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Pen Sheppard is listless in her mother’s country home, lost again in the world of her childhood – her mother’s bad boyfriends, a town full of fakery, gossip as currency, and reputations that never di…

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Good Money by J.M. Green

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

This time is an unfair part of the year for picking my Book of the Month. When confronted with Gentill, Disher, Rankin, Galbraith and more, somehow I’m supposed to make a decision? Of course, like yo…

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The Dark Inside by Rod Reynolds

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

As someone who’s never been to America’s south, I only know what I read in books: lots of diners, folks who don’t like the look of you, and dirt tracks where any manner of thing can go wrong. And I l…

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Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

While I love a solely plot-driven book as much as I love a blustery action movie (i.e. a LOT), a book that has characters of real depth and diversity, like Resurrection Bay, is quite simply a pleasur…

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Kingdom of the Strong by Tony Cavanaugh

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Darian Richards is a lost man. A man he has hunted for years has vanished again, presumably overseas. His lover is gone. The Noosa River, the one bank of water that affords him peace, is not doing it…

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The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I’m never sure about the idea of two authors collaborating to write – surely, there would just be constant fighting about where to put commas? – but from the first few pages of this book I was immedi…

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The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Defence lawyer Will Harris has barely recovered from being hospitalised after going rogue in his first book, Blood Witness, when he and his lover Eva are attacked and threatened by strangers who tell…

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Before it Breaks by Dave Warner

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

DI Daniel Clement lives in a patchy so-called apartment on top of a supply store by the wharf, trying to piece his life back together after abandoning his excellent career in crime-prone Perth to bec…

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The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Claus Moreany’s publishing house is on the verge of going under when his distractingly beautiful employee Betty discovers unknown author Henry Hayden’s manuscript in a pile. Frank Ellis becomes a run…

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The Invisible Man from Salem by Christoffer Carlsson

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Similar in tone to last year’s hit The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (both books were written by authors young enough to fill this reviewer with some jealousy), The Invisible Man from Salem ha…

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If She Did It by Jessica Treadway

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Hanna and Joe Schutt are unsure about their awkward daughter Dawn’s first love, the handsome yet unnerving Rud, but are pleased to see their daughter happy – until the night they are viciously beaten…

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Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Swedish Lapland, June 1717 (note, this reader virtually never reads things set in the past): Finns Maija and Paavo take their children Frederika and Dorotea to Sweden, away from the fear that has bea…

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Ferdinand von Schirach

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Okay, let’s face it: I’m making The Girl Who Wasn’t There my book of the month so that some of you will read it and then we can talk about it. I’d also recommend you read Schirach’s first book, Crime

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A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

There is something so completely delicious about Rowland Sinclair and his louche band of comrades, the rapscallion Australian heroes of Sulari Gentill’s 1930s-set series. I could eat them all up with…

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Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

In 1998, Walter Kirn is waiting to become a father and up for a noble distraction: driving a paralysed Gordon setter named Shelby from his home state of Montana to New York City. There, Shelby would …

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Malice by Keigo Higashino

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I am not a perfect reader. I can get impatient, huffing if a book hasn’t grabbed me by page three. And then I read something like Malice and it serves as a lesson that giving a book the chance to get…

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The Few by Nadia Dalbuono

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Detective Leone Scamarcio is a straight cop with a bent history: his father was a leading member of the Mob, and while he might not have inherited his father’s criminal inclinations, his father’s rep…

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Life or Death by Michael Robotham

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Some plots grab your attention as swiftly as a viper can attack your ankle: it’s unexpected, gets the blood going and you’ll be feeling the effects well after you’ve been bitten. Audie Spencer Palmer…

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What Came Before by Anna George

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I made a lot of notes in this book, a lot of marks on the page to remind me of particular lines or moments. A note beside the scene of retired lawyer Reg, in his lounge room, hearing his young, blood…

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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

When I thought about it, the last time I did such an intense marathon read of a book was probably when the final Harry Potter book came out. I was working that day, and a kid was reading it in the co…

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Claustrophobia by Tracy Ryan

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Beginning renovations can often unearth some unpleasant things beneath the floorboards or behind walls, yet when Pen Barber is cleaning before work begins on the bush-tangled Perth home she shares wi…

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Lonely Graves by Britta Bolt

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

According to my research (i.e. reading the note at the start of this book), Amsterdam will hold funerals for any anonymous people – those without family, for example – who die there. These services h…

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The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Before using this hefty book as a doorstop this autumn, enjoy the 600 pages of small-town intrigue, Russian-doll narrative, backwards chapters and a story that has such a twist I almost called in dea…

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The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Nicki Clements is driving her son’s sports uniform to school when a police blockade puts a dent in her travels. It’s at the barricade that she sees him: the police officer who knows a piece of her se…

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News

Best new crime reads in July

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Black Teeth by Zane Lovitt

If you are a local who decides to rush out and buy Black Teeth just after you read this review, you’ll find yourself with the ultimate literary luxury: reading a book in July in Melbourne set in a Melbourne July not so long ago. When you turn the pages you’ll be wearing gloves, just like Jason Ginaff does a lot of the time, since he’s the k…

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Best new crime reads in June

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Sunset City by Melissa Ginsburg

Short and anything but sweet, Sunset City paints a neon-soaked picture of Houston’s grimiest places, visited by a drunk and bereaved Charlotte Ford, trying to find solace after the death of her oldest friend. Danielle was murdered – beaten to death in a hotel room – and the cops are wondering why, after years of distance, Charlotte spo…

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Best new crime reads in May

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan

Inspector Ashwin Chopra (retired) has a perplexing task in front of him indeed after taking his wife to Mumbai’s Prince of Wales Museum to see England’s crown jewels, only to have them stolen just as he and his wife have their turn with the famed gems. After they regain consciousness and composure, it’s no…

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Best new crime reads in April

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

Over the few days I read this book, I wouldn’t steal small moments to read a page when I could, but instead find a place to relish the act of reading with the same slow-burn intensity the book itself has: only on my own in a room, only when it was silent. But not when I was alone, and certainly not when I was alone in …

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Best new crime fiction in March

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME FICTION OF THE MONTH: All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford

Pen Sheppard is listless in her mother’s country home, lost again in the world of her childhood – her mother’s bad boyfriends, a town full of fakery, gossip as currency, and reputations that never die. Pen hoped she was rid of her hometown when she went to university, living on campus and making a new life, yet here s…

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Best new crime books in February

by Fiona Hardy

NEW CRIME FICTION Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

The fifth book in the Sean Duffy trilogy proves yet again that we should be grateful that McKinty went into literature and not maths. I’ve yet to meet a reader who wasn’t thrilled by Duffy’s company – he’s the kind of down-on-his-luck but quick-on-the-uptake character you love to spend time with, always losing girlfriends for various reasons and…

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