The best new crime reads in June

Our crime specialist shares 9 great crime reads to look out for this month.



Nancy Business by R.W.R. McDonald

Four months after 12-year-old Tippy Chan, her uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon started The Nancys – an investigative team that solved the brutal murder of Tippy’s teacher – a new case blows up, quite literally, right nearby. Riverstone, Tippy’s New Zealand home town, is rocked by an explosion near the Airbnb home Pike and Devon have rented on their trip from Sydney, and three people are killed. The police are set on who the bomber is, but Tippy isn’t so sure, and enlists the help of her fellow Nancys to figure out what’s really going on. Because who better to solve the case of a horrifying murder than a 12-year-old girl, a hairdresser and a fashion designer?

Just like R.W.R McDonald’s first book, this is an absolute riot. The entire town is populated by characters who make the adjective ‘colourful’ seem like a violent understatement, and while everyone’s got secrets, there’s also no shortage of confessions, shady gossip, underhanded exchanges of information, torrid affairs and extremely short shorts.

Throughout all this, there is layer upon layer of love, affection and the heartbreak of growing up while dealing with loss and grief. Tippy is a hero you adore, stumbling through life with equal amounts of smarts and confusion about what the hell all the grown-ups are talking about. Let’s face it, if that’s not something we can all still relate to, I don’t know what is.



Falling by T.J. Newman

It’s probably a good thing nobody’s travelling as much lately, since that lowers your chance of reading this terrifying novel on a plane. Captain Bill Hoffman has been flying planes for years, and has taken on today’s flight as a favour to his boss, despite it meaning he’ll miss his son’s first Little League game. That’s the biggest problem on his mind until partway through the flight when he gets an email containing a photo of his wife with a bomb strapped to her chest, and the choice: crash the plane or your family dies. Bill is determined that the answer is to do neither, but how is it remotely possible to save your family and an entire passenger list from thousands of feet in the air? An absolutely finger-shredding nail-biter.


Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh

DCI Jack Hawksworth’s life is almost back to normal after the struggles of the last few years when he’s put on the case of a potential serial killer. Nobody’s quite sure yet, since none of the killings are the same, but the dead do share a similar, grim background: they’re criminals who have caused waves of grief. Who is seeking justice – and where will you, as the reader, fall as you read? It’s been more than a decade since Fiona McIntosh’s last Hawksworth novel, and fans of both sleuth and author will be thrilled with this return.


While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

You might recognise Stacey Abrams’s name from her hard work campaigning for voting rights in America. Having written several books under a pen name, Abrams is releasing a legal thriller under her real name, and one set in the Supreme Court, no less. When the Justice she works for falls into a coma, young law clerk Avery Keene finds herself as his power of attorney. When she discovers something about a case he was investigating that could change the medical field forever, the complicated puzzle of clues she needs to follow could lead Avery to the gravest of danger. A highly astute mix of politics, law and suspense.


The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey

It is a joy to read Sujata Massey’s Perveen Mistry novels, following India’s only female lawyer as she delicately and cleverly breaks down barriers, solves cases and saves lives in the early 20th century. In The Bombay Prince, a young Edward VIII is arriving in Bombay on a tour, much to the frustration of a country sick of British rule. College student activist Freny Cuttingmaster comes to Perveen’s office to ask if she can boycott the tour – and then is found dead from a fall days later, just as the prince’s parade passes by. Perveen is determined to see justice for the young woman whose conviction impressed her so – but who would have been so brutal as to kill a student for her principles? Deeply researched and rich with historical detail, Massey’s newest book is an honest look at a turbulent time.


The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Alex Michaelides’s The Silent Patient was one of the biggest crime books of the past few years. If you’ve been feeling the loss of Greek tragedy-tinged crime fiction, then worry not: your wait is over. Troubled group therapist Mariana Andros is grieving the loss of her husband, when her niece Zoe calls her from Cambridge University, distraught. In Cambridge – a place heavy with memories for Mariana – she finds Zoe’s best friend dead, and believes the most obvious culprit to be Professor Edward Fosca. But he has an alibi in a secret society of beautiful young women called The Maidens, who worship him. Mariana is convinced they would lie for him, but would they die for him too? Or is Mariana just falling apart? A moody, cryptic thriller.


Digging Up Dirt by Pamela Hart

Everybody loves a renovated home, but nobody loves the renovation process – especially when your builder discovers bones underneath the floor they’re ripping up. TV researcher Poppy McGowan hopes they’re not human bones, not least because that’ll delay the build, but the relief at finding out they’re animal is short-lived when the archaeologist sent to investigate – Poppy’s nemesis, Dr Julieanne Weaver – says they’re from a rare sheep species and declares Poppy’s home an archaeological site. Poppy’s mad, but not enough to kill her nemesis, which is unfortunate when Julieanne winds up dead in Poppy’s house, and she’s a suspect. So is Tol Lang, Julieanne’s unbelievably attractive boyfriend. All Poppy wants is a house, her dead enemy’s lover, and not to be accused of murder. Is it too much to ask, really? An entertaining romantic mystery rife with Australian politics and scandalous fun.


Still by Matt Nable

Summer in Darwin, 1963, and Constable Ned Potter is doing his usual rounds, driving his battered four-wheel- drive around town. When he encounters two men staring at something in the marshlands, he doesn’t expect to find it’s a dead body – or that the victim has been shot. Before the day’s even over, his boss has lifted the case right out of his hands and told him to back off, and the victim’s wife has offered up what happened: her husband saw something. Something he shouldn’t have. But she won’t say what. Meanwhile, Charlotte Clark – young, married, yet alone – is struggling with her bitter new life when she discovers a heavily injured man who says he needs her help. Thick with humidity as tangible as the words on the page, and suffused with violence, this is a rural thriller to fill your Jane Harper void.


The Dying Diplomats’ Club: A Nick & La Contessa Mystery by Matthew Benns

It feels like a long time since we’ve seen a newspaper serial turned into a real book, but Matthew Benns’s detectives, Nick and La Contessa, have leapt off the news pages onto – well – another page, in this high-octane political drama. When Nick and La Contessa and their beloved beagle Baxter arrive at Kirribilli House on New Year’s Eve at the Prime Minister’s invitation, everything feels suitably dramatic – and that’s before the announcement that rocks all the guests and invites murder to the party. This all-new romp sees Nick, La Contessa and their investigative hound try to figure out what’s happening before the Dying Diplomats’ Club stops being exclusive and gets far too many members.

Also out this month:

Louise Candlish’s apartment-based back-from-the-dead mystery The Heights; B.M. Carroll’s You Had It Coming, which sees a paramedic and her childhood best friend in the crossfire after an attempted murder on the man they hate; a forensic veterinarian thriller (and the first time I have written those words together in a sentence) in Greg Buchanan’s Sixteen Horses; The President’s Daughter, the new thriller by President Bill Clinton and James Patterson (hopefully with some input from Chelsea); Martin Walker’s 14th Bruno Chief of Police book, The Coldest Case … and more!

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Nancy Business

Nancy Business

R.W.R. McDonald

$29.99Buy now

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