Fiona Hardy

Fiona-hardy-pic_bigthumb

Website: https://fionathehardy.com/

Twitter: @readwatchtweet

Fiona Hardy puts together the crime column for the Readings Monthly newsletter and also blogs about children’s books at Fiona The Hardy. In her spare time she sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

Wanderer by Cat Power

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Six years after her electronica-influenced album Sun, Chan Marshall returns with a pared-back, self-produced album that she has dedicated to all those who wandered before her, a notion that weaves it…

Read more ›

The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

There are few in the crime world quite as capable at both solving mysteries and baking an excellent sourdough as Corinna Chapman: baker extraordinaire, sometime detective, and general lady-about-town…

Read more ›

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Mejia’s first book, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, was a wonderful study of a small town dealing with large problems. In Leave No Trace, the trouble is much more personal. The city of Duluth is rock…

Read more ›

Loose Units by Paul F. Verhoeven

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Decades after a youthful Paul Verhoeven inadvertently sees a crime scene photo that he’s never been able to shake, he sits down with his ex-cop father John to find out why. Why he couldn’t shake it, …

Read more ›

Retribution by Richard Anderson

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

For those resolutely suburban readers, like me, the allure of rural crime is relentless: all those long, dark roads, the expansive farmland where anything can hide, and a certain type of character wh…

Read more ›

The Nowhere Child by Christian White

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

One rainy Melbourne evening, photography teacher Kim Leamy is approached in the cafeteria by a man who has news that will knock Kim right out of her orbit: he believes that she is not Kim Leamy, but …

Read more ›

Into the Night by Sarah Bailey

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

After the events of Sarah Bailey’s debut The Dark Lake left Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock unable to be the partner, mother and human that everyone in the regional town of Smithson needed her to …

Read more ›

Live and Let Fry by Sue Williams

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Honestly, how I’m expected to go past a title with a pun like this is beyond me. In the third book starring small-town fish-and-chip-shop-owner-and-also-detective-but-not-officially Cass Tuplin (the …

Read more ›

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

In the seaside town of Kennewick, Maine, the body of a bookseller is found at the bottom of the cliffs he loved to walk along. His son, Harry, makes his way from the college graduation he will now mi…

Read more ›

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Get in your horse-drawn carriage and bunker down in your crumbling countryside home for this one, readers – you’re going to need all the time you can get for reading and contemplating your way throug…

Read more ›

If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Sometimes, when reading a gripping crime novel, you feel almost paralysed with helplessness as things go terribly wrong for your protagonist and all you can do is read in a panic as the author leads …

Read more ›

Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

The regional Australian town of Colmstock is rife with desperation. Since the closing of the town’s automotive factory caused the job market to fall apart, much of the population has slumped into mis…

Read more ›

A Dangerous Language by Sulari Gentill

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

About halfway through this book, I had to put it down – for something trivial like sleep, or dinner, or spending time with my family – and saw a review on the cover comparing Gentill to Evelyn Waugh.…

Read more ›

Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Call your spouse, tell them you have an important work meeting. Slip on a pair of green contact lenses, slide on a black wig, and get in an unassuming taxi. Find the bar you need – the note is writte…

Read more ›

And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Since Emma Viskic’s debut novel Resurrection Bay took out two of Australia’s biggest crime awards – the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and a slew of Davitt Awards – readers have been waiting …

Read more ›

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

In a small, nearly-forgotten Swedish town in the forest, hockey is the reason the sun rises. After years of financial despair, of closed businesses and schools, and kids who want nothing more than to…

Read more ›

Security by Gina Wohlsdorf

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

On the Californian coastline, a glorious new hotel awaits its opening. Manderley Resort will be the most sophisticated of places to stay, thanks to highly detailed planning: from the opulent surround…

Read more ›

The Cleaner by Elisabeth Herrmann

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Espionage novels are like a long swim in stormy weather – by turns comforting, slightly terrifying, and a thorough workout. It is, of course, absolute heaven to sit there on your couch with a glass o…

Read more ›

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

On a summer’s day in 1939, Lily Shepherd boards the cruise liner Orontes, gaining assisted passage to escape her bleak English life for the shores of Australia. She leaves behind a family stricken on…

Read more ›

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

From the moment Nicolette Farrell hears her brother’s message – that they need to sell the family home – she knows she has to go back to her hometown of Cooley Ridge and deal with the other thing she…

Read more ›

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I’ve long been a sucker for American stories set away from the intensity of their cities and in the country’s open heart: those wide endless prairies; the sheriffs who know everyone and ride the thin…

Read more ›

Night School by Lee Child

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I often try to put local and small-press authors as my books of the month, mainly because they’re great, but also because Readings has an extensive history of author support that I’m very proud to be…

Read more ›

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Like many readers, I’ve adored Melina Marchetta since my English teacher issued Looking for Alibrandi as a Year 11 text and we all gleefully discussed it in class since all of us actually happily rea…

Read more ›

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 …

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

News

The best new crime reads in October

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Spotted Dog by Kerry Greenwood

There are few in the crime world quite as capable at both solving mysteries and baking an excellent sourdough as Corinna Chapman: baker extraordinaire, sometime detective, and general lady-about-town. Kerry Greenwood – of Phryne Fisher fame – returns to the present with another tale of Corinna’s industrious adventures, this time inv…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads in September

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Mejia’s first book, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, was a wonderful study of a small town dealing with large problems. In Leave No Trace, the trouble is much more personal. The city of Duluth is rocked when a store theft turns into something more deadly and the young man at the centre of it is the near-mythical Lucas Blackthorn: The Lost…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads in August

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Loose Units by Paul F. Verhoeven

Decades after a youthful Paul Verhoeven inadvertently sees a crime scene photo that he’s never been able to shake, he sits down with his ex-cop father John to find out why. Why he couldn’t shake it, how his father coped with so much worse, and how videogame reviewer and pop-culture nerd Paul veered so much away from the paths of actio…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Live and Let Fry by Sue Williams

Honestly, how I’m expected to go past a title with a pun like this is beyond me. In the third book starring small-town fish-and-chip-shop-owner-and-also-detective-but-not-officially Cass Tuplin (the first one: Murder with the Lot), Cass is accosted one day by fellow resident and ex-let’s-not-mention-it Vern, who’s got a new girlfriend…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

In the seaside town of Kennewick, Maine, the body of a bookseller is found at the bottom of the cliffs he loved to walk along. His son, Harry, makes his way from the college graduation he will now miss to farewell the father he loved. Harry feels the heaviness of his loneliness in the world when he arrives, his college days so …

Read more ›

Best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Get in your horse-drawn carriage and bunker down in your crumbling countryside home for this one, readers – you’re going to need all the time you can get for reading and contemplating your way through this one. Stuart Turton’s blistering debut novel opens as a doctor named Sebastian Bell is stumbling through the …

Read more ›