Fiona Hardy

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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

The Nancys by R.W.R. McDonald

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Eleven-year-old Tippy Chan lives in the poky New Zealand town of Riverstone with her mother, her best friends, a suitably acerbic teen neighbour, and too many memories of her father. This is all very…

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Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Harper Lee – author of the slightly well known To Kill a Mockingbird *– was by Truman Capote’s side when he wrote the brilliant work of fictionalised nonfiction, and arguably the first ‘true crime’ t

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Eight Lives by Susan Hurley

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

When a young Vietnamese-Australian doctor makes a medical breakthrough, inventing a drug that could essentially help broken immune systems fix themselves, everything seems as golden as the name besto…

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Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Jamie Brandt has just about had enough of her two girls – in the same way any parent who loves their kids can also tire of them after a long week – when she leaves them in the car outside Kmart to pi…

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The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Jane Harper won so many awards for her debut novel, The Dry, that I could use my entire word count just listing them. But if I did that, I wouldn’t have the chance to tell you to go and read this, he…

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Sea Glass by Grand Salvo

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Paddy Mann’s seventh album as Grand Salvo, and – the first in six years – follows his full-hearted embrace of a theme for each record he creates. The opening track, ‘A Flux of Moments’, swells with t…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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, …

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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News

The best new crime reads in June

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Nancys by R.W.R. McDonald

Eleven-year-old Tippy Chan lives in the poky New Zealand town of Riverstone with her mother, her best friends, a suitably acerbic teen neighbour, and too many memories of her father. This is all very normal and fine, but this little town is about to get quite a shake-up. Tippy’s spectacularly colourful hairdresser uncle, Pike, and his ne…

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The best new crime reads in May

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

Harper Lee – author of the slightly well known To Kill a Mockingbird – was by Truman Capote’s side when he wrote the brilliant work of fictionalised nonfiction, and arguably the first ‘true crime’ tale, In Cold Blood. After the copious notes and interviews she had completed for Capote, she tho…

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The best new crime reads in April

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Eight Lives by Susan Hurley

When a young Vietnamese-Australian doctor makes a medical breakthrough, inventing a drug that could essentially help broken immune systems fix themselves, everything seems as golden as the name bestowed upon him: David Tran, Golden Boy. But seven months after David appears on television, celebrating the financial backing that will lead to …

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The best new crime reads in March

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

Regular Readings Monthly readers will no doubt remember how obsessed we were by Irish born, Perth-based Dervla McTiernan’s debut crime novel. After turning the final page of The Rúin in early 2018, surviving the wait until we could read her second book seemed impossible, and yet she has kindly given it to us within a year. And not a mo…

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The best new crime reads of January and February

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna

Jamie Brandt has just about had enough of her two girls – in the same way any parent who loves their kids can also tire of them after a long week – when she leaves them in the car outside Kmart to pick something up. But by the time she gets back to her car, they are both gone. And so Jamie’s aunt hires Alice Vega – private detective, finde…

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The best crime books of 2018

by Fiona Hardy

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 crime books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order. (You can find all our best picks for books, CDs & DVDs of 2018 here.) The Rúin by Dervla McTiernan

This multilayered bestseller sees a seasoned Garda handed only cold cases in …

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