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

True West by David Whish-Wilson

If you want to get truly knocked about by a book, True West is what you want in front of you. Set in Western Australia in 1988, this is the visceral tale of Lee Southern, a young man driving south, a…

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Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

Ranger Darren Mathews is finally on something of a good thing after a hell of a bad time. He’s on a team investigating the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, his previously failing marriage is tentatively b…

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The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre and Stephanie Smee (trans.)

This striking little oddity comes with a hefty dose of French fame – it won the European Crime Fiction Prize, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and has been made into a film starring one of th…

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Lapse by Sarah Thornton

Deep in the middle of both winter and the AFL season, there are few things more readable than ex-corporate lawyer Sarah Thornton’s Lapse. When Clementine Jones leaves her old, untenable life in Sydne…

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Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

I picked this up because the name ‘Petronella McGovern’ is absolutely far too delightful to avoid, and kept reading because I was hooked. Three-year-old Bella – days shy of her fourth birthday – is a…

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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…

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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’ t

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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 besto…

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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 pi…

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The Lost Man by Jane Harper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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News

The best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

Ranger Darren Mathews is finally on something of a good thing after a hell of a bad time. He’s on a team investigating the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, his previously failing marriage is tentatively back together, his drinking is mostly under control, and if you don’t count the fact that she has been blackmailing him, his time with his…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads in September

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre

This striking little oddity comes with a hefty dose of French fame – it won the European Crime Fiction Prize, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and has been made into a film starring one of the most perfectly French actresses around – Isabelle Huppert. Hannelore Cayre is a writer and a director, but most importantly, she is als…

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The best new crime reads in August

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Lapse by Sarah Thornton

Deep in the middle of both winter and the AFL season, there are few things more readable than ex-corporate lawyer Sarah Thornton’s Lapse. When Clementine Jones leaves her old, untenable life in Sydney behind, she chooses the regional town of Katinga to hole up in, trying to reinvent herself – or to push the old Clementine away. No longer a law…

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The best new crime reads in July

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern

I picked this up because the name ‘Petronella McGovern’ is absolutely far too delightful to avoid, and kept reading because I was hooked. Three-year-old Bella – days shy of her fourth birthday – is at her playgroup, being minded by four mothers while her own ducks out to buy biscuits, when she vanishes. How could she have gone missi…

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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…

Read more ›