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

Wake by Shelley Burr

It has been nearly 20 years since Evelyn McCreery went missing. She went to sleep one night, in the bed next to her twin sister Mina’s; the next morning she was gone, her bed neatly made, no fingerpr…

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When We Fall by Aoife Clifford

As she walks along the beach with her mother, discouraged barrister Alex Tillerson wishes she wasn’t back in her childhood town of Merritt. Alex is going through a painful divorce, her mother’s healt…

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The Cane by Maryrose Cuskelly

The northern Queensland town of Quala is reeling: one of its own is missing. Young Janet McClymont walked through the cane fields early one evening to go babysit her neighbours’ kids, but never arriv…

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Canticle Creek by Adrian Hyland

Leading Senior Constable Jesse Redpath thinks she has the lie of the land about right in the Northern Territory town of Kulara by now. After replacing the useless-to-actively harmful last cop in town…

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The Shadow House by Anna Downes

When Alex drives up to her new house with her teenage son Ollie and new baby Cara in tow, she feels a surge of relief – and panic. She’s running away from Sydney, from what she’s left behind, and the…

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I Shot the Devil by Ruth McIver

Ruth McIver’s manuscript of I Shot the Devil won Australia’s Richell Prize for Emerging Writers a few years ago, and on reading the published book, you can see why: this America-set crime novel is ri…

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The 22 Murders of Madison May by Max Barry

I like to review Australian crime books, partly because it’s always good to boost local writing – it’s something that Readings has championed since the beginning – but also because it feels like auth…

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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, qui…

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The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper

In a picture-perfect house in 1959, model housewife Joyce Haney goes to the mall for some shopping, returns home, and then vanishes, leaving behind nothing except a bloodstain on the kitchen floor, a…

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Shore by Fleet Foxes

As cynical as we’ve all become, there’s nothing quite like listening to a new release from a band so consistently strong and beautiful that you can’t help but feel hopeful. The new Fleet Foxes album …

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The Spiral by Iain Ryan

I could tell you that Iain Ryan’s The Spiral is an immersive, captivating crime book, but that wouldn’t be enough to explain it. I could say it’s a twisted, psychological fever dream, but that’s not …

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Shore Leave by David Whish-Wilson

Frank Swann is not cut out for any kind of crime legwork anymore. He’s tired, he’s sick all the time, and nobody can figure out what it is that’s wrong with him. All he knows is he can’t get halfway …

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The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

In the seventeenth century, the East India Trading Company has a tight grip on the world. Those who sail as merchants rule absolutely, and everyone who works for them is ruthless, amoral, and evil. S…

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Electric Blue by Paul F. Verhoeven

Sometimes it’s pretty easy to categorise a crime book. I’ll say ‘procedural’, or ‘psychological thriller’, and while every book is original, you’ll have an idea of what to expect. Then you get a book…

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The Girl in the Mirror by Rose Carlyle

Summer and Iris are identical twins – asymmetrically, so when Iris looks at her sister, she sees her own reflection. But where Summer has succeeded – handsome husband, loving friends, immense wealth …

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The Safe Place by Anna Downes

Emily is a receptionist and an aspiring actress in London when her life falls abruptly apart. Fired from her job, dropped by her agent and kicked out of her disgusting flat all at once, she’s at her …

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He Started It by Samantha Downing

To say a book has a twist is sometimes a spoiler: you’ll find yourself living in a constant state of suspense, waiting for when it’ll happen. I don’t think saying that He Started It has twists is any…

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A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs

Okay, full disclosure: there are some Very Famous Authors I’ve never read, and Kathy Reichs is one of them. I haven’t even watched a full episode of Bones, the TV show based on her Temperance Brennan…

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The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

Leslie is alone, in Las Vegas, there to collect her sister Robin. It’s been years since she’s seen Robin, but in order to get the inheritance her father promised her, both of them need to be there to…

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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’ ta…

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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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News

The best new crime reads in May

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares 11 great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Wake by Shelley Burr

It has been nearly 20 years since Evelyn McCreery went missing. She went to sleep one night, in the bed next to her twin sister Mina’s; the next morning she was gone, her bed neatly made, no fingerprints on the windowsill, the only tyre tracks around their desolate fa…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads in March

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares 10 great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH When We Fall by Aoife Clifford

As she walks along the beach with her mother, discouraged barrister Alex Tillerson wishes she wasn’t back in her childhood town of Merritt. Alex is going through a painful divorce, her mother’s health is deteriorating due to younger onset dementia, and Merri…

Read more ›

The best new crime reads in February

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares 10 great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Cane by Maryrose Cuskelly

The northern Queensland town of Quala is reeling: one of its own is missing. Young Janet McClymont walked through the cane fields early one evening to go babysit her neighbours’ kids, but never arrived. Her bag was found, and nothing else. Now her parents tra…

Read more ›

The best of crime 2021

by Fiona Hardy

It’s honestly been such a strong year in Australian crime fiction that I could have easily made this entire list up of local writers—Australia just has some of the best talent out there. From debut authors like Jacqueline Bublitz’s devastating, interior Before You Knew My Name and Karen Manton’s heavy, atmospheric The Curlew’s Eye, to sequels like the hilarious romp Nancy Business by RWR McDonald…

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The best new crime reads in November

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares 10 great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH Canticle Creek Adrian Hyland

Leading Senior Constable Jesse Redpath thinks she has the lie of the land about right in the Northern Territory town of Kulara by now. After replacing the useless-to-actively harmful last cop in town, she’s more open to what’s important so when local larrikin …

Read more ›

The best new crime reads in October

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares 9 great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH The Shadow House by Anna Downes

When Alex drives up to her new house with her teenage son Ollie and new baby Cara in tow, she feels a surge of relief – and panic. She’s running away from Sydney, from what she’s left behind, and the eco-village of Pine Ridge is the perfect place to start an…

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