Fiona Hardy

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Website: http://readingkills.com/

Twitter: @readwatchtweet

Fiona Hardy blogs about Crime Fiction at readingkills.com and puts together the Dead Write column for the Readings Monthly newsletter. In her spare time she sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton.

Reviews

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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Good Money by J.M. Green

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

This time is an unfair part of the year for picking my Book of the Month. When confronted with Gentill, Disher, Rankin, Galbraith and more, somehow I’m supposed to make a decision? Of course, like yo…

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The Dark Inside by Rod Reynolds

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

As someone who’s never been to America’s south, I only know what I read in books: lots of diners, folks who don’t like the look of you, and dirt tracks where any manner of thing can go wrong. And I l…

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Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

While I love a solely plot-driven book as much as I love a blustery action movie (i.e. a LOT), a book that has characters of real depth and diversity, like Resurrection Bay, is quite simply a pleasur…

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Kingdom of the Strong by Tony Cavanaugh

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Darian Richards is a lost man. A man he has hunted for years has vanished again, presumably overseas. His lover is gone. The Noosa River, the one bank of water that affords him peace, is not doing it…

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The Hand That Feeds You by A.J. Rich

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

I’m never sure about the idea of two authors collaborating to write – surely, there would just be constant fighting about where to put commas? – but from the first few pages of this book I was immedi…

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The Unbroken Line by Alex Hammond

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Defence lawyer Will Harris has barely recovered from being hospitalised after going rogue in his first book, Blood Witness, when he and his lover Eva are attacked and threatened by strangers who tell…

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Before it Breaks by Dave Warner

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

DI Daniel Clement lives in a patchy so-called apartment on top of a supply store by the wharf, trying to piece his life back together after abandoning his excellent career in crime-prone Perth to bec…

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The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Claus Moreany’s publishing house is on the verge of going under when his distractingly beautiful employee Betty discovers unknown author Henry Hayden’s manuscript in a pile. Frank Ellis becomes a run…

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The Invisible Man from Salem by Christoffer Carlsson

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Similar in tone to last year’s hit The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (both books were written by authors young enough to fill this reviewer with some jealousy), The Invisible Man from Salem ha…

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If She Did It by Jessica Treadway

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Hanna and Joe Schutt are unsure about their awkward daughter Dawn’s first love, the handsome yet unnerving Rud, but are pleased to see their daughter happy – until the night they are viciously beaten…

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Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Swedish Lapland, June 1717 (note, this reader virtually never reads things set in the past): Finns Maija and Paavo take their children Frederika and Dorotea to Sweden, away from the fear that has bea…

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There by Ferdinand von Schirach

Reviewed by Fiona Hardy

Okay, let’s face it: I’m making The Girl Who Wasn’t There my book of the month so that some of you will read it and then we can talk about it. I’d also recommend you read Schirach’s first book, Crime

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News

The best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 written, in code, in a crumpled note in your hand – and slide into a booth. Make sure you always face the door. Order a drink, something sm…

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The best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 for the sequel. Here it is: a spectacular return to the world of the brittle Caleb Zelic, a private investigator whose office has been m…

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The best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 leave, here is a ray of hope that things will turn around, and that hope is pinned on one thing. The junior hockey team, close to winning …

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Best new crime reads out this month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 surrounds and the luxurious seasonal food prepared by the most melodramatically French of chefs, all the way to the experienced staff and state-of-the-…

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Terrific new crime reads out this month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 once by war, and alarmed by the idea of another – but Lily is positive no such thing will happen. She is also positive that the trip wil…

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Best new crime reads of the month

by Fiona Hardy

CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

While I mostly try to challenge myself with genres for this column, I’ve inadvertently picked two small-town America books in a row for book of the month, and both by women with alliterative M names. But when struck by something as instantly readable as this, it’s hard to put it down, and impossible to resist.

From the moment N…

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