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

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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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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News

The best new crime reads in August

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares 10 great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 – Iris has failed, with one broken marriage already…

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The best new crime reads in July

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime specialist shares eight great crime reads to look out for this month. CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH 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 very lowest point when her old boss Scott comes to her wi…

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The best new crime reads in June

by Fiona Hardy

A Shooting at Chateau Rock by Martin Walker (available 9 June)

Look, we’re all trapped inside at the moment and spending some time in the French countryside listening to Bruno, Chief of Police, rhapsodise about food is a pretty delightful way to spend your time. In A Shooting at Chateau Rock, Bruno encounters a man named Gaston whose father has died of a heart attack – but his will, recently c…

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The best new crime reads in May

by Fiona Hardy

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 kind of spoiler, because, dear reader, this book is absolutely packed with them. Every chapter ends with a new shock. Surprises come out of every corner. And I lo

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The best new crime reads in April

by Fiona Hardy

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 series. Turns out, there’s a reason she’s got a string of bestsellers and a television show: she’s a great writer and her books are snappy as hell. Who knew? …

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The best new crime reads of February

by Fiona Hardy

Our crime columnist recommends 11 new crime novels for book lovers this month. 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 sign the papers. Fifty thousand dollars each. They don’t have to reconnect; it shou…

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