Good News, Bad News by Maggie Groff

Sometimes a book comes along that is exactly the right read at the right time. Good News, Bad News, and the perky heroine contained inside its pages, were a balm for me this month. After too many crime reads that were just a step beyond gritty into the unpleasant, or filled with violence against women, I’d almost had enough and was thinking of watching Play School reruns to make myself feel better. Then Byron Bay investigative journalist Scout Davis flew out of the pages to save the day.

A trio of reclusive sisters, much gossiped about in town, hire Scout to find a runaway husband who had apparently died some 30 years earlier but whose handsome face shows up in a current newspaper article. Scout is unsure about the proposition – bossy sister Hermione is not her usual cup of chai – but she is far too intrigued by the mystery to say no. So she rounds up her friends and family to take on the case, one eccentric day at a time.

Starring alongside Scout is the bay itself, full of endearing characters, delicious food and petty crimes. Throw in a boyfriend returning from a war zone alongside another equally handsome man and the whole book is a delight. It’s sexy, funny, rollicking and, best of all, completely refreshing.

Fiona Hardy puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly.