After the return of Detective Inspector Franz Heineken of the Tasmanian Police Force in No Weather For A Burial in 2010, David Owen has followed up with another Pufferfish mystery titled How the Dead See (pub. 40 South Publishing).
As with the previous five Pufferfish mysteries the state of Tasmania is once again reeling from a suspicious death and Heineken, along with his team of Detective Sergeant Rafe Tredway and Detective Constable Faye Addison, is charged with the duty of solving the case. In this case the victim is one Rory Stillrock a former Hollywood star who has spent his more recent years womanizing and boozing while attempting to restart his career in the entertainment industry. It’s a high profile death that puts Heineken and his team under the pump.
Also keeping the police busy is the theft of a diamond necklace from home safe that was hidden inside the wall of a mansion in the well-heeled suburb of New Town. The burglary has all the hallmarks as the work of one of Tasmania’s best safecrackers, but the guy has been passing it around for months that he has given the game away. It’s the kind of case that is right up the cluttered alley of the Pufferfish.
As with the other books in the Pufferfish series there are a stack of references to the state of Tasmania and the landmarks that typify the countryside as some of the most picturesque in all of Australia. It is a setting that adds to the enjoyment of the book that makes it as worthwhile to read as the plot of the novel itself. The fact that many of the landmarks are described by Heineken in his gruff, acerbic tone somehow increases their wild appeal.
Franklin’s a charming little place spread thinly along the western bank of the
Huon River. Pub, cafes, antique shop, Victorian theatre building, boatbuilding
school, rowing club, footy oval right on the river bank. Assorted watercraft sit
on the sparkling, motionless water. Behind, the hillsides slope up, largely
cleared but with forested patches increasing further back. Altogether,
Franklin’s about as charming a rural hamlet as you would wish for. ...pg 183
It is worthwhile going back and reading the entire back catalogue of the Pufferfish series (click on the links to be taken to my reviews of each book): Pig’s Head, A Second Hand, X and Y, The Devil Taker and No Weather For A Burial. Admittedly, tracking them all down may be difficult and if you find that to be the case you might simply limit yourself to reading No Weather For A Burial followed by How the Dead See.