Mystery and crime books from Australia. News, views, reviews, releases and author appearances - crime fiction in Australia. Crime novels, mystery novels, detective stories, police procedural books, thrillers and soft-boiled mysteries

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Early Buzz for Crater by Phoenix Connor

I'm not sure what Random House have been doing to create the buzz of anticipation for Phoenix Connor's debut action thriller, Crater, but if my hit counter on the Crime Down Under site is anything to go by, the word is out.

Crater isn't due for release until June this year and the site has already received quite a high number of hits from people who have searched for the author &/or the title.

Perhaps a clue can be gleaned from the short bio on the publisher's page that names Dean Koontz as her mentor and friend. Couldn't hurt having links to one of the genres heavyweights that's for sure. Then there's also a handy little comparison to Matthew Reilly in the publicity notes hinting at non-stop breathless action with its relentless pace and continuous stream of life or death situations for the heroic band of survivors. Hmmm, it does sound like a Matthew Reilly novel!

Anyway if the hits I've noticed translate into sales then it augurs well for June. The lovers of turbo-charged white-knuckle thrill rides have something to look forward to later in the year and are already making their presence felt.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Big Mystery, Little Mystery

As we are no doubt all well aware mysteries come in a vast array of sizes, some of them are of heart-breaking importance – such as the whereabouts of a missing child, others are not so important, such as the whereabouts of a missing donut.

And that brings me to Company by Max Barry (published by Scribe Publications) which I read and heartily enjoyed this weekend just passed.

By no means is Company a crime novel, let me be clear on that one, but it is a bitingly satirical farce that pokes all sorts of fun at everything corporate, from inter-office politics, infrastructure, employee benefits and lack thereof, the blind acceptance of the downtrodden employee who just wants to earn a buck. Company is also riddled with mysteries, teeny-weeny little ones. And so, drawing a lengthy item of an archer’s armoury, I’m content to proclaim Company a mystery novel of the most humorous kind.

Ever worked in an office? Wondered about the motivation behind your company’s latest inexplicable restructure? Noticed that your employee benefits continue to disappear? Max Barry’s Company may well provide you with some insights into what the hell is going on around the beige walls of your cubicle. Then again maybe not, maybe you’ll just laugh quietly until your realise with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that it all sounds scarily familiar.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Mystery or Corporate Farce

I've got my hot little hands on a copy of Max Barry's latest book titled Company and published in Australia by Scribe. Now some people will howl their disagreement but I've listed it as a mystery novel. I'm well aware that it may very well sit more appropriately in the popular fiction or humour section of the bookstore but I'm sticking to my guns...for the time being.

I'm basing my reckless assertion that this is a mystery novel, based on the fact that Zephyr Holdings the Company in question is "an ordinary company. Or at least that's what everyone thinks." Now that just shrieks mystery, doesn't it?

That being said, I'm only a few pages into reading it and already have been snickering quietly to myself at Barry's bitingly amusing delivery.

* When describing Elizabeth - If Elizabeth's brain was a person it would have scars, tattoos, and be missing one eye.

* When describing the Zephyr Holdings building - It is a building designed by committee: all they have been able to agree on is that it should be rectangular, have windows, and not fall over.

* On Elizabeth again - Elizabeth has shoulder-length brown hair that looks as if it has been cut with a straight razor and a mouth that could have done the cutting.

Call it satire, call it humour, call it insightful commentary on today's corporate world...but for the time being, I'm calling it a mystery. (Course, that could change by the time I'm done reading it).

Company was released earlier in March after a fairly quiet start to the year in terms of new Australian Crime releases.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No Stopping Corris

It looks as though Peter Corris is on a roll after The Undertow was released last December the next Cliff Hardy book titled Appeal Denied will be out this June. This will be the 31st Cliff Hardy detective novel.