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

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Birthday: Marele Day

The creator of the Claudia Valentine series, Marele Day celebrates her 60th birthday today so I thought it would be only fitting to have a bit of an examination of possibly Australia's most popular female private eye.

Set in an around the inner-city suburbs of Sydney, Claudia's a hard-nosed investigator and while she's not a physically imposing figure, or particularly well equipped in terms of self-defense skills, she's a risk taker and it's this quality that keeps the pace lively and the action plentiful. She comes up against murderers, Chinese triads and kidnappers - your usual fictional PI fare.

The series began in 1988 and comprises just 4 books but the pace is consistently high, the cases diverse and the Sydney setting used to great effect. If nothing else the extravagent titles should be enough to tempt you to crack the cover of at least one and check out the hardboiled story inside.

The Claudia Valentine series is considered a bit of a classic in the annals of Australian crime fiction sitting at the forefront of the resurgence that the genre experienced in the late 80s and early 90s. Definitely well worth tracking down a copy the series is as follows:

The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender (1988)
The Case of the Chinese Boxes (1990)
The Last Tango of Dolores Delgado (1992)
The Disappearances of Madalena Grimaldi (1994)

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