So Bad A Death
The return of Maggie Byrnes, heroine of Murder in the Telephone Exchange, finds her married, with a young son, and living in an outer Melbourne suburb. But violent death dogs her footsteps even in apparently tranquil Middleburn. It’s perhaps not that much of a surprise when widely disliked local bigwig James Holland (who also happens to be Maggie’s landlord) is shot, but Maggie suspects that someone is also trying to poison the infant who is his heir, and turns sleuth once more to uncover the culprits.
Duck Season Death
June Wright wrote this lost gem in the mid-1950s, but consigned it to her bottom drawer after her publisher foolishly rejected it. Perhaps it was a little ahead of its time? Because while it’s a tour de force of the classic country-house murder mystery, it’s also a delightful romp, poking fun at the conventions of the genre. When someone takes advantage of a duck hunt to murder publisher Athol Sefton at a remote hunting inn, it soon turns out that virtually everyone, guests and staff alike, had a good reason for shooting him. Sefton’s nephew Charles thinks he can solve the crime by applying the “rules of the game” he’s absorbed from his years as a reviewer of detective fiction — only the killer evidently isn’t playing by those rules.Duck Season Death is a both a fiendishly clever whodunit and a marvelous entertainment.
June Wright is one of the early writers who forged a way for the current vibrant Australian crime fiction scene. Reviewed at http://newtownreviewofbooks.com.au/2015/05/26/crime-scene-june-wright-an..