I’ve been reading a bit lately — still mystery novels mainly. They are also mainly by UK or US authors — see At the beach or in space — to escape is a pleasure. The small series I’m reading at the moment though is refreshing, partly because it’s set in Melbourne, Australia. And although Australia and New Zealand are very very different, when it’s us against the world we find a lot in common.
The Kit O’Malley books by Lindy Cameron tell the stories of the eponymous private investigator. As I read Blood Guilt (Kit O’Malley Mystery Book 1) I found a couple of minor things slightly annoying, but the book was sufficiently engaging that I carried on and enjoyed the book to the end. Then I went on to buy the next one where the author has got a bit more into the swing of things and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I fully expect to buy and read the third book too.
The author has some lovely turns of phrase. For example, early in the first book is this paragraph. Kit has been out visiting a wealthy potential client on an extremely hot day. While no specific temperature is mentioned
very hot could potentially mean around or above 40 degrees Celsius (104F).
[The ceiling fan] never cooled the room down, but at least it moved the hot, sticky air around, albeit in hot, sticky lumps. She kicked off her sandals, hung up the collection of wrinkles that had once been the jacket of her light-weight suit and opened the connecting door to the front office.
I love that
collection of wrinkles that had once been the jacket of her light-weight suit.
The other language feature that I enjoy about these books is the Australianisms. They aren’t necessarily the same phrases as we might use in New Zealand, but they’re familiar to us and they are things that British and American authors never use. It’s a relief to be on what could almost be home turf.
The protagonist is endearing, and is a down-to-earth lesbian, a former police officer, who has interesting and enjoyable friends and family around her.
If you enjoy mysteries with strong female protagonists, well written and interesting, this series is one to sample, and perhaps buy for yourself.