Kiwi Crime Time!!!!

Kiwi Crime TimeIt’s been an exciting time here at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… as I’ve been serving on the panel for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel. It’s been a real honour, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I’m delighted to share the big news that the finalists for both the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, and the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel have been chosen!!  Here they are:

 

Best Crime Novel

  • Inside the Black Horse by Ray Berard (Mary Egan Press)

  • Made to Kill by Adam Christopher (Titan Books)

  • Trust No One by Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)

  • The Legend of Winstone Black Hat by Tanya Moir (Vintage)

  • American Blood Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)

 

Best First Crime Novel

  • Inside the Black Horse by Ray Berard (Mary Egan Press)

  • The Fixer by John Daniell (Upstart Press)

  • The Gentleman’s Club by Jen Shieff (Mary Egan Press)

  • Twister by Jane Woodham (Makaro Press)

 

Isn’t this great news? Ah, but you don’t just want the titles, do you? You know you want to read some of this excellent Kiwi crime fiction, right?

Well, here’s your chance. Announcing Kiwi Crime Time! This one-time competition gives you the chance to win your very own copy of one of the finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel!  That’s right! YOU have the chance to get your hands on a copy of great work by some crime writers I’m sure will turn into stars. And you can say you knew them when!

But you get more than that! Oh, yes! You also get the chance to be a part of a very worthy cause: Storytime.

What’s Storytime? Storytime provides books, support, and other assistance to New Zealand’s most deprived families, to help them give their babies and young children a good start in life, and introduce them to stories and reading at a young age. Research shows that exposing children to books and reading from a very young age helps them develop reading skills and supports their academic progress. What’s more, it helps them develop a love of books. By helping Storytime, you’re making books available to kids who might not otherwise get them. And who knows? You could be supporting a future Ngaio Marsh Award winner!  You can find out more about Storytime right here.

 

How does this competition work?

  • Choose which of the Best First Novel finalists you’d most like to win.

  • Click right here, and make a donation to Storytime (you can choose the amount that makes you comfortable). The donations are made in NZ dollars, but here’s a currency converter to help you make your decision.

  • Email me the e-receipt you get after you donate (margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com). When you email me, be sure you let me know which book you’d like to win. That email counts as your entry ticket.

  • On 11 August, I’ll announce the winners!

  • If you’re a winner, I’ll send you your prize, wherever in the world you live.

See? Easy as! So don’t miss out on your chance to win some incredible Kiwi crime fiction!! Join the fun!!!

Questions?? Just email me (margotkinberg(at)gmail(dot)com), and I’ll be happy to help!

 

To Whet Your Appetite…

Here are the blurbs for the finalists:

 

Inside the Black Horse (Ray Berard)InsidetheBlackHorse

A young man is waiting outside a pub on a cold winter’s night. There is a debt to pay and no options left.

What he does next drags a group of strangers into a web of confusion that over the course of a few days changes all their lives.
There’s the young Maori widow just trying to raise her children, the corporate executive hiding his mistake, the gang of criminals that will do whatever it takes to recover what they’ve lost – and the outsider sent to town to tease out the truth.
Stepping into the shoes of every player dragged into the fray, Berard takes the reader on a dangerous and desperate journey, where bonds are built and broken and we find out who, if anyone, will survive. 

 

 FixerDaniell

The Fixer (John Daniell) PLEASE NOTE! This one is an ebook, so please be aware that if you win this, you’ll receive it in that format.

Match-fixing is one of the biggest issues surrounding sport at this time. John Daniell, a former professional rugby player, has written the fascinating novel about Mark Stevens, a former All Black playing professional rugby in Paris. Moving toward the end of his career Mark is drawn, through his relationship with a beautiful journalist, first into betting on matches and then into match-fixing. From on his own experience, Daniell shows how an innocent player can be drawn into an illegal world, one where your actions place your family, half a world away, in danger.

 

The Gentleman’s Club (Jen Shieff)

Gritty and honest, Jen Shieff’s debut novel, The Gentlemen’s Club is a psychological thriller that will shock youGentlemaensclubshieff to the core.
Headstrong and independent, Rita Saunders is a warm and colourful character, a successful hairdresser by day and a busy brothel madam by night. The only thing missing from her life is the love of a good woman.
Istvan Ziegler is a Hungarian immigrant who has come to New Zealand full of anticipation to work on the new harbour bridge. His hopes and dreams become temporarily dashed when he comes up against 1950s NZ, where foreigners rarely gained entry to ‘the club’.
Sixteen-year-old Judith Curran has come to Auckland for an abortion. With no money or family support, she finds herself at the mercy of strangers and simply has to hope they have her best interests at heart.
Beautiful Fenella Grayson is an enigmatic character, a lively young Englishwoman who has emigrated after a series of job failures. Promiscuous and opportunistic, she has travelled to NZ on the Orcades as chaperone to three young girls headed for Lindsay Pitcaithly’s orphans’ home. She sets aside her suspicions that they are being singled out for the wrong reasons.
Becoming drawn into the little girls’ desperate situation, Rita, Judith and Istvan find fortitude they never knew they possessed. But do they have enough of it to expose the respectable yet menacing Pitcaithly, and the slice of the heartless and seedy underworld he inhabits?
The title ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ plays with the idea that respectability can be just a veneer, while suggesting that Rita’s brothel, and Rita herself, have a level of respectability they couldn’t claim for themselves.
With its carefully built historical setting, brilliantly realised characters and psychological plot, The Gentlemen’s Club is reminiscent of Sarah Waters’ writing.

 

Twister (Jane Woodham)Twisterwoodham

Dunedin, New Zealand, rattled by acts of violence and a hard, unseasonal flu, is a city under siege. Then, after
five days of damaging rain, a twister rips through, exposing the body of a missing schoolgirl in Ross Creek.
Detective Senior Sergeant Leo Judd is the only one who can lead the investigation despite unresolved sorrow over the disappearance of his own daughter nine years earlier.
Sultry weather broods over the beleaguered city as suspects are sifted and pressure mounts for Leo to solve the crime. Meanwhile, his wife Kate tries to summon the courage to tell him the secrets she’s nursed for too long — including one about the disappearance of their beloved Beth.

 

They’re all choice cuts. Good luck to all!

 

Rather Not Participate?

That’s perfectly fine. But I sure would appreciate it if you’d help me spread the news on your social media sites! Feel free to grab the image and use it. Thanks

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We Were Sailing Away With a Cargo of Bricks*

Shipping and BoatingThe shipping and boating industries have been essential to many nations’ economies since ships were able to cross the oceans. People have made fortunes transporting cargo, and it’s been responsible for a lot of related businesses (shipbuilding, banking, and even pleasure and sport boating, just to name a few).

And if you think about it, places like cargo holds, shipping crates and boathouses are effective settings for crime fiction, too. All sorts of things can happen in those places, and they make good hiding places for bodies, weapons and clues. So it’s not surprising that we see those locations in crime fiction.

In Freeman Wills Crofts’ The Cask, for instance, Tom Broughton, who works for the Insular and Continental Steam Navigation Company, is sent down to the London docks when the Bullfinch pulls in from Rouen. There’s a valuable consignment of wine on board, and the company wants to ensure that it’s arrived in good order. As Broughton checks the various casks, he makes a horrifying discovery. Instead of wine, one of them contains the body of a young woman. Inspector Burnley of Scotland Yard begins to investigate. At first the case is difficult, since the woman has no identification. But, going from the fact that the casks came from Paris, Burnley suspects she may have been French. So he travels to Paris and works with M. LeFarge of the Sûreté to find out who the woman was and how her body ended up in a shipping cask. Among other things, this is an interesting look at the way cargo was moved at the time the novel was written.

Vanda Symon’s Containment begins with the grounding of the Lauretia Express in Dunedin. The ship’s cargo ends up strewn on the beach (and some of it doesn’t even get that far), which sets off mass looting. People grab whatever they can, from clothes to furniture and more. The looting raises tensions to the point where people are fighting over the salvage. In fact, when Detective Constable Sam Shephard arrives on the scene, she tries to break up one such fight and ends up injured herself. But there’s something else about this particular cargo. When one women goes searching among the clothes, she finds a human skull. And Shephard ends up with much more to cope with than a public disturbance.

There’s also Robin Blake’s The Hidden Man. In that historical (1742) novel, Attorney and Coroner Titus Cragg works with his friend, Dr. Luke Fidelis, to find out who shot pawnbroker and would-be banker Philip Pimbo. As Cregg looks into the case, he learns that Pimbo had financially backed a ship called The Fortunate Isle. A few weeks before Pimbo’s death, Pimbo’s business partner, Zadok Moon, lodged a claim with the company that insured the ship, stating that the ship and all its cargo was a total loss. As it turns out, that insurance claim plays an important role in the solution to the mystery.

And it’s not just what one finds in ships’ holds and cargo containers, either. Boathouses and storage garages can also hold plenty of shipping equipment, too – and clues, as well as bodies. For instance, in Jill McGown’s A Perfect Match, DI David Lloyd and DS Judy Hill investigate when the body of Julia Mitchell is found in Thorpe Wood, a boating park near the town of Stansfield. At first, all of the evidence points to a man named Chris Wade, who was known to have been with the victim on the night of the murder. But he can’t be questioned, since he’s gone missing. And as it turns out, there are several other possibilities. So Lloyd and Hill have to untangle the messy network of relationships among the people in the victim’s life. And they find that part of the key to the mystery can be found in a boathouse.

A storage garage figures in Minette Walter’s The Breaker. One morning, two young boys discover the body of Kate Sumner on the beach near Chapman’s Pool in Dorset. Not long afterwards, her toddler daughter Hannah is found wandering the streets of nearby Poole. PC Nick Ingram, who’s first officer on the scene, works with DI John Galbraith, WPC Sandra Griffiths and Superintendent Carpenter to find out who the murderer is and what happened to Hannah. The field of suspects ends up being narrowed to more or less three possibilities. So the police have to look closely into each one’s background. And part of what they learn comes from a garage that’s used to store a boat – and the evidence of other ‘business enterprises.’

And then there’s Peter May’s The Blackhouse, the first of his Lewis trilogy. In that novel, two sixteen-year-olds, Ceit and Uilleam, sneak off to a boatshed on the Isle of Lewis to find some privacy. Instead of the romantic interlude they planned, they make a gruesome discovery: the body of Angel Macritchie is hanging from the rafters. As it turns out, there’s been a killing in Edinburgh that bears similarity to this case. So Edinburgh police detective Fionnliagh ‘Finn’ Macleod makes the trip to Lewis to see if anything about this newest murder can help in solving the other. For Macleod, this is a homecoming, since he grew up here. But it’s not a happy one. Along with solving the murder of Angel Mcritchie, Macleod will also have to face his past, and plenty of personal ghosts.

See what I mean? Shipping and boating are certainly crucial to a lot of economies. But safe? Peaceful? I don’t think so.

 

 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from The Irish Rover, attributed to J.M. Crofts.

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Filed under Freeman Wills Crofts, Jill McGown, Minette Walters, Peter May, Robin Blake, Vanda Symon

Is My Timing Right?*

TimingAn interesting post from FictionFan, at FictionFan’s Book Reviews, and the comments we exchanged, have got me thinking about timing. Many different sorts of things can affect what we think of a book we’re reading. There’s the obvious things such as plot, characters and so on. There’s also the matter of personal taste. We’re all different in the sorts of stories we enjoy.

But another, subtler, factor in how we feel about a book is arguably the timing of when we read that book. For the reader, timing can have an impact in several ways. For instance (and this is the sort of thing FictionFan and I were ‘talking’ about), if you read a book when it first comes out, it may feel fresh and new. That can add to your enjoyment of a novel. That’s especially true if the novel adds an innovation to the genre, or in some other way digresses from it. But if you read it later, after other, similar books have been released, you may feel quite different about it.

One example that comes to my mind is Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs. At the time the novel came out (1988), the psychotic-serial-killer motif wasn’t a major factor in mainstream crime fiction. That novel arguably made room in the genre for that sort of story. Since then, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, there’ve been many, many novels with crazed serial killers. Some are better than others. But it’s not a new and innovative theme any more. I wonder how that’s impacted readers who hadn’t previously read The Silence of the Lambs. Would they regard that novel as the trend-setter that it arguably is? Would they see it in a different way?

There’s also the sub-genre that’s recently (in the last few years) been called domestic noir. Of course, there’ve been many novels in which marriages fell apart, and people weren’t what they seemed. But novels such as Julia Crouch’s Cuckoo, S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, and Elizabeth Haynes’ Into the Darkest Corner have brought the domestic noir novel to the forefront of current crime fiction. And that raises (at least for me) the question of what today’s readers might think of books such as Margaret Yorke’s Speak For the Dead, which was published in 1988. In that novel, Gordon Matthews marries Carrie Foster, and on the surface, all starts well. But each one has a dark past. Matthews was recently released from prison for killing his first wife, Anne. The way he and his lawyers tell the story, it was a case of manslaughter, and Anne was a promiscuous, alcoholic shrew who pushed her husband too far during an argument. But is that the truth? For her part, Carrie is a former prostitute who gets back on the game a few years after they marry. As the story of their marriage, and the tragedy that follows, goes on, we see a real example of domestic noir. Would readers who’ve experienced plenty of domestic noir see this as a taut, fresh look at a marriage? Would they see it as stale?

There are other ways to look at timing, too, of course. If you’ve just finished reading a series of bleak, ‘hardboiled’ crime novels, you might be ready for something lighter. So work such as Carl Hiaasen’s or Chris Grabenstein’s might appeal. Neither author writes ‘sugar coated’ crime fiction, but there is plenty of wit in it. At another time, though, you might think those very same novels too comic, and perhaps too absurd. The same is true for cosy mysteries. If you’ve just been reading a lot of light crime fiction, you might find work like Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef series too light. On the other hand, if you’ve been reading a lot of dark crime fiction, that same series might really appeal.

Timing matters for authors, too. For instance, after the commercial success of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, many other novels with a similar domestic noir theme were released. I’m sure you could list more than I could. On the one hand, the success of Gone Girl allowed those other novels more exposure than they otherwise might have had. Publishers were more willing to take a chance on them, and people were more interested in the themes. On the other hand, do readers think of those other novels as ‘me, too?’ Do they look at them with fresh eyes? This raises questions for the author. Is it a good idea to pick up on a theme that’s had some success, so as to hopefully get more exposure?  Is it a matter of ‘me, too,’ or is it a matter of ‘there’s a market for this sort of book?’ Or is it something else?

And then there’s the element of when in one’s life one reads something. Perhaps you started your crime-fictional journey with classic and Golden-Age crime fiction such as Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, or Anthony Berkeley. Since then, let’s say, you’ve branched out and gotten very interested in the modern hardboiled PI novel (Timothy Hallinan, for instance). Would you still see the work of, say, Arthur Conan Doyle in the same way if you re-read it?

There’s a strong argument that timing has an effect on what we think of what we read. Do you see that with your own reading? Do you ever go back and re-read a novel at another time, just to see if your first impression was lasting? If you’re a writer, do you think about timing when you choose your themes, contexts and so on?

Thanks, FictionFan, for the inspiration. Now, may I strongly suggest that the next stop on your blog round be FictionFan’s excellent blog. There, you’ll find fine reviews, interesting observations, and real wit. And Mr. Darcy.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Foreigner’s Hot Blooded.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Arthur Conan Doyle, Carl Hiaasen, Chris Grabenstein, Elizabeth Haynes, Gillian Flynn, Julia Crouch, Julie Hyzy, Margaret Yorke, Ngaio Marsh, S.J. Watson, Thomas Harris, Timothy Hallinan

In The Spotlight: Steph Avery’s Our Trespasses

>In The Spotlight: Kate Atkinson's One Good TurnHello, All

Welcome to another edition of In The Spotlight. A great deal of crime fiction places an emphasis on the investigation of the crime that’s at the heart of the novel. But plenty of crime fiction takes another approach, and places the focus on the impact of a crime on the people involved, sometimes years later. That’s the sort of novel Steph Avery’s Our Trespasses is, so let’s turn the spotlight on that novel today.

One day, the police at one of the South London stations receive a strange anonymous letter. In it, the author confesses to the murder of a vagrant whose body was found on the tracks at an underground station. There’s not very much that the police can do with such a letter, and there’s no telling if it’s genuine. But we soon learn that it is.

The story behind the letter begins in 1966 South East London, a time of Mods, Rockers, and all sorts of experimentation. Teenage sisters Madeline ‘Midge’ and Bridget ‘Bridie’ Dolan are sheltered, but they’re fascinated with the fashions, the music, and the culture. They want to experience it for themselves, so one Friday night, they wangle their mother’s permission to go to the Palais Royale to dance. Her condition is that their cousin Jimmy must take them there and bring them back. Since Jimmy is ‘cool,’ the girls agree and excitedly prepare for their big night.

At first, it’s an exciting adventure. But it’s not long before things change. What happens that night ends up having repercussions that change the girls’ lives forever (I know, it sounds cliché, but it really is accurate in this case).

This isn’t a ‘typical’ crime novel (is there one, really?), in that there isn’t really a criminal investigation. So we don’t follow a sleuth as she or he goes about finding out the truth about a murder or other crime. Rather, it’s the story of one night, and how the events of it impact the lives of just about everyone involved. Readers who prefer crime novels where there’s a murder (or set of murders), a police investigation, and a resulting arrest, will notice this.

And that’s evident in the structure of the story. The novel begins with the anonymous letter, and then moves back in time to 1966, and the story of what led to that night, and what resulted from it. Readers who prefer novels to have a chronological structure will notice this. That said, though, the different time periods are clearly marked, so it’s easy to tell when the action is taking place.

The story is largely told from the perspectives of Bridie, Midge and Jimmy. So we get to learn quite a bit about them and their families. Bridie and Midge are what used to be called ‘nice girls,’ who’ve been brought up in a working-class Irish Catholic family. But there the similarities between them end. Beyond their differences in appearance, they have quite different temperaments. Midge, the younger sister, is more adventurous, and much less devoted to the Catholic tradition. In fact, she questions much of it – and of all religion – privately. For her part, Bridie is devoutly observant, and believes all of the Catholic dogma. Both sisters are devoted to their family and to each other; as the older sister, Bridie in particular feels a sense of responsibility to look after Midge.

As for Jimmy, he’s what used to be called ‘wayward.’ He has a job, but he supplements his income with other ‘business enterprises.’ He’s older than Bridie and Midge, and much more streetwise. In fact, he tries to dissuade them from going to the Palais, because he knows the kinds of things that go on there. He’s not at all religious, but he does have a sense of family obligation.

Each of these characters is deeply affected by what happens at the Palais, and we see a clear demarcation between ‘before that night,’ and ‘after that night.’ Readers who are interested in the long-term impact of life-changing events will appreciate this.

A great deal of the novel’s action takes place in 1966/67 South East London, and that setting and context form important elements in this novel. The late 1960’s were a very different time, especially for girls and young women, and that’s woven through the story. So is the atmosphere of drug experimentation, sexual liberation, and the other major changes that were taking place in that place at that time. There are mentions made of the popular music, too. And there’s some mention of the clothes, makeup and other fashions of the time. Readers who are interested in life in working-class London during those years will appreciate this.

This was, in some ways, a dangerous time, and that’s also woven through the novel. This isn’t a ‘remember-when,’ coming-of-age romp. There is grit, and Avery offers an uncompromising look at some of the risks. Readers who prefer light, easy-to-read crime fiction will notice this. Along those lines, this isn’t really a novel with what you could call a happy ending. Life changes drastically for all those involved, and Avery doesn’t make light of that. That said, though, the novel isn’t hopelessly bleak. For some of the characters, life goes on, and is even good. That doesn’t change what happens, though.

Our Trespasses is the story of two teenagers negotiating the exciting and dangerous world of the pivotal late 1960s. Its focus is one life-changing night, and the effect of what happens that night on everyone involved. But what’s your view? Have you read Our Trespasses? If you have, what elements do you see in it?

 
 
 

Coming Up On In The Spotlight

 

Monday, 1 August/Tuesday, 2 August – Shield of Straw – Kazuhiro Kiuchi

Monday, 8 August/Tuesday, 9 August – State Fair – Earlene Fowler

Monday, 15 August/Tuesday, 16 August – The Dinner – Herman Koch

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Filed under Our Trespasses, Steph Avery

So Many Pieces Still Unsolved*

UnsolvedAs I post this, today would have been Amelia Earhart’s 119th birthday. Her life was certainly fascinating, and her career has been an inspiration to many people. But as much as that, it’s her disappearance that’s captured the public’s imagination. In 1937, she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, went missing in the area of Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. There were on a round-the-world flight that was being followed by millions of people when they went off the radar.

There have been many theories about what happened to Earhart and Noonan. Some have held up better than others, but as far as I’m aware, there’s been no indisputable evidence of their fate. And that’s precisely what makes this disappearance so irresistibly interesting to so many people. It’s an unsolved case, and people very often find them fascinating.

There are plenty of other real-life unsolved cases, too. They’re the subject of a lot of speculation and theories. There are crime-fictional cases as well. And they capture people’s interest even when those people have no stake in what really happened. It’s human nature to be curious.

In Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, for instance, Inspector Alan Grant is laid up with a broken leg. As he’s recuperating, he happens to muse on a portrait of King Richard III. His reflection leads him to the question of whether the king was really the murderer he was made out to be. That possibility gets Grant curious about what really happened to Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York. Most people have always thought Richard III had them killed. But Grant begins to wonder if there’s another theory. So he looks into the matter.

Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse shows a similar sort of curiosity in The Wench is Dead. In that novel, Morse is laid up with an ulcer. During his recovery, he reads a book about the 1859 discovery of the body of Joanna Franks in one of Oxford’s canals. At the time of her murder, two men were arrested, found guilty, and duly hung. But Morse isn’t sure that they really were guilty. So he can resist looking into the case again. Neither he nor Inspector Grant is officially assigned to the case in question. It’s just human nature and the desire to get answers that drives them.

Agatha Christie’s The Thirteen Problems also shows the human tendency to want questions answered and mysteries solved. The Thirteen Problems is a collection of short stories, loosely tied together by an overarching theme. A group of people meet every Tuesday evening. At each meeting, one person describes a murder case. The others try to solve the murder. And it’s interesting to see how the human wish to impose order and have things make sense plays a role. I agree with you, fans of Anthony Berkeley’s The Poisoned Chocolates Case.

Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Mercy (AKA The Keeper of Lost Causes) introduces Copenhagen homicide detective Carl Mørck. In the novel, he’s recently returned to work after a line-of-duty shooting that left him injured, one colleague murdered and another with permanent paralysis. Never the easiest person in the world to work with, Mørck has become even more difficult since his return. So, for several reasons, he’s given a new role: head of a new department, Department Q, which is dedicated to looking at ‘cases of special interest’ – cold cases. Mørck’s first instinct is to do as little as possible, since he’s very cynical about both the department and his appointment to it. But then one case captures the interest of his assistant, Hafaz al-Assad. Five years earlier, up-and-coming politician Merete Lynggaard when missing during a ferry trip with her brother, Uffe. The theory at the time was that she went overboard and drowned. But her body has never been found. Assad is curious about the case, since some things don’t quite add up. So he persuades his boss to re-open it and look into it more deeply. And that’s when the two discover that Merete Lynggaard might still be alive. If so, she may have very little time left.

And then there’s Paddy Richardson’s Cross Fingers, the second of her novels to feature Wellington TV journalist Rebecca Thorne. The nation is getting ready for the 30th anniversary of the South Africa Springboks’ rugby tour, which was to include matches with the New Zealand All-Blacks. At the time of The Tour, as it’s often called, apartheid was in full force in South Africa, and many people protested the Springboks’ visit. Others simply wanted to see the matches. And, of course, the police were responsible for keeping order and protecting everyone’s safety. The controversial decision to let the visit go ahead led to some real ugliness. Now, Thorne’s bosses want a new angle on the 30th anniversary story. Thorne doesn’t really think there is one at first. And in any case, she’s busy with another story. But then, one small item catches her attention. During the match, two people dressed as lambs went to the games, where they danced, made fun, and entertained the crowds. Then, they stopped attending. Thorne’s curious about what happened to The Lambs. Her curiosity is piqued even more when she learns that one of them was a professional dancer who was killed one night. Now, Thorne can’t resist looking into what really happened.

And that’s the thing about human nature. And it’s part of the reason for which people still want to know what happened to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. I hope we learn the real truth.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Powderfinger’s Thrilloilogy.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, Colin Dexter, Josephine Tey, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Paddy Richardson