Getting to Know You*

I’m a firm believer in trying out ‘new-to-me’ authors. That’s the way we learn about excellent work that maybe doesn’t get worldwide media attention. So I’m very happy that Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise is continuing her Best New-To-Me Crime Fiction Authors meme. For me, choosing an author to profile has been quite difficult this time, as I’ve ‘met’ some truly talented men and women. My choice, by a narrow margin, is Melbourne author Angela Savage.

Savage has worked for years in the field of sexual health, family planning and HIV prevention. She continues to lead a group of community-based organisations in Melbourne, where she lives with her partner fellow crime writer Andrew Nette and their daughter. However, she’s done a lot of travelling too, especially to Southeast Asia, the site of her novels Behind the Night Bazaar and The Half-Child.

Behind the Night Bazaar is the story of Australian PI Jayne Keeney, who lives and works in Bangkok. After a difficult case she decides to visit her dear friend Didier ‘Didi’ de Montpasse, who lives in Chiang Mai. She’s looking forward to a few days of rest, spending time with her friend and arguing about crime fiction books. Then on the first night of her visit Didi’s partner Nou is brutally murdered outside a club. The next morning Didi himself is killed. The official police explanation is that he murdered Nou and was killed while resisting arrest and threatening the police. But Keeney is sure that’s not what happened. So she begins to ask questions and soon learns that no-one wants her to take an interest in the case. It’s made clear to her that the best thing she can do is leave it alone. But that’s not Keeney’s way, so she continues to try to find out the truth and clear Didi’s name. Along the way she meets Australian Federal Police officer Mark d’Angelo, who’s investigating Australian citizens who are involved in the Thailand sex trade and the child trafficking trade. Keeney discovers that Nou’s and Didi’s murders are related to that trade and in the end, she finds out why and by whom the two men were killed. In the second Jane Keeney novel The Half-Child, Keeney takes the case of Jim Delbeck, an Australian businessman who wants Keeney to find out the truth about his daughter Maryanne’s death. She is said to have committed suicide, but Delbeck doesn’t believe it. Keeney takes the case and travels to Pattaya, where Maryanne Delbeck died. She goes undercover at the orphanage where the victim volunteered and unearths a secret that convinces her that Maryanne Delbeck was murdered. I’ll say it now: I really like Jayne Keeney. She’s strong but human enough to be vulnerable. She’s smart and quick-witted, but not entirely reckless. She has a sense of humour, too.

Savage has also written several short stories, among them The Teardrop Tattoos, which is the story of a woman who’s recently been released from prison and given housing not far from a childcare centre. Her only companion is her pit bull Sully, to whom she is devoted. When a complaint is made against her about her dog, she knows she will have to give Sully up because Sully is a restricted breed. That’s when she decides to take revenge against the woman who made the complaint. As the story unfolds, we learn that things are not exactly as they seem. We follow along as the narrator makes plans, finds out about the woman who made the complaint and plots what she will do. We also find out that the narrator’s story is not as simple as it seems.

 

Want to know more about Angela Savage?  Here’s how:

 

Angela’s Website

Angela on Twitter

 

Want to know more about Jayne Keeney? Here’s how:

 

Behind the Night Bazaar

The Half-Child

Oh, and here’s more information about The Teardrop Tattoos .

 

 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a Richard Rogers/Oscar Hammerstein II song.

21 Comments

Filed under Angela Savage

21 responses to “Getting to Know You*

  1. Alison

    That’s a really good idea for a meme. It seems just a tiny fraction of authors get the deserved recognition. There are so many great writers out there.

    P.S. I had to sing Getting to Know You when I auditioned for a production of The King and I as a child. Still know all the words!

    • Alison – Oh, I hope you got the chance to be in that production! It sounds like it was a lot of fun. And yes, Kerrie’s meme was a terrific idea. I always like ‘meeting’ new authors, and with busy schedules and so many good books to read, it’s hard sometimes to keep track of people whose work one may want to read.

  2. This sounds like an interesting author. I will keep my eyes open for her books.

  3. Fascinating post, thanks. I have Angela Savage on my radar, but last time I looked her books were not available in the UK. Must look again!

    • Maxine – Thank you 🙂 – I must say that’s one of the frustrating things about trying to get some authors’ work. When it’s it’s not available where one lives, that makes it that much more difficult to try it. I hope you’ll find her books are now available in the UK.

  4. I like this meme idea a lot. Lately when I visit the library I find myself checking the front of the new mysteries to see if it’s a debut novel…and often those are the ones I choose to check out. Thanks for the introduction to Angela Savage (who, by the way, has a great name for a crime fiction author).

    • Pat – I know what you mean about debbut niovels. I like to try them out, too. And I hadn’t thought about it but you’re right; Savage is a very appropriate name for a crime novelist… 😉

  5. kathy d.

    Great to see this post about the excellent writer and humanitarian, Angela Savage. I’ve read Behind the Night Bazaar, but not yet The Half-Child, am avidly awaiting that. Her books are available at Text Publishing in Australia and the author expects them to be available in the U.S. next year, books one, two and three.
    The protagonist, Jayne Keeney, is clever and witty and although the book delves into a horrific social crime, it doesn’t get ponderous and weigh down the reader.
    Best wishes to Angela Savage on her books getting out to a wider audience.

    • Kathy – I couldn’t agree more that Behind the Night Bazaar is a very well-written book. It addresses a horrible social crime as you say, but it is also a compelling story. I too am pleased that these books are going to be available in the U.S.

  6. Margot: She sounds very interesting. At this time in my reading life I am not as interested in a book if the author preaches about a social crime. How well does she balance the issue with the mystery?

    • Bill – You ask an interesting question. Certainly Savage makes it clear that human trafficking is a terrible crime. And her sleuth Jayne Keeney thinks it’s as horrible as anyone else does. But I didn’t feel preached at. One of the reasons is that Keeney’s main motivation is solving the murders and clearing her friend’s reputation. There is a lively debate about how to go about dealing with the trafficking problem but that debate acknowledges that this is a complex issue. And Keeney doesn’t spend her time going around to different authorities begging for human trafficking to stop – she spends it trying to get to the truth about the murders.

  7. Margot, I love those summaries. I’m particularly intrigued by The Teardrop Tattoos. By far the most difficult thing I’ve found is to make the reader absolutely hate a character and then slowly change their feelings till the end up caring about and rooting for that character.

    • Peter – Oh, I know what you mean. When a character is that complex and the author is that skilled at reaching out to the author, it can make for an especially effective story. In The Teardrop Tattoos, we do learn why the protagonist is the way she is. And while that doesn’t her a ‘happy, bright, shiny person,’ it does give us a different view of her.

  8. Thanks so much for your support Margot. I’m delighted my novels will be available in paperback in the USA mid-2013, in addition to the electronic versions already available online.
    And using a lyric from a musical set in Thailand to introduce an author whose novels are set in Thailand was a master stroke on your part!

    • Angela – It’s my pleasure to introduce your work to my readers. I’m really very happy too that your novels are coming soon in paperback, and already available online. And thanks for the kind words about my lyric choice; I was rather proud of that ‘though I say it myself.

  9. She sounds great Margot. As Maxine said, I’m not sure how easy she is to find in the UK but thanks for the profile.

    • Sarah – Oh, I hope you’ll get the chance to read her work. And if you do I hope you’ll like it. Everyone’s taste is different, and of course I am biased, but I really do recommend her books.

  10. Wow, those must be tough books to write. I’m glad though that they are being written. I hope you have a lot of success, both in your life and with your books.

  11. Pingback: Hard Labour starts to pay off | Angela Savage

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