Geoffrey McGeachin’s number one writing rule is Real writing is rewriting. Gabrielle Lord’s is Make writing your first priority, and Peter Corris doesn’t want to set rules but does advise learning from both mistakes and successes. With nineteen others, these crime writers share their journey to publication, their writing processes, tips and rules, and recommended reads in If I Tell You… I’ll Have to Kill You: Australia’s Leading Crime Writers Reveal Their Secrets.
Whilst suitable for anyone with an interest in crime fiction or true crime, this offering is most likely to appeal to writers (and aspiring writes) of the genre. The contributors are all multi published Australian authors, who’ve also had success on the international stage. Though crime is the common ground, the range of their writing focus is broad – from true crime, to detective novel, to historical fiction and more.
Because each chapter is contributed by a different author, the book can be either read cover to cover or dipped into, and while the focus is crime writing, writers of all interests and levels of experience are likely to find value in both the writing advice and the sharing of journeys to publication (and beyond).
Other contributors include Kerry Greenwood. Garry Disher, Barry Maitland and Leigh Redhead.
If I Tell You… I’ll Have to Kill You: Australia’s Leading Crime Writers Reveal Their Secrets, edited by Michael Robotham
Allen & Unwin, 2013
Available from good bookstores and online.
I reached for the torch and had just closed my fingers round the handle when it was kicked out of my grasp and flew down the lane, plastic cracking. The light was extinguished and all I could make out was a shape looming above me, amorphous and shifting like something not quite human, and then the shadow lengthened and there was a rush of air and an incredible cracking pain on my forehead, and after a brief flash of light it was darker than ever.
All that Simone Kirsch wants is to be a private detective. She’s setting up her own agency – just as soon as she has the money to do so. In the meantime she’s moonlighting as a stripper to build up some cash.
When Andi Fowler approaches her for help, Simone isn’t so sure. Andi is a childhood friend who is working a big new story – but she won’t give Simone the details, and she’s low on cash to pay Simone for her services. But when Andi disappears, Simone feels obliged to take the case.
Cherry Pie is the third title in the Simone Kirsch series, and , like its predecessors is high on action and tension whilst also humorous and earthy. Simone’s life is chaotic – and that’s when she’s not on a case. When she is it’s tumultuous. She makes mistakes, puts herself and others in danger, and doesn’t know when to give up. But she’s likeable and her wry take on life is as endearing as it is entertaining. She is well supported by a wide cast of characters.
Readers will be clamouring for more.
Cherry Pie, by Leigh Redhead
Allen & Unwin, 2007
This title is available online at Fishpond.
Simone Kirsch is an ex-stripper who always wanted to be a cop. They wouldn’t have her, because of her background, so now she’s the next best thing – a Private Investigator. Unfortunately for Simone, her cases don’t seem to ever be straightforward. She seems to attract trouble. Big trouble.
Simone is hired to investigate Tamara Wade, the daughter of prominent Melbourne lawyer Emery Wade, and the sister of football star Blaine. But while she’s busy staking out the flat, Tamara dies in an apparent suicide. Simone thinks the case has come to a messy conclusion, but soon she is hired by one of Tamara’s former massage clients, who believes Tamara was murdered. Soon Simone realises that she needs to solve the case quickly – before she herself is silenced.
Rubdown is a sassy, fast moving detective novel, with plenty of twists and turns, some humour and a love interest. Simone is a likeably flawed P.I. with insecurities and foibles which keep the reader barracking for her to get it right.
This is the second book in the Simone Kirsch series, but it isn’t necessary to have read the first to get full enjoyment from this one.
Rubdown, by Leigh Redhead
Allen & Unwin, 2005