Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on 21 Dec, 2021 in Australian Crime Fiction, Bestseller, British Thrillers, Canberra Weekly, Crime, Romance, Spy Fiction, Thriller | 0 comments



Canberra Weekly 16 December 2021

This week in the Canberra Weekly, my colleague Michael Popple and I suggested five good books to read over the holiday period.

Dolphin Junction by Mick Herron (John Murray)

First up, I suggested a superb collection of short stories by spy fiction maestro Mick Herron.

Spanning the breadth of Herron’s career, Dolphin Junction (John Murray) was an enjoyable selection of stories that showcased his exquisite writing style and fine eye for plotting detail. In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Short stories always make for great holiday reading and this collection by Mick Herron will provide hours of pleasure. Herron, author of the highly acclaimed Jackson Lamb spy novels, brings together for the first time eleven short stories from across the breadth of his career. In addition to a clever Jackson Lamb tale, there is a sprinkling of stories featuring Herron’s shrewd Oxford private detective Zoë Boehm, and a nice selection of other stories. All of them are well crafted, and display Herron’s ability to mix humour and suspense in just the right quantities. Great company for the pool or the beach this summer.”

I also did a longer review a few weeks ago:

Outback Secrets by Rachael Johns (Mira)

For those who are after some romance these holidays, there is the latest rural romance offering from Rachael Johns, Outback Secrets (Mira).

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Those after some enjoyable chick-lit these holidays will be well served by Rachael Johns’ rural romance, Outback Secrets. Agricultural pilot Henrietta Forward returns to Bunyip Bay in southern New South Wales for Christmas, and finds herself forming a relationship with popular pub owner Liam Castle. At first Henri is just using Liam to ward off her mother’s plans to settle her down, but as the pretend romance starts to feel like the real thing, she does not know what to do. Mixing small town romance with broader concerns about modern relationships, Outback Secrets is a fun piece of holiday escapism.”

Game On by Janet Evanovich (Simon & Schuster)

Game On is the 28th novel in Janet Evanovich’s ever popular series about New Jersey bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. It is now closing in on thirty years since the first Stephanie Plum novel appeared, One For The Money, but the series shows no sign of waning and the books continue to entertain and delight.

In the Canberra Weekly I said:

“Also highly entertaining is Janet Evanovich’s latest book about the witty, doughnut addicted bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. Game On is the 28th novel to feature the irrepressible Ms Plum and, despite numerous close shaves and exploding cars, the romantically confused New Jersey girl shows no sign of slowing down, or ageing for that matter.  It follows the usual path of mayhem, with Stephanie trying to track down a computer hacker, while being hampered by her feisty grandmother and her larger than life friend Lula, “a former erectile engineer”. Full of crackling dialogue, absurdist situations, and romantic tension, it is an enjoyable romp.”

Back in the 1990s when I reviewed Evanovich’s One For The Money for the Canberra Times I said that it was “A sparkling debut … (that) combines equal measures of humour and thrills to produce a highly engaging read.” Almost three decades later and the same could be said of Game On!

Rounding out the column are two reviews by Michael of Cytonic (Gollancz) by Brandon Sanderson and The Spy’s Wife (Michael Joseph) by Australian author Fiona McIntosh. Both promise hours of reading pleasure.

Michael’s reviews can be found at:

The reviews can also be found on the Canberra Weekly’s terrific site:

Thanks to the publishers and the Canberra Weekly for the books.

Leave a Reply