By Louise Ure
By the time you read this, I will have been in Australia for over a week already. Hopefully, I will have finally settled into Australia’s summer season and time zone and all the nausea inducing jet lag will be behind me. Picture me sipping a good Shiraz in the Hunter Valley.
As I readied myself for the trip, I was trying to decide between getting a Kindle or getting an iPad to take along. You know what an Apple slut I am, so I was leaning toward the iPad in the hopes that it would not only be a reader for me, but give me the chance to write if the inspiration hit and it would make internet and email activities easier than the iPhone’s tiny keyboard.
I ultimately chose “none of the above” because I’m not ready for a dedicated reader and couldn’t justify the extra money for an iPad. (Write while I’m on the road? Who am I kidding? I’ve never written when I traveled before and have no reason to think I will now. But if inspiration strikes I can always pick up a pad of paper.)
So the book thing remains a question.
Twenty years ago when I lived in Sydney, I fell in love with Australian mysteries. The early works of Arthur Upfield with police officer Inspector “Bony” Bonaparte. Jon Cleary’s Inspector Scobie Malone series. Garry Disher’s Inspector Hal Challis outside of Melbourne. Any of Peter Corris’ multiple ongoing series. I even read quite a few of Robert G. Barrett’s Les Norton series about a nightclub bouncer, mysogynist and all around ne’er-do-well until Barrett’s repeated description of Les as “the big red-headed Queenslander” drove me to distraction.
I had lots of favorite female authors, as well. Shamus Award-winner Marele Day, who writes about private investigator, Claudia Valentine. Claire McNab, who has several continuing characters but my favorite is lesbian Detective Inspector Carol Ashton. And Jennifer Row who created Verity “Birdie” Birdwood, a TV researcher who winds up embroiled in mystery and murder.
I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read any Kerry Greenwood yet and I intend to correct that on this trip.
But who else should I be reading? Come on all you Aussies out there … you booksellers … all you lovers of international mysteries. Give me some names. I am woefully behind on what’s good in Australian mysteries right now and I intend to buy all of them.
When I traveled back home after my years in Australia, I had to go buy a coffin-sized metal footlocker for all the books and send it back by ship. I’ll probably have to do the same this time. Hmmm … that might have made the iPad a bargain by comparison.
Stay well you all and have a lovely Christmas.