Author Archives: susan

FUNNY PECULIAR

Michael Innes was really John Innes Mackintosh Stewart (1906-94), a Scottish-born Oxford don. He wrote over 40 detective novels featuring Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard, Sir John Appleby. The books are – like their protagonist – clever, witty, erudite, psychologically … Continue reading

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SMALL OBSERVATIONS FROM A SHORT WALK

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STANDING AT THE EDGE

In late summer twenty seven years ago, I stood at a tram stop. With fifteen minutes or so to wait, I decided to pop into the nearby bookstore. It  specialised in New Age and spiritual and religious books; I wasn’t … Continue reading

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PHOSPHORESCENCE

  There are few things as startling as encountering an unearthly glow in the wild. Glow-worms. Ghost mushrooms. Fireflies. Flashlight fish. Lantern sharks. Vampire squid. Our forest floors and ceilings, our ocean depths and fringes are full of luminous things, … Continue reading

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JANUARY STARS

When their parents leave for New Zealand to sort out a family emergency, sisters Tash (aged 12) and Clancy (who’s 14) are sent to stay with their aunt. When when she goes away for the weekend, what could possibly go … Continue reading

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HARD-BOILED ANXIETY

It’s counter-intuitive, but there’s something so calming about old school detective fiction. It’s often been said that it’s all about the ‘moral universe’; these are stories with a certain outcome in which the good prevail and the bad are punished. … Continue reading

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WINTER BOOK

Every time I go to see my chiropractor, there’s a little ritual.  After the half hour drive to Daylesford, a pot of tea. Of course. There are two Op Shops right across the road from the clinic. And afterwards, since … Continue reading

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VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS

“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that tell true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is … Continue reading

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GAUDY NIGHT

After finishing Square Haunting by Francesca Wade, I decided to look up some of Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. I remembered Gaudy Night was one of my mother’s favourite detective novels so I decided to start there, near the … Continue reading

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STILL SMILING

Last year, as part of the Castlemaine State Festival, large format posters of local artists, writers, performers and other creative types were plastered around the town. Despite rain, wind, sun and the work of random rippers and taggers, I am … Continue reading

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