Category Archives: Uncategorized

A RANDOM SHELF AT THE JUNK SHOP

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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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