August 28, 2018

Australian Crime Fiction

Jane Harper’s Aaron Falk series continues to rack up awards and long hold lines at the library. Fortunately for all of us on the waiting list, Australian crime fiction has a lot to offer.

If you want to start by recommending some tried and true classics, try authors Peter Corris or Marele Day. Corris has been publishing his Cliff Hardy mysteries since the 1980s. The most recent edition was published just last year, so there will be plenty to go around. Or recommend Marele Day’s Claudia Valentine series, starring a flinty woman private investigator braving the tough Sydney streets.

In the grittier world of present-day crime fiction--a genre full of antiheros, moral ambiguity, compromised protagonists--Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram stands out. Based on the author’s own life, this novel follows an escaped convict to Bombay, where he becomes embroiled in the local crime scene. For more of a noir flavor, try The Student by Iain Ryan in which a feckless college student becomes entangled with drug trafficking, missing persons, and a local bikie gang (biker gang, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere). You can easily find more title like these by using some of the recommended searches below. To limit to Australian authors, you just need to add GX Australian fiction.

GX Crime fiction AND GX Australian fiction

GX Noir fiction AND GX Australian fiction

If your readers are looking for a little more “whodunit” with their novels, mysteries are the way to go. Personally, I love a little Phryne Fisher. Or for a less cozy feel, you can recommend Bitter Wash Road, which follows a small town detective investigating the murder of a young girl. Or start the Belltree Trilogy with Crucifixion Creek where a detective confronts a series of linked deaths. And really anything by Peter Temple is a strong bet.

GX Mysteries AND GX Australian fiction

GX Historical mysteries AND GX Australian fiction

GX Cozy mysteries AND GX Australian fiction

And don’t forget about true crime. John Safran’s God’ll Cut You Down (originally published in Australia as Murder in Mississippi) follows the incredibly convoluted case of the murder of a white supremacist evoking the grim history of racism in the United States in the author’s unique voice. For Australia-set true crime Helen Garner’s The House of Grief investigates a tragic domestic case, and Chloe Hooper’s Tall Man looks into the death of Aboriginal Cameron Doomadgee. To find more true crime titles, we’ll just swap out the genres mysteries for true crime and Australian fiction for Australian literature.

                GX True crime AND GX Australian literature

Want to read mysteries, but looking for Canadian fiction? Or African American fiction? Or New Zealand fiction? NoveList has a whole set of genre terms called Library Search Helpers that aren’t exactly genres, but can help you find things like novels in verse or franchise books. You can learn more about speedily searching for books using Library Search Helpers or other pieces of metadata in our search strategy on field codes. Or, sign up for our Book Squad newsletters and get tips like these sent to your inbox on a regular basis.

Christine Wells is a Metadata Librarian II.


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