Dog On It is the first book in Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series. It’s a detective novel featuring Bernie Little, “a slightly down-at-heel private investigator”, and Chet, his “partially K-9 trained” dog who failed the police-dog test when a cat appeared. Chet is also the book's narrator.
Loopholes by Thirroul based author, Susan McCreery, is a collection of microfiction, or very short stories. Wiktionary.org defines the genre as “Fiction that has a significantly shorter than average length.” Synonyms include drabble, flash fiction, flashfic, short-short story, sudden fiction and even twitterature.
Kate Liston-Mills sets her slim volume of short stories in her hometown of Pambula, on the south coast of NSW. The metaphor in the opening story, Bound, about a fox raid on waterfowl nests, is threaded through the volume: There is a "twine" that ties the waterfowl (and humans) to each other and Pambula.
One ordinary morning, an image invades 67-year-old Abel Marvin's thoughts as he swims his laps: the "twisted, burned-out hulk of a wheelchair with two welded, gaping red and black skeletons". It's a scene that's haunted him for most of his adult life, and he buries his face in the water to drown it.
The cover of Nicholas Jose's Bapo, a 19th-century hand-fan decorated with Chinese characters and a collage of contrasting patterns, catches the eye. It invites the reader to open the book, learn about its author and title, and delve into his short story collection.
Patrick White won the inaugural Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1957 for Voss. A year later, Randolph Stow won the award for To the Islands. He was 22-years-old and had already published two novels, A Haunted Land (1956) and The Bystander (1957) and a collection of award-winning poems.
As his work on an Aboriginal mission informed the award-winning To the Islands, Papua New Guinea left an indelible mark on Randolph Stow and was the basis for Visitants. However, the novel was not published until twenty years after his return to Australia.
Joan O'Hagan was born in Australia but studied Latin, Greek and Ancient History in New Zealand. O'Hagan lived and worked overseas for most of her life – including 30 years in Rome, working at the Australian Department of Immigration. And O'Hagan drew upon her education and experience to write crime fiction.
Vu Tran's debut novel, Dragonfish, opens with a letter from a mother to her daughter, with whom she's lost contact. She recounts the first night of their escape from communist Vietnam, in a small, overcrowded boat, soon to be wracked by 'thirst and hunger, sickness [and] death'.
Portland Jones' debut novel is set in 1962. A contingent of Australian soldiers, the Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV), is sent to Vietnam under the leadership of the CIA. Their mission is to train South Vietnamese soldiers and villagers to fight the North Vietnamese Communists and Viet Cong insurgents.
Chasca Broderick has rushed home from her work with the War Crimes Tribunal in Sarajevo in 1998 to attend her grandfather's funeral. Theodore Broderick had been a lawyer, an eminent legal academic, an adviser to presidents, a Supreme Court Justice, and a defence attorney at the Nuremberg Trials.