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Agatha Christie's Blue Year

When Writing NSW asked if I would like to review On the Blue Train by Kristel Thornell, a novel about the eleven days in 1926 when Agatha Christie disappeared, I thought it would be an interesting assignment and a chance to learn more about this famous author and to perhaps finally read one of her books.

Jennifer Mills sets Dyschronia in the run-down coastal town of Clapstone. Sam is twenty-five years old. The town views Sam as an oracle and depends upon her visions for their survival. And yet a great catastrophe has occurred: the sea has disappeared, seemingly taking with it Clapstone’s last hope.

This ancient-world whodunnit, A Roman Death, is set in 45 BC. Julius Caesar is at the height of his power, yet disquiet grows under his dictatorship. The Ides of March looms and Rome will soon descend into turmoil. And yet Caesar's is not the only Roman death!

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. Chet is also the narrator of the story.

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 far south coast of NSW. The metaphor in the opening story, Bound, is threaded through the volume: there is a "twine" that ties the waterfowl (and humans) to each other and to 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.

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