As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Constable, 6 October 2016. ISBN: 978-1-472-12309-1
First Inspector Ruud Pujasumarta
of the Jakarta police has never seen a crime like it: a middle-aged woman who
has first had one hand severed, then been choked to death with a mah-jong tile
in her throat. When Ruud’s former playfellow, Imke Schneider arrives, they’re
immediately attracted to each other, but Imke also has a dark secret ...
present-day PP moves between narrators: we follow Ruud, Imke and her eccentric
Aunt Erica, whose portrait commission has brought them to Indonesia, in third
person, but there are also first-person sections in the voice of the brother of
the perpetrator of this series of killings, and these are used to give us hints
as to who the killer might be – several possibles are set up, and dismissed in
turn. There are also moments of tension as it appears that key characters may
have been taken by the killer. The characters are an interestingly diverse
bunch: Ruud, whose wife has left him – as everybody knows, and isn’t shy of
mentioning - is now haunted by his mother-in-law bringing him lunchtime
curries, and dealing with his choleric boss. Imke is torn between her need to
return to her childhood home and the feeling that her family left under a
cloud; Aunt Erika travels with the contents of a sweet shop to fuel her
chocolate habit. The sights, sounds and smells of Indonesia are vividly evoked,
particularly through the country’s food. The plot moves swiftly, the general feel is of a cosy read, but the
scenes of violence are evoked in full detail – one, an act of violence against
a child, is particularly disturbing – and the end climax comes close to torture
cosy PP with episodes of noir violence, clever plotting and an unusual setting.
Julian Lees was born and raised in Hong Kong, attended boarding
school in England and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with his wife
and children. The great-grandson of a
high-ranking Cossack general who served under the last Tsar of Russia, Julian
is a writer who draws from his family's rich history. His novels are set in a
world where East meets West, a cross-cultural world which he captures
bewitchingly and dramatically in his fiction.
Marsali Taylorgrew up near
Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently
a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and
two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is
fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive
dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a
keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of
her local drama group.Marsali also does
a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.