I promised myself after jumping in at the deep end in February that I would be a little more organised for this round-up but we are right in the middle of school holidays with all 4 children at home all day every day and things aren’t quite going as productively as I would have liked, in any aspect of my life.

Since the last round-up there has been a lot more crime reading, though not as much as I found over the summer break. We have 46 reviews of 29 books by 25 authors and I look forward to checking out what exciting new titles I can add to my towering TBR.

For this round-up period we have a lot of 2018 releases which is always exciting but there’s also titles published as far back as 2010.

The Ruin is a book already on my towering TBR that the Beauty and Lace Book Club read in February, unfortunately I didn’t quite get that far, but the rave reviews I’ve been hearing mean I still really want to read it. The Ruin is the most reviewed book for this round-up with 6 different reviews.

The Ruin is a gripping police procedural set in Ireland by Perth author Dervla McTiernan that has left many readers awed to discover is a debut. If the quality of her debut is anything to go by the Cormac Reilly series is definitely going to be one to watch for.

Nadia King says The Ruin is unexpected–it tackles the dark history of modern Ireland and delivers a powerful and chilling tale skilfully executed by McTiernan. It’s hard to believe The Ruin is her first book.

The Ruin was also reviewed by readroundoz and on Goodreads by Claire Holderness, Brenda, Jennifer Cameron-Smith and Marie McLean.


Speaking of series, Fool’s Gold is the first in the Detective Dave Burrows series by West Australian Fleur McDonald. The difference with this series is that it starts in the mid 90s at the beginning of his career when we already know him as a seasoned detective from some of McDonald’s other novels.

Brenda reviewed on Goodreads and the Beauty and Lace Book Club are reading it in April so it will be interesting to see what the members say. 

Fool’s Gold is set in the small mining town of Barrabine where we soon discover that there is a big difference in crimes when you compare a small town with a small mining town.

Brenda says: I’m loving going back to when he started in the force as he gets involved in the intense and gritty crimes of a small community, and very much looking forward to the second in the series. Highly recommended.


The Cowgirl is another with three reviews this month, it’s one I hadn’t heard a lot about but I do know that Rachael Johns was reading it with her book club and it’s a much loved book.

This round-up sees reviews for The Cowgirl from Mrs B’s Book Reviews, Theresa Smith Writes and Claire Holderness on Goodreads.

Theresa Smith says: The sense of community is strong within The Cowgirl. There’s lots of gatherings for tea and cake, lots of supporting each other, and lots of good old country vibes that all together make for a warm and hearty read. I found the whole ‘digging up a house’ rather fascinating, the idea of it all buried lying in wait, as well as discovering what had stood the test of time, and most importantly, what was hidden in the end. This was a unique plot for the story to orbit around, I certainly hadn’t heard of a buried house before!

The Cowgirl is a treat for fans of rural fiction and for those who loved The Drifter, rest assured, this novel stands in its stead very well.


Little Gods is a new release with a stunning cover that certainly piqued my interest. It’s an intriguing coming of age story set in Victoria that saw three glowing reads in the last couple of weeks. Brenda on Goodreads, Theresa Smith and Ashleigh Meikle enjoyed the story.

Ashleigh says: It is a uniquely Australian story, set in Mallee and Victoria, in the country, and with mentions of Vegemite, and hints at events of the early 1980s that have become embedded in the Australian psyche. It is very character driven, and seeing the world through Olive’s eyes illustrates how different people in the same family can see the world and their lives in vastly different ways.

Theresa’s final thoughts are: Little Gods is a slice of life from days gone by and I loved the authenticity of it. It’s about family, the good and the bad, loyalty and protection within, even when we don’t like the people we’re related to. It’s about understanding that the truth can hurt and won’t necessarily set you free.

And Brenda says: Set in the Mallee scrub of country Victoria, Little Gods by Aussie author Jenny Ackland is told through the eyes of Olive, a complex, outwardly-tough young girl, determined to find answers. The complication of Olive’s family, with Thistle, who was an entirely unconventional woman; Rue, continually worried about what others thought; and secrets past to muddy the waters – she was a confused girl fighting an uphill battle. A poignant and intriguing novel, Little Gods is worth the read. Recommended.


It seems that many of the 29 books featured in this round-up that I wasn’t aware of. Another with multiple reviews is The Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic. 

A book with a gorgeous portrait gracing the front cover that tells a fictionalised reimagining of the very real murder of Molly Dean in a Melbourne laneway in 1930. The accounts I have just read tell of a seamless weaving of fact and fiction across dual timelines in a totally plausible storyline. Definitely one to add to my wishlist. It was reviewed by Brenda, Carolyn Smith, Claire Holderness and Jennifer Cameron-Smith on Goodreads.


The Suitcase Baby by Tanya Bretherton is a true crime story that explores the disturbingly high number of infants found abandoned early in the 20th Century.

Tracey at Carpe Librium says: The Suitcase Baby by Tanya Bretherton is the true crime case of one such baby, who washed up in a suitcase on a beach in Mosman, Sydney in 1923. The mother (Sarah) was identified through some fantastic old school detective work, and Bretherton follows the case through the Sydney legal process, subsequent media circus and court of public opinion.

The Suitcase Baby was also reviewed by Kim Forrester @ Reading Matters  who said: I do like a gruesome true crime book, especially one that is well researched and uses the device of the novel to tell the story in a compelling and authentic way. Tanya Bretherton’s The Suitcase Baby, the bulk of which I read on a 3.5-hour domestic flight between Melbourne and Perth earlier this month, ticked all the right boxes for me.


Mine is the last book that I will mention, because this is getting wordy and the day is getting away from me. Mine is a book getting some great press and just reading the synopsis and three reviews logged for the challenge this round-up has given me chills. A psychological thriller of the medical kind is always pretty scary but when it comes down to the fears of a baby swap it’s sure to have the stomach of every mother churning.

Susi Fox’s Mine is reviewed at Theresa Smith Writes, Mrs B’s Book Reviews and by Kali Napier on Goodreads. All three commented on the difficulty of writing a review without spoilers, which is especially important when reviewing a thriller. 

Theresa Smith says: What a literary talent Susi Fox is! This is a cracking debut that is not only engaging but also intelligent, both in terms of its themes and its execution. The combined knowledge base of mother and medicine has proved particularly potent in the crafting of this novel.


What an impressive list of titles, and some amazing reviews. I really should have given myself a lot more time to lose myself in researching the fabulous books that have been written by Australian Women and reviewed for the challenge this period.

My challenge for myself is to start reading reviews two days early for the next round-up so that I can add… well a lot more titles to my towering TBR without a doubt.

Have a great day, happy reading and if your children are still on school holidays here’s hoping they are nice enough to give you lots of reading time.

We would love to hear about the great crime reads you have enjoyed recently.

About Me:

I am a SAHM of 4 who loves words; written, spoken, sung… if it has words I’m there.
I have been reviewing at Beauty and Lace for coming up to 8 years. I started as a lover of horror, fantasy and crime but my time reviewing has broadened my horizons enough that I read pretty much anything, when my gorgeous rugrats allow me the opportunity.
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.