Dark Deeds Down Under edited by Craig Sisterson

Today it is my great pleasure to turn the spotlight on a fabulous short story collection, pulled together by Craig Sisterson, and featuring some absolutely brilliant writers and stories from Australia and New Zealand. I picked this up at Bute Noir last year and have been savouring the individual stories over a few weeks. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 01 July 2022
Publisher: Clan Destine Press

About the Book

A vibrant southern constellation of crime writers.

Dark Deeds Down Under features the very best of modern Australian and New Zealand crime and mystery writing.

Spend time with some of your favourite Aussie and Kiwi cops, sleuths and accidental heroes, and meet some edgy new investigators.

A crew of beloved series characters – Corinna Chapman, Hirsch, Sam Shephard, Rowly Sinclair, Nick Chester, Murray Whelan – will lead you down dark alleys to meet our newer heroes – the Nancys, Penny Yee and Matiu, Alex Clayton, Kate Miles – and the stars of some cracking standalone tales.

Travel the criminal trails of two countries. From the dusty Outback to South Island glaciers, from ocean-carved coastlines and craggy mountains to sultry rainforests or Middle Earth valleys, and via sleepy towns to the seething underbellies of our cosmopolitan cities.

The 19 dark deeds herein are perpetrated by:

Alan Carter – Nikki Crutchley – Aoife Clifford – Garry Disher – Helen Vivienne Fletcher – Lisa Fuller – Sulari Gentill – Kerry Greenwood – Narrelle M. Harris – Katherine Kovacic – Shane Maloney – R.W.R. McDonald – Dinuka McKenzie – Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray – Renee – Stephen Ross – Fiona Sussman – Vanda Symon – David Whish-Wilson

My Thoughts

I do love a good short story and, with Dark Deeds Down Under, I get not just one, but 19 absolute belters. I loved the variety of stories and authors that Craig Sisterson has brought together for this anthology, taking us through so many different styles of crime fiction, from the serious, to the poignant, to the just plain fun. There is a little something for everyone here, turning the spotlight on some of the fabulous writers that Australia and New Zealand has to offer.

I love the way in which each of the author has managed to pull us right into the story, setting the scene and delivering the power punches in perfect style and leaving a real satisfaction at the end of every tale. From a murder in a theatre setting, which reaches it’s conclusion over a series of three parts, to nasty goings on at an animal shelter, or dastardly deeds in a nursing home, there really is a little bit of everything here. I loved the story Nancys Undercover by RWR McDonald and am excited to know there is also a running series of books featuring these characters as they were fabulous. For fans of Vanda Symon’s iconica character, Sam Shephard, there is a bonus short story, Top Dog, that may turn the stomach and have you checking the contents of your pet’s food bowl. It certainly made me smile (and grimace). The Falls by Lisa Fuller, combines a story of loss and anger with a more spiritual edge. Skin Deep, by Dinuka McKenzie, examines racial tensions and prejudice in New South Wales, and He Who Laughs Last by Helen Vivienne Fletcher brings readers a tale of gleeful vengeance that goes quite spectacularly wrong. Apparently you really can die of laughter …

Whatever your tastes, I think you will find something here to love. I know that I’ve found a group of authors whose wider works I’m going to be checking out in the not too distant future. A perfect collection for those brief moments in time – commutes, lunch breaks – where you just need a tempting distraction. Definitely recommended.

5 thoughts on “Dark Deeds Down Under edited by Craig Sisterson

  1. I like anthologies for a couple of reasons, but one is that I get to try authors I have seen around, but not read. I have found some new favourites this way. There are several here that I have read and enjoyed, so this book sounds perfect. Wonderful review, Jen.

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  2. I really don’t need to be persuaded to read Australian crime writers, because ever since discovering Peter Temple, Jock Serong and Chris Womersley have been unable to resist. As I’m unlikely to resist this.

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