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The Autumn Murders

Robert Gott's book, the second in this trilogy, is called The Port Fairy Murders, and there's an obvious reason why that book outsells pretty much every other book in our shop. It's fiction, I keep reminding people - or am I reminding myself? - but it's also got a lot of historical detail in it. Robert Gott has an historian's heart, and in that heart he has a soft spot for our little town. He's been a guest of the (now defunct) Port Fairy book festival several times, and he's appeared at Blarney Books & Art several times, for his own launches, as well as to host the launches of others. He's articulate, wise and funny - and his William Power series of books shows his wit to the fullest. This series, however, which started with The Holiday Murders, then The Port Fairy Murders, and now The Autumn Murders, has some humour, but is otherwise a very dark and disturbing crime thriller series. In George Starling, Gott has created an unforgettable villain with the darkest of motives, and a somewhat sickening flair for filleting, and this character is out for revenge. It's 1944, and compellingly, we are transported back to the Melbourne of the time. The story is spotted with iconic landmarks and it makes for fascinating reading. I had to check for myself that the Sarah Sands Hotel in Brunswick would have been in operation then, and it turns out it was built in 1854 - of course I should have trusted Robert! There's a (fictional) villain's lair situated just outside of Port Fairy, in Rosebrook for the Port Fairy fans, and lots of Melbourne for the city history buffs. If you want your fictional body count stacked up with just as much true history, then this is definitely the book for you. I raced to the end of this novel, because I needed to know what would become of Starling and his target, the honourable but troubled Joe Sable, but I also enjoyed the sense of familiarity with the locations, and the surprising pieces of information which came with them. [NB: You might notice that the book has been blurbed by one of Port Fairy's favourite resident writers, Jock Serong.]

Autumnal novel...

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