Hugh McGinlay; Threekookaburras, 2015; $22 (paperback), $16 (ebook)
A desperate phone call interrupts Catherine Kint’s leisurely breakfast, triggering a deadly chain of events. Her friend Boris the barman has stumbled across the body of a woman with her throat cut in a nearby back alley. It’s the start of a complex and highly entertaining crime caper by Melbourne muso and author Hugh McGinlay, set amid the city’s inner northern suburbs.
The blood-spattered corpse is an all-too familiar sight to the intrepid Catherine, a crime scene investigator-turned milliner, but more puzzling are the apparently ritualistic symbols found near the body. McGinlay teases the reader with a semi-comic occult plot strand woven around a shady spiritual cult run by two brothers.
A former police colleague has lined up Catherine’s friend — a ‘celebrity witch’ — as chief suspect but, as the murders start piling up, it appears more sinister forces are behind the mayhem.
McGinlay has created an offbeat, likeable heroine in Catherine. I, for one, look forward to more of her adventures in future.