A MATTER OF LOVE AND DEATH

Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances' life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it's thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder. If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears — it was a very bad line, after all... She decides to put it behind her, but it’s not easy. Luckily there is the charming, slightly dangerous nightclub owner Jack. Jack's no angel — six pm prohibition is in force, and what's a nightclub without champagne? But when Frances' earlier fears resurface, she knows that he's the person to confide in. Frances and Jack's hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things really are a matter of love and death...

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WHAT THE READERS SAY

"A lovely historical cosy crime read, set in 1930s Australia - the characters are likeable, the setting is delightful and the whole thing is an easy, entertaining full-good read, reminiscent of Miss Fisher’s murder mysteries."

"I really enjoyed reading this book set in Australia during such a fascinating era. I was captivated throughout the twists and turns of the story and found Frances a refreshing and feisty lead character, determined to find out the truth but not entirely sure who to trust. I also enjoyed the way that, without losing pace or plot, the author conveyed a strong sense of the changing times and impact of the depression, with both compassion and insight."

“Charming historical cosy mystery. Adelaide, 1931 - Frances, a telephone operator, overhears a suspicious call and soon turns amateur sleuth along with nightclub owner, the enigmatic Jack. Nicely drawn characters and an immersive plot make this atmospheric mystery very enjoyable indeed.”


“I was captivated throughout the twists and turns of the story and found Frances a refreshing and feisty lead character, determined to find out the truth but not entirely sure who to trust. I also enjoyed the way that, without losing pace or plot, the author conveyed a strong sense of the changing times and impact of the depression, with both compassion and insight, making this more rounded than many similar books.”

“I absolutely loved this book, and am very very hopeful that it won't remain a standalone book for long! We see the 1930's described from the perspective of Frances, who is just so innocent and loveable, and her friendship with nightclub owner Jack is just fantastic. I really loved the suspense and the friendships within this book, and I felt the background and surrounding characters were just wonderful too. I hope to read more in the future!”

“The author’s portrait of the place rang true for me, the vernacular of my Adelaide parents and grandparents flowing from the mouths of her characters. Many a time did my mother’s hand guide me into Balfour’s, the bakery and tearoom famous for its frog-cakes, and I felt I was there again at the table with lead character Frances and Jack. The trams and Torrens Lake and particular streets and the weather… this was old Adelaide.
But A Matter of Love and Death is also a very good story. The well-drawn characters are interesting in themselves, emerging believably from the time and place. Frances, the switchboard operator, unintentionally overhears a telephone conversation which triggers a conflict of conscience and fear for her own safety. Some new acquaintances may be ready and able to help, but they have mysterious relationships and backgrounds which may pull her into further trouble.“

“I LOVED IT! An unusual setting - 1930s Adelaide - with some great period detail. A very likeable heroine, someone who you really feel for and root for though out, with a believable dilemma - to tell and risk losing her job, when you're the only breadwinner and jobs are hard to come by, or to keep quiet and live with the knowledge that you've let a murderer get away? Throw in a sexy and slightly dangerous night club owner, and you've got the perfect ingredients for a thoroughly enjoyable cosy mystery with a hint of romance. If you like Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, you'll love this one!”

Available now on Amazon and various ebook stores!

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Carmen Radtke, 2019