[box]“Love, Honour and O’Brien”, by Jennifer Rowe, Allen & Unwin, (rrp $22.95).[/box]
A NEW star has arrived in the dark night of Australian fiction… and not a moment too soon.
Her name is Holly Love and she’s an absolute delight. She’s charming, funny and so real you can hear her breathing. Indeed, I confidently predict that this, her first appearance, will be the forerunner of some of the best-read Australian books of the next the decade. She’s the creation of mystery writer Jennifer Rowe, whose earlier works have gained a loyal following. However, this is her big breakthrough.
The adventures of Holly Love, accidental private investigator, as she tracks a dreadful bounder through the towns and villages of the Blue Mountains kept me (and later my wife) totally engrossed and often wild with laughter all through its 350 pages. Most of the supporting characters, such as Abigail Honour, the daffy psychic, Eric the Elvis impersonating chauffeur, awful Una Maggot and the timorous pest exterminator, Trevor Purse, are beautifully – indeed luminously – drawn. Others either need a little more development or may be discarded in subsequent adventures.
Either way, the author has a wonderful core of protagonists, a splendid setting and soon, I promise, will have a readership panting for the next episode.