Today on Sweet ‘n’ Sour books, we’re having two very different books in two genres, both set Down Under and both by the same author.
(Each S&S post features one romance or feel-good book and its blurb, and one in a crime fiction genre. Click the covers to see the books on Amazon.)
Sweet: Walking in the Shadow, by Carmen Radtke
1909, Quail Island. On a small, wind-blasted island off the east coast of New Zealand a small colony of leprosy patients is isolated but not abandoned, left to live out their days in relative peace thanks to the charity of the townspeople and the compassion of the local doctor and matron of the hospital.
Jimmy Kokupe is a miracle: he’s been cured. But he still carries the stigma, which makes life back on the mainland dangerous and lonely. To find a refuge, he’s returned to the camp to care for his friend, fellow patient old Will, and disturbed young Charley. Healed of his physical ailments and dreaming of the girl he once planned to follow to a new life in Australia, Jimmy meets ‘the lady’, the island caretaker’s beautiful but troubled wife who brings their food. Can she help Jimmy forget his difficult past and overcome his own prejudices towards his mixed parentage, and find the courage to risk living in freedom?
This is a fabulous read, one of my top favourites this year. Jimmy’s story sucked me in; I read it almost in one go, desperate to know what happened, wanting things to end well for him and unable to see how they ever could. Is there a happy end for Jimmy? Read it and see!
Sour: Murder at the Races, by Carmen Radtke
1931. Frances Palmer is overjoyed when her brother Rob returns to Adelaide as a racecourse veterinarian. But all is not well on the turf, and when a man is murdered, there is only one suspect – Rob.
Frances and her boyfriend, charming night club owner Jack Sullivan, along with ex-vaudevillian Uncle Sal and their friends have only one chance to unmask
the real murderer, by infiltrating the racecourse. The odds are against them, but luckily putting on a
dazzling show where everything depends on sleight of hand is what they do best. But with time running out for Rob, the race is on…
This is the second standalone story featuring Frances and Jack, and it reminds me a little of Agatha Christie’s books. And Uncle Sal is truly a wonderful creation… A fun read!
Let’s have those New Zealand sheep again to finish off with: