1 February 2022 Susannah

The crime novels of Barry Maitland

The Russian Wife by Barry Maitland

For many years I’ve been enjoying the crime novels of Barry Maitland. Born in Britain, he now lives in Australia and has written a trilogy of novels set around the Hunter Valley area, but it is his London novels I prefer, featuring Inspector David Brock and policewoman Kathy Kolla.

The series began in 1994 with The Marx Sisters and another thirteen novels follow. His most recent book has just come out – The Russian Wife. I was delighted to revisit his excellently drawn characters and also really enjoyed the art aspect of this novel – a major character has an impressive modern art collection and there is art fraud going on. Add in an intriguing locked-room mystery, and you have a really good read. Barry Maitland’s style is consistently good, his plots are well constructed, and his characters believable.

Last year I was lucky enough to meet Barry when leading a tour in the Hunter Valley area. He and his wife joined my tour group for dinner and Barry spoke about how he began his writing career, some of the challenges of writing crime fiction, and the settings he uses. It was really fascinating. I will be repeating this tour in March and there are still places available: https://www.asatours.com.au/tours/new-england-and-hunter-valley-literary/ I’d love you to join me. You will get to meet another fabulous author during the tour and will connect with some Australian literary greats – Dorothea McKellar, Banjo Paterson and Judith Wright. There’s also some wonderful art included in the itinerary.

Have you read any of Barry Maitland’s books? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Featured image credit- The Russian Wife by Barry Maitland, http://www.barrymaitland.com/, https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-walking-on-wooden-floor-inside-green-walled-building-34633/

Comments (8)

  1. Gara Bee

    I too love all Barry’s books, and wait eagerly for each new one. I’ve just finished The Russian Wife which I really enjoyed, and it kept me guessing until the very end! We learn a lot about Kathy Kolka in this one. I think Brock and Suzanne have the ideal relationship – living separately and enjoying the best of each other’s company.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      So glad you also enjoy his books. I love the art crime component of the last one. It was such a treat to meet Barry and I’m looking forward to seeing him again soon on my tour.

  2. Heather Grant

    Thank you Susannah, for the recommendation of Barry Maitland. I went online to our Public Library at Port Macquarie and his books are available so he is on my list to read.

    With regard to the Elly Griffiths novels, I have read the first 3 books on the list but would you believe the 4th in the series is missing!!! The rest of the series are there. I had the same set of circumstances when rereading the Cazalet series.. The 3rd book Confusion was missing so I emailed the Library and they are in the process of purchasing another copy and I’m first in line on the Reserve List. The books in our Library are very well read, in fact rather dilapidated and have been repaired many times.

    The other book I checked out at our Library – The Ambitions of Lady Jane Franklin, and it is on the shelf. so it is “On the List” ………..
    🎶I have a Little List/I have a Little List🎵🎶 … and it is growing!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      We just don’t have enough reading time, do we! It’s so great that you are amking such good use of your local library – they need us at the moment! Hope you can get the ones you are missing, as I am like you and prefer to read books in the correct order if I can.

  3. Margaret Chambers

    I am also a Barry Maitland fan, at present working my way through the Brock and Kolla series after an absence, and now up to Book 6, Babel, with the remainder on my list. Another series I like are books by Elly Griffiths set in Norfolk with an archaeological flavour, featuring Dr Ruth Galloway. Would love to join your New England tour but the dates are not possible for me.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I really enjoy Barry Maitland, but I adore Elly Griffiths and did write about her a year or two ago. Shje helped get me through the first lockdowns of Covid. I even wrote to her to thank her for the reading pleasaure she has given me, and she sent me such a nice letter back. I believe she has a new Dr Ruth Galloway coming out soon – yippee!

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