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.