The best new books to read this week

<i>Everyone in my family has killed someone</i> by Benjamin Stevenson.” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_0.831%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_221% 2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/d9aa5f6449a12209159c40f4756c1b8b092b5980″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”$zoom_0.831%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_221%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/d9aa5f6449a12209159c40f4756c1b8b092b5980,$zoom_0.831%02.C$84ratio_6% .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_221%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/d9aa5f6449a12209159c40f4756c1b8b092b5980 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Everyone in my family has killed someone by Benjamin Stevenson.Credit:

Everyone in my family has killed someone
Benjamin Stevenson
Michael Joseph ($32.99)

A closed bedroom murder mystery with dark comic book undertones, Everyone in my family has killed someone invokes the Ten Commandments of Detective Fiction, endorsed by Agatha Christie, GK Chesterton and others. A mystery boffin, Ern Cunningham, attends a snowy retreat for a family reunion. It’s going to be awkward. Ern has largely distanced himself from them all since he double crossed his brother Michael for killing someone. When a corpse is found on the tracks with the same MO as a serial killer, Ern is led to discover the killer among his gathered relatives, including Michael, who has just been released from prison. The author adheres to classic detective fiction standards while playing with the over-determined dark comic caricature of something like Knives out. As with that film, Stevenson’s novel is both overdone and understated. It’s plotted reasonably well, but tonally an insistent search for humor – Stevenson is a comedian – can undermine the atmosphere and suspense.

<i>The mirror book</i> by Charlotte Grimshaw” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_0.212%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C $y_19/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/b39556a887d12b97f57f1595b23ce978347fab01″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”$zoom_0.212%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0 .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_19/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/b39556a887d12b97f57f1595b23ce978347fab01,$zoom_0.212%2C$multiply6_02C$ratio% 666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_19/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/b39556a887d12b97f57f1595b23ce978347fab01 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

The mirror book by Charlotte GrimshawCredit:

The mirror book
Charlotte Grimshaw
Vintage, $35

When life enters a novel, it becomes fiction. But what if you want to reverse the process and get back to the truth about the question, what do you get? In Charlotte Grimshaw’s extremely well-written memoir of her family (her father is CK Stead) and a crisis in her own marriage, often as not, you get After fiction. His family’s motto on the experience was: It’s material. make it a story. But in a fictional house, fiction is likely to prevail. When Grimshaw tells his father that his mother doesn’t talk to him, he denies it, saying she always talks to you – the family often appear troubled and in denial. One of her first relationships is brutally violent, but like the family, she too goes into denial. All the same, it’s a deeply loving portrait, yet still thorough and unwavering in its examination of family and self.

<i>Shameful diplomacy, disposable sovereignty</i> by Carrillo Gantner.” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_0.279%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0% 2C$y_13/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/73c0e42b64e8b4af6751b1144b38f5b6da652772″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”$zoom_0.279%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_13/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/73c0e42b64e8b4af6751b1144b38f5b6da652772,$zoom_0.279%2C$multiply_0.84%2C$r66_0.84%2C .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_13/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/73c0e42b64e8b4af6751b1144b38f5b6da652772 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Shameful diplomacy, disposable sovereignty by Carrillo Gantner.Credit:

Shameful diplomacy, disposable sovereignty: our problem with China and America
Carrillo Gantner
Monash University Publishing, $19.95

In the 1980s, Carrillo Gantner, cultural counselor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing, negotiated the staging of Jack Hibberd A bit of imagination in Shanghai. It would take a huge stretch of the imagination to see that happen now. Gantner’s essay on the deeply damaging decline in Australian-Chinese relations in recent years, which has seen Australia become, he says, “the American shoe shiner in the South Pacific”, is an angry but measured from the failures of the federal government and the hostile media hype (particularly the Murdoch media) that led to this state of affairs. But it is also fueled by longstanding Australian fears of the “Yellow Peril”. What the Chinese want, he argues, is respect, and our diplomatic failure to achieve that has simply rendered us politically irrelevant in the eyes of the Chinese. Strong and timely stuff.

<i>27 letters to my daughter</i> by Ella Ward” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_0.892%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C $y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/67196f97602dfb78afd4f1f99c7e0cc1ffde3982″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”$zoom_0.892%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0 .666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/67196f97602dfb78afd4f1f99c7e0cc1ffde3982,$zoom_0.892%2C$multiply_0.8466%2C 666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/67196f97602dfb78afd4f1f99c7e0cc1ffde3982 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

27 letters to my daughter by Ella WardCredit:

27 letters to my daughter
Ella Ward
Harper Collins, $32.99

When Ella Ward discovered she had a rare cancer, her response was to compose a series of letters about life and its lessons to her nine-year-old daughter – a ‘miracle’ baby born after she was declared infertile . It reads like a message in a bottle, with Ward through most of it speaking as if dead. Stylistically, it’s easy, flowing epistolary storytelling that takes into account the generations that preceded mother and child, a central tenet being that we are the sum of all that we are. now as well as the ghostly past of our ancestors. She talks about families, her own parents’ breakup, traveling and learning, coping with life in all its paradoxes and challenges, pain and pleasure – as well as good sound advice like washing the dishes before to go to bed. Often funny and moving, but always haunted by the shadow of mortality.

<i>Kelly’s Hunters</i> by Grantlee Kieza” loading=”lazy” src=”$zoom_1%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C$width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_81 /t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/cf43e2e5c95dc6f33f05b693b84d26ab363f7334″ height=”240″ width=”160″ srcset=”$zoom_1%2C$multiply_0.4233%2C$ratio_0.666667%2C $width_378%2C$x_0%2C$y_81/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/cf43e2e5c95dc6f33f05b693b84d26ab363f7334,$zoom_1%2C$multiply_0.8466%2C$ratio_7%width_0.6367%$76666 2C$x_0%2C$y_81/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/cf43e2e5c95dc6f33f05b693b84d26ab363f7334 2x”/></picture></div><figcaption class=

Kelly’s Hunters by Grantlee KiezaCredit:

Kelly’s Hunters
Grantlee Kieza
ABC Books $34.99

Although Kieza examines Kelly’s backstory, constant run-ins with the police, harsh prison sentences and most importantly, the imprisonment of Kelly’s mother, who predicted “there will be a murder now” – its focus is on hunting down the Kelly gang after killing three policemen at Stringybark Creek in 1878, leading to an 8,000 pound reward. It was a massive operation, and Kieza describes how it all went down, especially the employment of the Queensland Aboriginal trackers who pissed off the gang so much while on the run. It is a highly informed, often exuberant popular story, sometimes resembling the terrible 19th century tales of the Kellys’ exploits and capture – the Glenrowan shooting, in particular, with Kelly emerging through the fog of the town inn, clad in armor, like the ghost of Hamlet’s father.

About Herbert L. Leonard

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