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Summer 1997

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Cover, Grim Pickings by Jennifer Rowe

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Grim Pickings

Jennifer Rowe, (Allen & Unwin, pb)

One of the great joys I discovered in crime fiction is placement. Female crime writers especially seem to put a lot of care into creating the environment in which the crime is committed and the investigation made.

Grim Pickings is set in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. It is a private orchard, an old, family farm where family and friends gather once a year to pick the apples ready for the local market. Every year the dotty old aunt warns the pickers that she has sprayed and the apples mustn't be eaten. And every year they think she's lying to protect her fruit. Except, maybe, this year.

And this year, with crime-solving Verity Birdwood conveniently on hand, someone is found dead surrounded by apple cores. Oh dear.

It's a gentle, character-based story and quite a nice read.

by Ali Kayn

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