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Welcome

Welcome! I’m Marianne Delacourt alter ego of SF writer Marianne de Pierres. As Marianne Delacourt, I write contemporary humorous crime/romance with a paranormal flavour. Stories that are fast, funny, furious – and definitely pull no punches.

The Tara Sharp series is published by Twelfth Planet Press, Australia. All enquiries for interviews and review copies should be sent through the Twelfth Planet Press contact form.

 

SHARP SHOOTER free for a limited time!

As part of our Too Sharp promotions, you can download Sharp Shooter free until April 9th! You can do this either directly from any of the Amazon’s or through Instafreebie!

And the blog tour is underway:

Read an excerpt from SHARP TURN at The Criminal Element.

Read an interview with Marianne Delacourt at Books, Life, and Everything.

Here’s a recommended list of humorous heroines for you to check out at Liz Loves Books.

Also at The Criminal Element you can read the results of the poll I took amongst my friends and colleagues to pick the top female crime writers.

You can pick up the rest of the tour on the dates below:

Too Sharp is OUT NOW!

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Tara Sharp’s new case brings her to Brisbane, where she is placed in charge of Slim Sledge, a high-maintenance rock star. Tara’s a sucker for a backstage pass, and it’ll provide some much-needed distance between herself and her mother’s not-so-subtle hints about getting a “real” job, not to mention crime lord Johnny Viaspa, the only man on the planet who wants her dead.
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 She expected the music industry to be cut-throat, but Tara soon uncovers more problems than just Slim Sledge’s demands and his rabid fans. Everywhere she turns, the grudges run deeper and the danger ramps up.
  
Has Tara finally pushed her luck too far?
 
 

Tara Sharp, Book 3

Marianne Delacourt

ISBN 978-1-922101-33-4 (print)

ISBN 978-1-922101-34-1  (ebook)

Cover design by Catherine Larsen

Published by our crime imprint, Deadlines, Mar 2017

Review: Passing Strange by Catherine Aird

Reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen

You’d be hard-pressed to find something more wholesome than a country flower show. At least, that’s how it would seem at first glance. Initial appearances tend to be misleading though. Bitter feuds might erupt over a horticultural society member using furniture polish on his apples. Or over a judge choosing evidently inferior tomatoes over tomatoes that have consistently won in their category. Or the fortune teller could be murdered…

Nurse Joyce Cooper is seemingly beloved of all the village. When she goes missing from her tent while telling fortunes and is subsequently found dead, the community is bewildered. Called in to solve the mystery, Detective Inspector Sloan soon finds that there may be more to the story than meets the eye. A wealthy local landowner has recently passed away. With her estate entailed upon the nearest heir, the matter doesn’t seem to be of much importance, until it comes to light that there are two claims to the inheritance. Nurse Cooper might have been the only person who could positively identify one of the claimants, validating her claim to the estate. Or, she might have been the one person who could deny the claim. In order to solve the mystery, Sloan will have to find out which it is and who might have a stake in the estate aside from the claimants.

Catherine Aird’s Sloan and Crosby series is the perfect blend of cosy crime and police procedural. While the first in the series was published in the mid-sixties, Passing Strange, the ninth book was written in nineteen-eighty. It retains much of the charm that crime novels of an earlier era exuded, alongside some significantly more modern ideas. The portrayal of the media that consumes these grisly crimes is much more suited to the eighties; while the circumstances revolving around the crime – an unknown heiress, an archaeologist killed by a violent tribe, a years’ long family quarrel – belong to the classic era of crime.

This far along in the series, most of the major character dynamics are established. Sloan is a dedicated detective with dryly humorous insight into the world and the people around him. He’s perpetually stuck between the demanding but unhelpful Superintendent Leeyes and the slow-witted and slightly negligent Detective Constable Crosby. Sloan isn’t touted as some sort of genius detective, but he’s methodical and knows how to get the most out of each scrap of information that comes up.

Aird’s writing style, settings, characters and atmosphere combine to create a novel that a reader can feel at home in. She doesn’t cut corners and hold information back to wow readers at a pivotal point, but lets readers in on all the clues that Sloan has. These classic crime novels deserve more recognition than they have.

 

Passing Strange – Catherine Aird

Open Road Media (November 1, 1980)

ISBN: 9781504010641

Review: The Dry by Jane Harper

Reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen

Twenty years ago, Aaron Falk was run out of Kiewarra by the grieving father of his childhood friend, and the unforgiving suspicions of local residents. Now another of his friends has died in circumstances just as devastating as that long ago death.

Luke Hadler might have been struggling to keep his farm and family afloat during the terrible drought, but no one expected him to give up. So when he, his wife and his son’s bodies are found in an apparent murder-suicide, everyone is shocked.

When Falk reluctantly returns from Melbourne, Luke’s father asks him to look into the situation. And, given their shared history, Falk can’t refuse – no matter how much he may want to.

All the way back in July I was urged to read The Dry by someone whose advice hasn’t yet failed me. Even before release it was being touted as the book of the year. I’m not a huge fan of the Australian outback as a setting, so I put off reading the novel. In late October when sales were at a whopping 35,000, I decided that I had to see what the hype was about. I’m so glad I did.

In her debut novel, Jane Harper has crafted a ruthless world, both in environment and society. One where the court of public opinion is more damning than that of the truth – or the law.

The one element that I thought I’d hate in The Dry, I ended up loving. The struggling regional town is the perfect backdrop for the events of this novel. Rather than coming off as a worn, go-to setting for the Australian novel, the atmosphere, heat, and town environment combine to become a force so palpable that tragedy seems inevitable. The small-town mentality, with all of its gossip, secrets and flaws, drive the events – both current and past.

While most of the events stay rooted in the present, there is a tangible feeling of nostalgia about The Dry. Falk is connected to two tragic incidents – both with lingering questions. The contrasts between the two cases are compelling. One death causes a father to drive Falk away, the next causes a father to bring him back. Falk’s first dead friend had every reason to want to die, but the town saw the death as murder. The second friend had no obvious reason to kill himself, but the town is almost too willing to accept the death as such. Ultimately, though, the incentive to keep turning pages comes from the friendship Falk, Luke, Gretchen and Ellie shared.

The simplicity of The Dry is both wonderful and refreshing. Unlike a lot of crime novels, it doesn’t read like a magic trick. There’s no obvious authorial sleight of hand, directing reader attention one way while the truth lies elsewhere. The truth still managed to elude me until the final pages, but there were no elaborate schemes to mislead readers. The Dry is an unparalleled novel, built on a solid premise, brilliant setting and painfully relatable characters.

 

The Dry – Jane Harper

Pan Macmillan (June 2016)

ISBN: 9781743548059

In at the Deep End by Penelope Janu

Reviewed by Sarah Todman

 

Fresh and witty rom-com: an exciting debut!

When her ship sinks in the middle of the Antarctic, environmentalist Harriet Scott finds herself being rescued by a real life action hero. He’s tall, lean and…totally pissed off. Yes, Harriet’s mayday call may have saved her life but it has also derailed this brooding Norwegian naval commander’s fledgling ice core research project.

Three months on Commander Per Amundsen wants recompense — a ship that will get him back to Antarctica and allow him to reignite his scientific study — and he expects Harriet to deliver it. Of course, Harriet no longer has a ship; hers is at the bottom of the ocean and the legacy of her famous adventurer parents may have gone down with it.

Per wants a ship, Harriet needs one (how else is she going to get the irate action man off her back and rescue her family’s reputation?); what’s missing from the equation is funding. When a plan presents itself to secure the money needed the two realise they are going to have to work together, like it or not.

In At The Deep End is a delightfully fresh rom-com from debut author Penelope Janu.

Janu, a Sydney lawyer and legal academic, injects the age-old boy-meets-girl then-stumbling blocks-ensue formula with fresh wit, well-drawn characters and settings that sink into your senses.

The sexual tension between Harriet (kind of a grown-up Bindi Irwin sans the celebrity-fied Dancing With The Stars turn and movie career) and Per (a delicious combination of gruff and gorgeous) is perfectly executed.

These two spark and flare their way to the eventual happy-ever-after by navigating a set of challenges the author has been careful to make sure are both authentic and fully realised.

The cosy cast of supporting characters adds satisfying touches of light and shade and the zingy pace of the story keeps the pages turning. I read this over a weekend, finding plenty of excuses to escape to my room and dive back in.

A very small trifle — the only one I could find — was a desire for the tone of the blog posts from Harriet, which appear intermittently throughout the book, to have just a little more of the quirkiness that makes her character so likeable.

Long story short, I really enjoyed this book. With In At The Deep End Janu stamps herself as an exciting new entry to the rom-com market.

Pick this one up and you won’t be dipping your toes in, you’ll be diving straight for the deep end.