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When corporate trainer Lysi Weston attends a conference in Sydney, Australia, g’day turns into a very bad day after her Harlem-born colleague, Grace Wright, stumbles on the battered body of a childhood friend. Determined to sniff out the murderer, Lysi embarks on a labyrinth of trails that lead her to suspect a womanizing cop, a suave Black businessman and a voyeur who videos his victims.
Handsome Detective Maynard Christie tolerates Lysi’s meddling in his case until it jeopardizes his investigation. He orders her to stay out of his way, a directive she ignores. Both irritated with and attracted to her he begins to long for the quiet life on his Outback sheep station.
What Lysi does not anticipate is Grace succumbing to the charms of the prime suspect. A second homicide leads Lysi to an unexpected rendezvous with the murderer who is set on eliminating the last piece of incriminating evidence–Lysi Weston.
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"Murder Down Under" is one of those books that grabs you on the first page and doesn't let go. It's packed with well-defined, interesting characters not the least of whom is Lysi Weston, the curiosity-driven sleuth, and her business colleague streetwise Grace Wright. The dialogue is lively and keeps pace with the well-developed plot filled with multiple suspects and dangerous deadends. The story takes you all over Sydney and off to a sheep station in the red heart of Australia. Curteman does a great job providing vivid descriptions of the Australian Outback and of the city of Sydney as seen through the eyes of the characters. She introduces us to the variety of cultures that makes Australia the interesting country it is. You want suspense, humor and a bit of history? Read "Murder Down Under."
In "Murder Down Under" plot and character both share the spotlight. Vivid descriptions of Australia provide the setting for a plot that begins when Lysi Weston discovers the dead body of a young woman in a quiet Sydney neighborhood. At that moment the roller coaster plot whips off through twists and turns right to the completely unexpected ending.
I loved the characters in this book. Lysi Weston and Grace Wright are models for the adventurous, independent woman--not afraid to take risks to get what they need. Detective Maynard Christie is every woman's dream man while his partner is the kind of man you love to hate.
The book provides a lot of insight into Australian life and culture including excellent descriptions of Aborigines and life on a sheep station in the Outback.
"Shortly before sunset, that time when shadows lengthen and outlines blur..." This is the first line of "Murder Down Under." As soon as I read it I figured this would be a good mystery. I read further and discovered I was right. The body of a woman is discovered in the first chapter and the search for her killer leads Lysi Weston, amateur sleuth, a merry chase. Talk about unpredictable events and possible suspects! I had no idea which character would end up being the culprit.
I liked all the characters. The main characters each had their own unique personality. Lysi Weston is a smart, sophisticated heroine. Grace is her witty Black colleague. Australian Detective Christie is a man's man. I highly recommend this novel as an enjoyable read.
Lysi Westin and her partner Grace Wright are in Sydney, Australia for a conference on sexual harassment. They plan to take an evening off for dinner with Grace's childhood friend, Marita. But that meal never materializes for Marita was brutally murdered.
"Murder Down Under" by Nancy Curteman is a fast-paced murder mystery where amateur sleuth, Lysi Westin attempts to unravel a tangled assortment of leads and incriminating evidence to determine Marita's killer. As Lysi gets stuck in a cobweb of facts and misinformation, Maynard Christie, an attractive Sydney detective working on the murder investigation, tries to thwart her meddling.
Sparks fly between Lysi and Maynard as Grace comforts Marita's grieving fiancé. Through the complex plot twists Curteman shows us Australia with a colorful narrative style depicting the Aussie continent's culture and landscape.
Murder Down Under is written in the third person omniscient point of view. By exploring characters' thoughts readers are provided an enjoyable read by a very talented writer. And the good news is, another Lysi Westin novel, "Murder in a Teacup," is waiting in the wings to be read.
I don't read a lot of mysteries. Not because I don't like the genre, but because I tend to figure out who did it before the end. This book was the definite exception! It kept me guessing throughout. Just when I thought it was suspect A, Ms. Curteman would have me rethink my logic. Highly recommended.
If you like a good mystery, Murder Down Under is for you. If you've ever wondered what life is like in modern day Australia, Murder Down Under is for you. If you enjoy a tale with characters who have a little years behind them, yet still have enthusiasm about life, as you have probably guessed, Murder Down Under is for you!
Written from the point of view of two visiting American career women and an Australian police detective, this story takes the reader on a whirlwind of mystery (and a bit of romance). It keeps the reader guessing who "done it" until the very end. Believe me, Murder Down Under is a real page turner.
Maralee Lowder, author of The Mortician's Wife and Sea Jewels, books 1 & 2
There are eleven other reviews so it is difficult to say something that has not already been said. This is an enjoyable mystery set in modern day Australia. The characters are true to life with flaws and good points. The heroines don't always exercise good judgment and a villian does a courageous act near the end of the tale. This author does a nice job putting out red herrings and concealing the murderer until the end of the story. I particularly enjoyed learning about the culture of Australia, which parallels America in many ways. For these reasons I rate this novel five stars. Review completed by Gary Peterson, author of The Old Miller Place, The Millpond Murder Case, and several short stories.
The opening tells how the differences between people can mean the difference between dying alone or dying with the help of good Samaritans. The main characters are engaging and the premise is very interesting. The book has loads of humor and realistic details about life.
Nancy Curteman's novel, Murder Down Under, is a fast paced case full of twists and turns- and plenty of red herrings. One minute I am suspecting the sweet old landlady offering up her sweet chocolates, and the next I am keeping my eyes on the Head Detective Christie! Curteman's novel is full of Australian history; she plugs many things into the novel, from local favorites of food and drink, to compelling nuggets of info on the native Aborigine. I found myself drawn into the setting, wanting to travel myself to the great Outback! Curteman makes sure to leave her chapters in cliffhanger mode, leaving the reader to try and figure out her vast array of clues and red herrings. A small sidetrack into romance is an added plus, and you can't help but root for Lysi and Maynard to find a way to trust in relationships again. A great read- recommended to all fans of mystery!