Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MURDER NOT SO SWEET - more Kiwi crime

Recently I've become a user of the Smashwords website, where you can buy e-books in a variety of formats at some very reasonable prices. There are many books on the website that aren't necessarily available in print yet (or are hard to find or costly), so although I'm not a Kindle, Kobo, or iPad owner, I've made a couple of purchases of lesser-known Kiwi crime/thriller novels - printing them out to read at my leisure; old school I know.

I first came across the website when I purchased MURDER IN THE SECOND ROW by Bev Robitai, an enjoyable murder mystery set in the theatre, that harkened back to the Ngaio Marsh/Agatha Christie style, just in a contemporary setting.

You can read more here, or in a great review at Reactions to Reading here.

I've since purchased a couple more Kiwi-written crime novels, including CROSSROAD BLUES by Steve Malley, whose second novel, POISON DOOR, was released this month. I've now discovered another 2011-released Kiwi-written mystery novel is available on Smashwords - MURDER NOT SO SWEET by PM Hayes.

Here's the blurb: "Sebastian, a retired detective living on a quiet little island, finds his skills are still needed as he investigates the mysterious death of Rufus, the island’s beekeeper. Among the ordinary people he sees every day is someone capable of sending Rufus' van plunging over a cliff. There are secrets beneath the surface of many lives on this idyllic island."

PM Hayes is a hospital worker who lives in Auckland, and was brought up in Gisborne, a city on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Auckland University, as well as creative writing courses. MURDER NOT SO SWEET is her first novel, after having some short stories published in writing group magazines.

MURDER NOT SO SWEET, which a reviewer has said is an enjoyable read "in the genre of the traditional 'whodunnit'", is available here.

It's great to see more NZ-penned crime, thriller, mystery and suspense fiction becoming available, both through the local arms of the larger international publishers picking up some Kiwi writers, and smaller and online publishers doing the same.

Do you like the sound of MURDER NOT SO SWEET? What do you think of e-publishing, and more authors getting more opportunities to publish online? Have you found any 'gems' in e-books that weren't yet in print? Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - I think places like Smashwords are excellent for authors who are trying to make their reputations. This one sounds like an interesting read, too. You may also want to check with Dorte Jakobsen. Her Candied Crime is a Smashwords publication, and it's delightful.

  2. Wow. I've got to check this one out!

  3. You print a whole novel on your home or office PC? An eReader would pay for itself fairly quickly on that basis I think Craig.

    This book sounds good but I'm currently drowning in Australian crime fiction so will have to give smashwords a rest for a little while. I do think this kind of thin is a great way for unknown writers to get themselves known a little more. As I mentioned in my review I'd never have read the Bev Robitai book if I'd had to go to the effort and expense of importing it from NZ

  4. With friends like Margot, you don´t even need an advertising budget! (Thank you, Margot).

    This one sounds interesting, and as you can imagine, I think Smashwords is a terrific opportunity for readers AND writers. My very small collection of flash fiction is what you might call flying a kite - I tried it to see what happened (publishing went admirably smoothly, thanks to Smashwords). And the good thing about Smashwords is that you can try the free sample to see if the book is something for you.

    If I get the opportunity, I´d prefer publishing my novels in paper via a ´proper´ company, but as several of my potentional customers live in the USA or Australia, e-books are not such a bad idea, really. None of my readers will be scared off by shipping costs.

  5. Hi
    I would like to say my part of the story. And so i have come across this website. It sounds scary but I am willing to do it. Is it alright if I have to discuss with you .