Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vanda Symon tours the West Coast

As I noted several days ago, acclaimed Kiwi crime queen Vanda Symon was heading this past week to the wild West Coast for several New Zealand Book Month events at libraries and schools in Hokitika, Greymouth, and Westport. It's great to see local crime writers getting out and about for events like this, and meeting readers.

Symon reports on her West Coast tour at her blog, Overkill, here. Symon's latest Sam Shephard tale, BOUND, debuted at the #1 spot earlier this year, and has remained on the NZ bestseller list since, which is great news. It's good to see Kiwi readers giving tales from our own crime writers a go. Hopefully more and more people will continue to discover Symon and her terrific heroine Sam Shephard. I'm sure they won't be disappointed.

BOUND was one of my 'crime picks' in February for my regular column in the Herald on Sunday. Here's what I had to say:

"A leading light amongst the recent surge in quality Kiwi crime fiction, Vanda Symon kick-starts her latest thrilling tale with a brutal home invasion; a dodgy businessman is shot gunned, his wife nearly chokes to death on a gag. Feisty heroine Sam Shephard’s Dunedin CID colleagues zero in on two lowlifes suspected of an earlier cop killing, but she’s uneasy, and keeps investigating. Excellent storytelling with real verve and energy, starring one of the most enjoyably readable heroines on the crime fiction scene."

Weeks later, I still stand by that final comment. I can think of very few crime fiction heroines that I enjoy reading, book-in, book-out, more than Sam Shephard. Symon is a world class crime writer that the wider world just hasn't found out about yet.

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