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South Coast Roast: A Bucketts Beach Mystery
‘Something about a barbecue spit, you said, Kevin?’
Fewster was not a gourmet cook (or any sort of cook at all) but, when he reached the scene, even he could see that the treatment was classical, straight from the handbook of how to do roasts for a hundred people with large appetites.
Veteran Sydney cop, Detective Inspector Frank Fewster, has been banished to the seaside town of Bucketts Beach. His offsider, Detective Constable Kevin Crump, is none too bright and Fewster himself has not dealt with many suspicious deaths. Yet it falls to Fewster and Crump to investigate the bizarre murder of well-to-do local butcher, Barrie Botsford.
Among the colourful characters and beautiful beaches of the south coast—from Bucketts to Dablduya, Frangipani and Kahlua Beach to Bayview and Grassy Cape—there is no lack of people with reason to hate Barrie. But the trail is twisted and time is short.
Along the way, Fewster meets an old colleague, an old flame and an old rival and has mixed feelings about Barrie’s widow. He is dealing with some issues of his own but, despite his big city background, he gradually succumbs to a ‘sea change’.
The story follows all the conventions of the detective genre but pokes gentle fun at it as well. The characters speak with authentic Australian voices and they blend easily into their Australian landscape. There is autumn sunshine but no Scandinavian snow.
The author divides his time between Canberra and Broulee on the south coast of New South Wales. He is retired but still does real work. Ned Rowney is a pseudonym. Mr Rowney’s alter ego imagines that Mr Rowney could be a retired policeman whose friends are looking for something to read under the beach umbrella or on the first leg of a trip to Europe via Hong Kong. There are lot of these people about and Mr Rowney hopes they like the book.