Title: Dead Man’s Switch (Billie Walker Mystery #1)
Author: Tara Moss
Audio book narrator: Danielle Carter
Intended audience: Adult
Dates Read: 03/07/2021 – 18/07/21
Ah, what a great piece of historical fiction this was! Set in Sydney in 1946, just after the war, this is the first in a series of mysteries featuring Billie Walker, former war reporter and now private inquirer. While most of her cases involve tailing cheating men and gathering evidence to give their wives grounds for divorce, but when a woman asks Billie to investigate the disappearance of her 17-year-old son, Billie finds herself thrown into something far more sinister.
Moss’s extensive research is clear and makes all the difference to the book. Details of buildings, fashions, cars, the police force and post-war rationing, just to name a few, are all there, and it makes you feel like you’re there, too.
Billie is a strong lead who carries the story very well, and she’s supported by some great side characters including her baroness mother, her veteran secretary Sam, a quiet but sturdy Detective Inspector, and a young Aboriginal informant.
The mystery runs along at a good pace, with two seemingly unconnected plotlines converging on an exciting climax.
I also want to mention Danielle Carter’s narration of the audio book. She did a spectacular job bringing all these different characters with different accents and backgrounds to life.
This review is part of my 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.