For those of you who have yet to read Angela Savage’s crime series, tracing the mysteries and mishaps of Australian ex-pat P.I. Jayne Keeney in Thailand, you’re in for a treat. Savage is a previous winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award, and her third Jayne Keeney novel, The Dying Beach, was released to acclaim in mid-2013.
Like her earlier two novels — Behind the Night Bazaar and The Half-Child — The Dying Beach is rich in local colour, furnished by Savage’s long Thai residence in the ’90s, and is a sensitive Thai culture guide wrapped in a crime thriller. Aussie P.I. Jayne has lived in Thailand for five or so years, speaks fluent Thai and is past mistress of the art of the diplomatic wai or the boozing with the blokes as required to advance her case. Here, she gets sucked in to investigating the suspicious death of her tour guide at a beach-side resort in Krabi, and it ain’t over till the fat cobra sings.
I enjoy these mysteries because Jayne is smart-arsey and wily, is both trashy and clever, and has an astute sense of her role as a white foreigner in a Third World country. Satisfying crime for the politically hungry.
The Dying Beach – Text – TP – $30
The Half-Child – Text – PB – $23.95
Behind the Night Bazaar – Text – PB – $23.95