Friday, 29 January 2016

Eden (Sandra Mahoney Mystery)

Eden is the third of a series of four stories about Sandra Mahoney; each taking place during a different season in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Eden is set during a hot summer.

Mahoney and her partner, Ivan, operate a security consultancy. Ivan on an overseas trip when a politician rings asking for a report on anti-censorship Ivan had completed just before his departure.

Intrigue in the politician’s enquiry and the impulse to quickly solve a mystery on her own drives Sandra to get involved in the seedy world of porn and prostitutes; mixed with politics making it muddier. She uses skilful questioning to draw information from the suspects with her police detective friend, Brooke, providing information she would be unable to access on her own.

I had previously read “The Fourth Season” so was going backwards with Sandra’s story but I had enjoyed it immensely and looked forward to reading Eden. Unfortunately I was very much disappointed with Eden. It didn’t have the depth of storyline I had come to expect and in some places I had trouble following it.

Having said that, the story line is not boring and is heightened by Johnston’s wonderful expressive prose with vivid descriptions of picturesque settings one minute and frightening, tense and heart beating moments the next. She has an ability to reach the senses with sights, sounds and smells of each moment.

Johnston obviously knows Canberra extremely well; its climate, varying neighbourhoods and the road confusion to visitors. She uses this knowledge to paint clear pictures of her scenes.

My rating 3*

Monday, 18 January 2016

For the Love of a Dingo by Berenice Walters and Pamela King

This is my own book published in September 2015 and I am pleased, and proud, to share two reviews received so far.

The book is the second stage of a major project that will lead to the writing the full biography of Berenice Walters, the Dingo Lady. The past three years I have spent my spare time sorting, filing, cataloguing and digitising her records as well as corresponding with dingo advocates and reading to update information. Proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to research costs for the full biography.

For further information about the “Dingo Lady Project”: Website:, Dingo Lady Facebook, Dingo Lady Blog. For the Love of a Dingo is available in Australia though the website and internationally through Amazon

Reviewed by Kane Guy, Author and Dingo Advocate

‘For the Love of a Dingo’ is a book straight from the heart. Eloquently woven through the lives of both Berenice Walters and Pamela King the book is a window into the world of living with dingoes. At a time when keeping dingoes was not only shunned, it was illegal, Berenice had a connection and a respect with the animal that defied any of those considerations.

Through the beautifully penned interactions of Berenice, her family and her friends with her dingoes, the book presents the many facets of dingo behaviour, as well as the incredible bonds formed between this animal and its chosen family group.

Pamela shares her love of the animal through stories of her connection with Berenice and her experiences with her and the dingoes at Bargo Dingo Sanctuary. It reveals the mutual respect these ladies shared. A respect that would eventually lead Pamela to delve into the archives of Berenice’s work after her passing. Realising the importance of Berenice’s work, Pamela set about sharing the life of this amazing women through the pages of this book. A book that would have otherwise never seen the light of day.

For the Love of a Dingo is educational, it is entertaining and well worth the read. It is a truly unique view into the world of the original and only Dingo Lady.  

Reviewed by April Gilly for Readers' Favorite

For the Love of a Dingo by Berenice Walters and Pamela Jean King is the tale of Berenice Walters and three of the dingoes that she either bred or welcomed into her home. Berenice always had a fascination with dingoes and when she was presented with a pup, she couldn't turn it away. Dora became her first dingo and through trial and error and applying knowledge she'd gained by breeding cattle dogs, Berenice was able to train Dora to be a respectable and friendly house guest. Napoleon, or Nap, was one of Dora's pups and quickly became the love of Berenice's life. Nap had just as many accomplishments as Dora and had his own personality quirks and ways of doing things. Snowgoose, or Snowy, is the third dingo tale told in For the Love of a Dingo. Snowy's story is told by Pamela Jean King and is simply about Snowy's accomplishments and how she came to be the mother to one lone pup.

For the Love of a Dingo by Berenice Walters and Pamela Jean King is very educational and goes to show that pit bulls aren't the only misunderstood breed in the world. The dingo is Australia's most misunderstood and wrongly persecuted breed because few people took the time to get to know the breed, how to work with them and "domesticate" them. With rich imagery and sweet stories that show why Nap was so beloved by Berenice, For the Love of a Dingo is heart-warming and heart breaking at points. With well-placed pictures to help show what is being described, I felt like I was right there with Berenice and Nap as he asked for his tea or when he reclaimed his chair!