Australia has very few regional crime series, which is surprising given their popularity in Europe and North America. Over there, authors such as Donna Leon (Venice), Ann Cleeves (Yorkshire) and Louise Penny (Three Pines, Canada) have attracted large international readerships for local stories.

Now novelist Michael Duffy has launched a series based in the misty Blue Mountains just west of Sydney, a region with a moody history and a lively present. According to Candice Fox, the first in the series, The Problem with Murder, “Does for Katoomba what Donna Leon did for Venice”! The book involves the tense but productive partnership between local newspaper editor Bella Greaves and disgraced homicide cop Paul Ruel. Paul has been exiled to Katoomba in the hope he’ll be so bored he’ll resign — but he uncovers a terrible local crime that has been covered up for years …

The books are available from bookstores in the Blue Mountains or from orphanrock.com