Short-listed, Ned Kelly Awards, Best First Fiction, 2013
Victor Radcliffe, prominent Melbourne businessman, on the committee of the Carlton Football Club, lies murdered in a deserted warehouse—the bayonet wound suggests a trained killer, but Police Inspector James Maclaine, and his smart-taking sidekick Harry Devlin, are having trouble tracking down the killer.
Why do the members of Radcliffe's household seem strangely offhand about his murder? Was there a woman on the scene of the crime? As for the woman in Maclaine's life, his marriage is on the skids and he can't keep his nightmares away. The Praetorian Guard, a shadowy group of WW1 army veterans, keep showing up, as does the charming step-daughter of the deceased.
Set in the summer of the Bodyline cricket series The Richmond Conspiracy is a crime mystery about men who have returned after war and are refugees in their own land—old certainties have vanished, betrayal is in the air, and Maclaine has to determine exactly where justice lies.
‘With a mature and intelligent style, a firm grasp of place and character and a good story, Andrew Grimes has written a compelling period police procedural.’Peter Corris, author of the Cliff Hardy series
‘The history sits lightly on the page and adds interest to the story. Fans of Kerry Greenwood’s 'Phyrne Fisher’ and Sulari Gentill’s ‘Rowland Sinclair’ series will find much to like in The Richmond Conspiracy.'Australian Bookseller & Publisher
‘The Richmond Conspiracy is a well-paced detective fiction led by a newcomer to their crowded field. However, though the straitened times suggests a spare, mean-streets approach to prose, Andrew Grimes refused to sink his novel into the dreary depths.’Sunday Herald/Sunday Age
‘Set against the backdrop of rising political unrest and the simmering tension of the notorious Bodyline series, The Richmond Conspiracy is a captivating novel. Grimes uses his fascinating historical background to good effect and has also concocted a convincing murder mystery that entertains to the end. The book moves at a good pace and Maclaine is an engaging and believably flawed detective. A very good debut.’Canberra Times
‘Capturing the essence and charm of Melbourne in the days of the Bodyline series, along with the style and language of that era, full of suspense and intrigue, this interestingly written murder mystery, full of suspense and intrigue, is a delightful read and easy to follow.’Launceston Examiner
‘Grimes has created an evocative image of 1930s Melbourne and a very interesting character in Maclaine.’Illawarra Mercury
‘Grimes has a good ear for dialogue and an eye for history without being too obvious…Verdict: Stylish, gripping’Courier Mail
‘a first-rate detective yarn…This is fine crime fiction to the echo of the guns.’Herald Sun
‘Grimes nicely mixes period detail and atmosphere with a cracking yarn, in the first of a new series.’NZ Listener