If I hadn't gone to the Writers' Festival in Wellington last Sunday, I still wouldn't have known about Vanda Symon and her books. How is that possible, I ask you? I read crime, particularly who-dun-its written by female authors (not a sexist choice on my part, it's just that I tend to prefer Christie to Chandler). I stay abreast of the new voices in murder mysteries. I live in New Zealand. So why? Why, why, why?
Howcome I know about Lee Child and Harlan Coben, who don't live anywhere near? Or Mark Billingham, or Minette Walters? Why does my local PaperPlus stock Scandinavian crime writers and not New Zealand ones? Why do I open the paper to see Jo Nesbø and not Vanda Symon? (Ok, at least the 25 February issue of NZ Listener carried an article on Paul Thomas, but you get my drift.)
I'm hoping to interview Vanda on this blog very shortly, so for now here's a short review of her debut novel, OVERKILL (she's written several since).
OVERKILL is set in a small New Zealand community, of the type where "a river runs through it". It's a perfect little who-dun-it, with a lovable, kick-ass heroine and an only-in-New-Zealand kind of plot. I'm a sucker for those! And because of the setting alone, I know OVERKILL will be popular in Europe when it finally hits the shelves. Poland, Russia and Germany in particular have a fascination with the Southern Hemisphere, so here's to many translations for Vanda and to many more New Zealand sales.