Barry Maitland

Barry Maitland

Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Born in 1954 in Toronto, Ontario, Margaret MacNabb moved to Australia in 1989. She began her career as a journalist at the Globe & Mail newspaper in 1982, becoming associate editor of its financial magazine, Report on Business, in 1986. She also worked in China as an associate editor of the Beijing Review. In Australia she worked for the Sydney Morning Herald as sub-editor, feature writer and bureau correspondent.

Amateur Sleuths, British Detectives, Crime, Mystery, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Police Procedurals, Suspense, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths

The Chalon Heads: Kathy and Brock Mystery

Sammy Starling was once a notable villain, but for some years he?s been a semi-respectable businessman with two passions: His beautiful young wife and his stamp collection. And now, it seems, he?s a victim: Someone has kidnapped Eva Starling and is sending ransom demands in envelopes with rare and extremely valuable stamps. The stamps feature the likeness of the young Queen Victoria, to whom Eva bears a startling resemblance, and they have been rendered worthless. Dead, one might say. The message is not lost on Sammy. What?s not lost on Detective Chief Inspector Brock is that Sammy nearly cost Brock his job, back in the day, and took at least one good man?s life.

Bright Air

She stood panting on the narrow ledge, pressing herself back against the hard surface of the rock. She heard a voice, far below, calling her name. She tried to answer, but her throat was parched and no sound came. They had heard the stone, clattering down the cliff to the sea, and now they knew where she was. On a cliff-face in New Zealand, two men fall to their deaths carrying the secret of a horrifying betrayal. Four years before, the bright and beautiful Luce, another member of the same close-knit group of friends, had also died tragically while climbing. As the circle of friends dwindles, Luce's best friend, Anna, persuades Josh, Luce's ex-lover, to help in her own investigation, as she's convinced that the original verdict of accidental death was wrong. Had detail been overlooked, or, worse, ignored? In an attempt to uncover the truth, Josh and Anna follow Luce's last days to Lord Howe Island, but the long-cold trail and conspiratorial islanders seem certain to defeat them. After all, who could possibly have a reason to murder Luce? A nail-biting page-turner, Bright Air is the compelling new mystery from the master of crime writing, Barry Maitland.

The Marx Sisters: A Kathy and Brock Mystery (Kathy and Brock Mysteries)

Detective Kathy Kolla's first case is one for the books. Meredith Winterbottom, a resident of Jerusalem Lane--a quaint section of London inhabited by Eastern European immigrants--and a great-granddaughter of Karl Marx, is found dead. Was she the victim of greedy real-estate developers, or was she killed for the politics of another age? When a second Marx sister is killed, David Brock, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, is brought in to help. As Kathy and Brock delve into the Lane's eccentric melting pot, they find unpublished letters from Marx to Engels; a possible fourth volume of Das Kapital; an endless list of shady suspects; and a plot to end Kathy's investigating days for good. Can they unravel the mystery before Kathy's first case is her last? The Marx Sisters is a classic British whodunit, one that adds an unforgettable team to the ranks of great fictional detectives. "Cleverly devious, sagaciously cunning ... Maitland's first mystery is a pleasure to read." --Los Angeles Times "Intelligently devised and subtly plotted ... A traditional crime novel with memorable and enjoyable detectives, suspects and victims.".--The Dallas Morning News "A fine morsel ... There is no lack of suspense and no lack of skill in their presentation. More please, Mr. Maitland." --The Washington Times

Babel: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

In Babel, Kathy Kolla and David Brock, Scotland Yard’s brilliant and unconventional crime-solving team, take on an unsettling new mystery that touches many sensitive issues: Arab fundamentalism, genetic engineering, and murder.Following her ordeal in the stakeout at the Silvermeadow supermall, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla is on leave, so haunted by past events that she is tempted to quit the force for good. Hearing about this puzzling new case makes her realize that nothing can keep her out of the game for too long. Professor Max Springer, a distinguished if controversial academic, has been brutally murdered on the steps of a London university. Springer was known for his stand against Islamic extremism, but was that motive enough to kill him? While Kolla and Brock start looking for answers in London’s Arab community, rivalries within the university point in another direction, and Springer’s colleague, a professor of medical genetics, becomes involved. Is he as troubling a figure as he seems? Meanwhile, why would somebody leak information about this critical investigation to the media, risking an explosion in the streets? In this taut and satisfying mystery, Barry Maitland proves once again that he is one of the masters of police procedural writing today.

Spider Trap: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

When human bones are discovered in Cockpit Lane, a poor area of inner south London, D.C.I. David Brock and D.S. Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard are called in to investigate. The first twist in the case comes when Brock and Kolla learn that the victims died over twenty years ago, during the Brixton riots, information that leads the two of them on a dangerous journey into the heart of the West Indian community in London. Making matters worse, a formidable old antagonist, Spider Roach, returns, weaving together past and present in an intricate web of deception and intrigue. Now the two have to uncover the truth of those long ago deaths, and be able to prove it with a crucial piece of evidence, in order to prevent the violence of the past from revisiting itself on them.

Chelsea Mansions: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

"Brock and Kolla's meticulous, psychologically astute sleuthing fascinates." --Entertainment Weekly on No Trace The annual Chelsea Flower Show is one of the tourist highlights of London. But this year, the event is tainted by the murder of an American tourist in a random act of violence. But when DCI David Brock's Serious Crime division of Scotland Yard investigates, they quickly discover that the killer somehow avoided having both his face and his escape captured on any of the many closed circuit cameras in the area. The conclusion is inescapable - what seemed a senseless, but random, event was in fact a carefully planned murder. But how could the victim- a retired widow traveling with a long time family friend - be worth the trouble and expense of such an elaborate killing? When a very wealthy Russian oligarch is killed in the garden of his palatial estate not far from the hotel where the murdered tourist was staying, Brock and Kolla suspect that something more complicated is going on and that the two killings are somehow related. In a case that takes Brock and his team all the way to the States and back, secrets from a long forgotten past are the key to a string of bloody murders that are just beginning...

The Raven's Eye: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla, of Scotland Yard, find themselves pulled into a case of murder, a mysterious death among the houseboats that line the canals around greater London, in Barry Maitland's The Raven's Eye. DI Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard is called in as a matter of course by the local Paddington police when a woman turns up dead in what appears to be an accident. On her houseboat, Vicky Hawks is found by one of her neighbors having apparently succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation of the narrowboat's heating system. But while the cause of death seems apparent and there's no reason for Kolla to think otherwise, something about this death still bothers her. Meanwhile, her boss, DCI Brock, is wrestling with harsh budget cuts and a new Commander who is determined to make fundamental changes to the system—including limiting resources devoted to investigations. Struggling against the limitations imposed by the new order at Scotland Yard, Brock and Kolla find themselves pulling at the loose strings in the death of Vicky Hawks, trying to find out who she really was, what she was up to, and how her death might be related to another earlier tragic accidental death.

The Verge Practice: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

In The Verge Practice, Kathy Kolla and David Brock, Scotland Yard’s superlative detective duo, take on a puzzling case in the posh world of big-name international architecture, and it has them chasing red herrings and hopping fences from London to Barcelona. Charles Verge, a powerful, cutting-edge architect, has disappeared into the blue, leaving behind his firm; his beloved—and pregnant—daughter; and his young and very dead wife. The case is stalled, and, after months of fruitless searching leaves the authorities desperate to save face, Detective Chief Inspector Brock and Detective Sergeant Kolla are called in. All of London is abuzz with questions about the high-profile case, which will send Kolla and Brock to some less-than-scenic locales in Barcelona, and back to their own stomping ground—where suspicion of internal corruption comes much closer to home than they would like. As the investigation uncovers a dizzying web of possible suspects—including an ex-con gardener, a sinister doctor, and the missing Verge himself—it will reveal more than one crack in the shiny windows of the Verge practice’s sleek façade.

All My Enemies: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

In one of the finest and most pivotal books in this critically acclaimed series, never before published in the U.S., D.S. Kathy Kolla reports to New Scotland Yard and to D.C.I. David Brock's Serious Crime Division. Just before Kolla is to start her new job, a young woman is found viscously murdered in a leafy, well-heeled suburb, and the grotesque details of the slaughter appear to be well-rehearsed, even theatrical. Assigned to the case, Kolla's only improbable lead draws her to a local amateur drama group. Once in their orbit, she is lured into a piece of theatre over which, increasingly, she has little control. In All My Enemies, Brock and Kolla find themselves in a tangled web of deceptions in a case wherein a corpus of plays becomes a template for murder.

The Malcontenta: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock And Kolla Mysteries)

Following Barry Maitland's first mystery, The Marx Sisters, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Detective Chief Inspector David Brock of Scotland Yard return in The Malcontenta, which won Australia's Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction, when it was first published. Kathy is on temporary assignment away from London with the Family and Juvenile Crime division. Desperate to escape the second-rate duties assigned to her, she jumps at the chance to investigate the unnatural death of a young physiotherapist at an exclusive local naturopathic spa. Very soon it becomes clear that the apparent suicide is fraught with complications. Is a cover-up taking place to protect the reputations of wealthy clients? Or was the cause of death really suicide? Taken off the case before she has the chance to discover the truth, Kathy turns to Brock for help. But when Brock poses as a client, they both learn that spas are not always good for your health—especially if you’re a target for murder.

Silvermeadow: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

Two Cases. One location. The first case, a girl gone missing, seems a decidedly local affair. The second, the return of a violent criminal who had fled the country, instantly attracts the interest of Scotland Yard and Detective Inspector David Brock. When he learns that his longtime nemesis, the amphetamine-juiced killer and thief known as “Upper” North, may have surfaced, Brock assembles his team and summons Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla. Their manhunt centers on Silvermeadow, the supermall on the outskirts of London where North was spotted. Brock and Kolla camouflage their search for North by taking on the case of the missing girl—a mall employee. They lie in wait, hoping to catch North before he can strike with a new crime. Yet what should they make of rumors of other young girls disappearing from Silvermeadow? Is there a predator on the loose within the apparent safety of a carefully orchestrated aura of order and control? Very quickly, the mall itself—and its colorful cast of characters—becomes key to the dual investigations. This is Maitland at his cunning best.

Dark Mirror: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

Newly promoted to Detective Inspector, Kathy Kolla of the Serious Crimes Unit is called in by the forensic pathologist regarding the recent sudden death of a London student from what he's determined to be arsenic poisoning. Marion Summers had no reason to be in contact with arsenic and, though once common, arsenic is now very hard to get hold of. The more Kolla investigates, the more she discovers that certain other things about Summers are also unusual. She moved three octobers ago without leaving a forwarding address or informing her relatives. And her step-father has a disquieting past and, after attacking a constable in a pub, a not-so-savory present. With each turn in the investigation, it becomes increasingly clear that behind what really happened—and why—lies the most difficult-to-crack case the team has ever faced.

Ash Island: The Belltree Trilogy, Book Two

Detective Sergeant Harry Belltree, back on the job after a near-fatal confrontation with corrupt colleagues, has become a departmental embarrassment. The solution is a posting away from Sydney and a quiet life in Newcastle. Or maybe not so quiet. A body’s been found buried just offshore on Ash Island; there may be more. There's also Harry's unfinished business. The car crash that killed his parents and blinded his wife happened not far from Newcastle. And Harry knows it was no accident. The other unfinished business is Jenny's longed-for pregnancy. Which means that now the stakes are higher than ever. Barry Maitland was born in Scotland, studied architecture at Cambridge University and went on to work as an architect and urban design expert. In 1984 he moved to Australia to head the architecture school at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. In 1994 The Marx Sisters, the first in his Brock and Kolla crime series, was published. Barry now writes fiction full time. He is published throughout the English-speaking world and in translation in a number of other countries, including Germany, Italy, France and Japan. He lives in the Hunter Valley. ‘This is crime fiction at its very best with a local twist.’ Newcastle Herald ‘A well-constructed and enjoyable mystery that moves at brisk pace. The characterisations are convincing and Maitland, who lives in the Hunter Valley, invests the book with a good sense of place and a nice social conscience.’ Beaudesert Times ‘Maitland does not flinch from a brutal denouement…Prepare for a long and gripping haul.’ Age/Sydney Morning Herald ‘Ash Island is a tense, plot-driven and absorbing novel that features a strong main character. It’s a skilful police procedural in which alarming risks are taken and thrilling developments will unnerve readers.’ Good Reading

No Trace: A Brock and Kolla Mystery (Brock and Kolla Mysteries)

In a London neighborhood known for its artists and bohemian style, six year old Tracey Rudd is abducted from her home without any warning, or sign of violence. She is the third child abucted under similar circumstances in recent weeks. But this case is different. She is the daughter of notorious contemporary artist Gabriel Rudd, best known for the grotesque "Dead Puppies," a work centered around his wife's suicide five years earlier. While Rudd exploits Tracey's abduction as an inspiration for a major new work in his upcoming exhibit, D.C.I. David Brock and Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla hunt for the missing girls' kidnapper, who is suspiciously connected to the eccentric community of artists, dealers, and collectors in the neighborhood.

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