Books & Literature

Book Review: Drop Dead Like Flies, by Portia Stanton-Noble

THRILLER: An hour’s drive from the small town of Brumby Flat, a new murder mystery gradually reveals itself in a place where hushed whispers of lost people, secret loves and big ambitions collide and spark.

A tantalising thriller from local SA author.

Feature image credit: Austin Macauley Publishers

Drop Dead Like Flies is the third instalment in the series, following The Big Dead Dry and Pretty Dead Ordinary, by South Australian-based author Portia Stanton-Noble.

This time we follow Detective Phil Duncan as he goes looking for answers for a tragic event from his past, but along the way he finds a lot more than he bargained for. An hour’s drive from the small town of Brumby Flat where the first two books are set, we are taken to the town of Beecham Bridge where Detective Duncan is following up a cold case, but suddenly trouble starts brewing yet again.

If you enjoyed the first two books in this series, you are likely to enjoy this next wild ride. It’s a fast-paced narrative with detailed character and scene descriptions. There are just as many love scenes as there are dead bodies, which appears to be the author’s signature style.

One problem for me with this book was that I didn’t find any of the characters particularly likeable, both in regards to familiar returning characters and new faces, which makes it hard to invest in a novel. However, there was enough action, both in the crime and romance departments to keep me intrigued and turning the pages until the final act.

Compared to the previous book, I found Drop Dead Like Flies was stretching the line of realism for me, and I am not quite sure if it’s the author’s intention for it to be an over-the-top murder mystery meets steamy romance novel. If it is, she has succeeded.

But if you don’t take it too seriously and pick apart the flaws, you can just experience this book for what it is: an enjoyable, easy to read tale.

Just when we thought everything was tied up in a neat little bow and quiet could return to the small town of Brumby Flat, the author has left the readers with a tantalising teaser and there’s no doubt that many are eagerly awaiting her next novel in the series.

Portia Stanton-Noble is Melbourne born and raised and she currently lives with her son in the picturesque Gilbert Valley region in South Australia, which is where she draws inspiration for her writing.

Reviewed by Karlie Naulty

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Austin Macauley Publishers
Released: August 2023
RRP: $25.25 

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