Book Review: The Popeye Murder/A Royal Murder by Sandra Winter-Dewhirst

The first two books of the Rebecca Keith Series – a sassy, buxom, Adelaide journalist with a passion for food, an eye for law enforcement agency representatives, and an involvement with murder.


Adelaide has often been referred to as the city of bizarre murders – a lot less salubrious than the City of Churches, one would say.

Sandra Winter-Dewhirst has been part of the Adelaide journalistic landscape for over 30 years with a focus on food and wine, as well as a passion for golf. It is these two passions, combined with her journalistic background that sets the scene for her first two novels in an entertaining murder mystery series.

The murder mysteries fall under the Rebecca Keith Series – a sassy, buxom (her own admission) journalist with a passion for food and an eye for law enforcement agency representatives.

The first novel, The Popeye Murder, takes place on the most famous of SA’s waterborne craft – the Torrens River’s own Popeye. After attending a sumptuous feast in the Piccadilly Hills – a precursor to the boat-bound launch of a major food event – Rebecca finds herself amongst it when the perfectly prepared head chef, Leong Chew (an ideal spoonerism for foodies in the know, as well as a fine play on words) is served up as the main course under a cloche!

Her most recent release, A Royal Murder, finds Rebecca back amongst the Adelaide scene, this time at the Women’s Australian Open golf tournament. A body in a bag leaves little to the supposition that another murder has entered into her life.

To delve too deeply into the tracts would be to spoil the journey. Whilst these are not Agatha Christie in type, they do provide a steady and crafted crime read. What will appeal most to the Adelaide-based reader is the attention to detail both in locations as well as food and wine descriptions. That said, it is unlikely to endear itself as deeply to anyone who has not experienced the State.

The novels are a light-hearted, in spite of their nature, and playful read, perfect for a Sunday afternoon. With a plate of South Australian cuisine, a glass or two of South Australian wine and these books to sink your teeth into, you’ll be more than satisfied.

The Popeye Murder is a re-release from 2015. A Royal Murder is a 2018 new release.

Distributed by: Wakefield Press
RRP: $29.95 each or $50 for both

Rating out of 10:  7

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