Murder by Manuscript by Steve J. Spears

Posted on 21 May 2009. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Murder by Manuscript is the second in a series of murder mystery books written by Steve J. Spears. Probably set in Adelaide where he lived until his untimely death from cancer at the age of 56 in October 2007.

Steve Spears was a talented playwright with his most notable work being ‘The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin’ in 1976. He had also written several books about a journalist, Stella Pentangeli, and the enigmatic homicide detective Inspector Ng.

This book is fabulous and I’m anxious to find the others in the series. The author was very good at writing characters that I’d love to meet. Stella is not necessarily the nicest person, but she has character and she is really anxious to make Inspector Ng a very close friend. Inspector Ng is enigmatic, well thought of within the police force and doesn’t appear to have his mind focussed on everyday life. He is wonderful at solving cases, but has been assigned a regular policeman nearing retirement, Sergeant Cross, as his offsider…not actually offsider, more as a driver as when Inspector Ng is on a case (most of the time), he is not safe on the roads.

The writing style is very free and easy to read. It is uncomplicated, but Steve Spears has somehow managed to put a lot of depth into it.


1) It has some swearing and it makes me hesitate to let my 16yo read it.
2) It has some brief homosexual sex scenes. Very brief and it’s not dwelt on too much, but it does help them solve the case.


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