Review: The Toe Tag Quintet by Matthew Condon

@ Goodreads

Title: The Toe Tag Quintet

Author: Matthew Condon

Published: Random House Vintage December 2012

Synopsis: Retirement can be murder! The adventures of a former Sydney detective from 21 Division who, in his prime, collared some of the most murderous criminals in Australian history yet, on retiring to the Gold Coast in Queensland, along with half of the criminal milieu he once pursued, is shot, king-hit, tortured, and thrown from buildings in his relentless pursuit of justice. Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from November 29 to 30, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Random House Australia}

My Thoughts:

After 37 years in the NSW police force, a former homicide detective is scouting Queensland’s Gold Coast for a retirement home when he recognizes an old acquaintance, Dapper Dan the Antiques Man a.k.a. the Boltcutter. He may have thought little more about the chance encounter had he not woken the next morning to find a note slipped under the door of his caravan, along with a shiny bullet tied with a red ribbon.

Originally the five novellas in The Toe Tag Quintet were published in Brisbane’s The Courier Mail, a new story printed each summer with the retired detective embroiled in a string of annual misadventures, much to the disgust of his long suffering wife, Peg. Murder in the Abstract is the first caper that enlivens the unnamed detective’s retirement but being able to leave well enough alone, his curiosity, and instinct for justice, variously leads him to a family vendetta, a centuries old corpse, a land development scandal and an extraordinary conspiracy.

From the Gold Coast to Brisbane, to the vineyards on the city’s outskirts and the islands off Queensland’s coast, the former detective chases, amongst others, an art thief, a poisoner and an assassin in his beloved VW. Each of the five stories are well crafted mysteries in their own right, involving interesting criminals and victims. There is also plenty of fast paced action, suspense and the dry humour expected from a cynical ex-cop who has seen it all.

The former detective is old school, as quick with the threat of his fists as he is with his wit. Through a combination of skilled investigation, luck and sheer bloody mindedness he solves the murders of friends and enemies, both past and present, satisfied to see justice done. He doesn’t escape unscathed though, earning more bullet wounds, broken limbs and bruises than he collected throughout his entire career patrolling the mean streets of Kings Cross.

I really enjoyed the adventures of the unnamed detective in The Toe Tag Quintet. Exciting, smart and funny, the stories within this book are a great summer read for crime caper fans dreaming of early retirement.

Available to Purchase

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Leeswammes
    Dec 03, 2012 @ 20:59:24

    Sounds fun! I’m surprised that the detective never had a name! What did other people call him?



  2. Jo
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 16:25:46

    This one had caught my interest before, but now that I’ve read your review it sounds even better. I’m going to have to look into it.



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