By March 12, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Peter Temple, R.I.P.: A Bibliography

Peter Temple (photo credit Candy Bryce)

Peter Temple

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the great Australian crime fiction writer Peter Temple, even planning to revisit his books for a piece in the 2018 edition of Booklist‘s Mystery Month this May—so it came as a shock to learn last night that he’d died of cancer at age 71. As a fan, that’s hard news to hear. For years, I’ve wondered why he stopped writing and whether there would ever be another book, but I’d learned nothing and had wondered whether he was just biding his time, maybe composing his magnum opus. It hadn’t even occurred to me that he might be ill.

The Guardian reports that he may have been working on a book called The Light on the Hill, possibly the final book in a trilogy begun with his finest works, The Broken Shore (2007) and Truth (2010), but that he hadn’t yet given a copy to his publisher. I hope he finished it, and I hope they publish it so I can read it—but I also hope he was able to make his own wishes clear, and that they will be respected. If another book doesn’t come out, Temple’s total output stands at nine. That’s plenty, of course. But for an author of such intelligence, wit, compassion, literary quality, and keen social insight (he was the first crime writer to win the Miles Franklin Award), it doesn’t feel like nearly enough.

From 2014–2016, in what I dubbed the Peter Temple Project, I worked my way through his books in order, savoring each one and writing Booklist Online Exclusive reviews of those we’d missed. (Temple, alas, had a spotty publishing history in the U. S.) If there’s a bittersweet consolation to the death of a beloved author, it’s that the surge of attention can win the deceased new fans. If you love crime fiction and haven’t read Temple, now is the moment to begin.


Bad Debts (1996)*

An Iron Rose (1998)

Shooting Star (1999)

Black Tide (1999)*

Dead Point (2000)*

White Dog (2003)*

Identity Theory (2004)

The Broken Shore (2007)

Truth (2010)

*Jack Irish novels




About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of six books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Matchstick Castle (2017). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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