Monday 4 February 2019



The things we do for sex - 
                              lie, cheat, scheme, kill.....

Paul Thomas's blackly humourous stories explore the unpredictable and sometimes fatal consequences that can occur when sex rears its not-sougly head. The author if the ground-breaking series of New Zealand comic thriller featuring the Maori Detective Tito Ihaka (Old School Tie, Inside Dope and Guerilla Season) takes us into a world of lust, deceit, betrayal and elaborate revenge, where nothing is as it seems and even the best-laid plans never unfold quite according to plan.

Sex Crimes is seven delicious helpings of irony, intrigue and full-on entertainment from the writer who the celebrated Australian author Marele Day described as "a master of plot, pace and the killer one-liner." 

A decent collection of short stories and one that has sat on my TBR shelf for a dozen or more years. Seven stories in total, varying in length from 10 pages to 116 long.

Marge Bristow, This is Your Life (10)....... Reg, the fifty year old husband, sells his company, lots of money in the bank, mid-life crisis, doesn't want to lose half in a divorce, hires a hit-man, Marge responds.

Star Struck (54)..... female detective, part of a team investigating the murder of a famous actress, we follow the investigation...... manipulation, scheming, comeuppance for some.

The Last Slice (16).... another unhappy marriage, another hit-man, another plan gone awry, another holiday and game of golf, an accidental and unexpected outcome.

Fall From Grace (36)...... a mega-rich family with a public profile dealing with the fall-out of the suicide of a family member, a private investigation into the whys and the wherefores, an investigation that gets shut down then turned back on again...... power, money, secrets, illicit sex, discovery, guilt, death, exposure and another death.

The Sentimental Hit-man (16)..... a retired hit-man with an aversion to eliminating females gets drawn back into his previous profession to make amends for past failures, a second chance, a second failure, a last chance, a completed mission albeit by default.

An Immodest Proposal (30)..... a sexy widow, the subject of a bet between four male friends, three fails and the next man's up, having your cake and eating it, before discovering that it's not actually what you want.

A Dish Best Eaten Cold (116)..... an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, a rapist gets raped himself, another sexual predator, becomes prey, all filmed. An escalation, a career plan and money to be made. Prostitutes, drugs, death, suspicion. Three into two doesn't go, and a falling out among friends and lovers. Dirty deeds, death and betrayal, a set-up and the tables turned.

I pretty much enjoyed six out of the seven. The second story - Star Struck was my least favourite of the bunch. There's plenty of darkness in some of these stories, especially the last one. Plenty of black humour as well. All of them delivered a pay-off of some kind, a few with an unexpected twist. All set in Australia.

All in all a great read and one I kind of wish I hadn't shelved for so long before enjoying.

4 from 5

I've more of Paul Thomas's books on the pile. I discovered his Detective Ihaka series some twenty plus years ago and need to get back to them, one of these years.

Read in January, 2019
Published - 2003
Page count - 288
Source - owned
Format - paperback


  1. Oh, this is tempting, Col. I do like his Ihaka novels, but I haven't read his short stories, yet, I am tempted...

    1. I think you might enjoy this one Margot. No two stories were the same. It is quite a tricky book to find though.

  2. This sounds alarmingly like fun. I must keep my eyes open for it.

    1. I really enjoyed theses stories. I hope you cross paths with it, but it's a bit like rocking horse pooh. Not that easy to find - over here at least. If not I'd definitely recommend one of his Ihaka - Maori detective novels.

  3. I always say I don't go for short stories, but this collection sounds great. so, typical that it doesn't seem to be available!

    1. Hah - sod's law. The one I get you interested in and it's not readily available. Bummer.

  4. Frankly, I can never do justice to a review of a collection of short stories. I have to take notes to remember what I read.

    1. Sometimes - not very often I scribble a few notes as I go. Most of the time I end up re-skimming the book for some bullet points.

  5. I haven't read his short stories,typical that it doesn't seem to be available!