Tag Archives: sunshine noir

Publication day – Would you like a dash of sunshine with your noir?

1 Aug

My new Olivia Grace teen PI novel, ‘Trouble is my Business’ comes out today – hooray! It’s the second in my teen mystery series set on the Gold Coast, and in Byron Bay.

Most people who read crime fiction are familiar with Nordic noir, also known as Scandinavian noir. It’s all about dark deeds in cold countries with morose detectives. Think ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ or ‘Miss Smilla’s feeling for Snow’. 

‘Trouble is My Business’ is pretty much the opposite of that. It’s not Nordic noir, but sunshine noir. In teen PI, Olivia Grace’s world everything is fun and colourful on the surface, but rotten underneath. The sea is sparkling, but dark deeds are afoot.

Olivia might not be treading the mean streets of urban California like Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, or Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, but her beat has its share of both glamour and grunge.

As in the Florida crime novels of Carl Hiassen and Elmore Leonard, the happy holiday exterior provides cover for a seedy underbelly. Florida has been called a sunny place for shady people, and this could be said of the Gold Coast and Byron Bay as well. An eclectic mix of real estate developers, tourists, and eco-warriors can lead to a whole lot of trouble.

In ‘Trouble is My Business’, as Olivia gazes out at the sparkling blue sea in Byron Bay, she muses that people would, quite literally, kill for this.

Brisbane launch:

‘Trouble is my Business’ will be launched by Kay Kerr, author of ‘Please Don’t Hug Me’ at Where the Wild Things Are, in West End, Brisbane, on August 19th, 6.30pm. This is a free event, but bookings are essential. Click here to register.

Here’s the blurb …

Olivia Grace, recently retired teen PI, has her priorities sorted. Pass first-year law, look after her little sister, and persuade her parents to come back from a Nepali monastery to resume … well, parenting. But after Olivia’s friend Abbey goes missing in Byron Bay, she can’t sit back and study Torts. It’s time to go undercover as hippie-chick Nansea, in hippie-chic Byron Bay: hub of influencers and international tourism, and home of yoga, surfing and wellness culture, against a breathtaking backdrop, a short drive from Olivia’s Gold Coast home.

Olivia’s looking for answers, with the help of her stash of disguises, the PI skills her irresistible ex-boss Rosco taught her … and a nose for trouble. Her suspects include a hard-core surfer who often argued with Abbey in the surf, a charismatic cult leader and an acrobatic botany student. And then there’s Rosco, officially assigned to the case, and proving impossible to avoid.

Lisa Walker’s second Olivia Grace novel is another rip-roaring excursion into madcap sunshine noir, with nods to Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, and a flavour of Veronica Mars meets Elmore Leonard.


Add ‘Trouble is my Business’ to your to-be-read list on Goodreads.


Order ‘Trouble is my Business’

Early reviews

‘I loved being swept up in this mystery. A wonderful combination of comical, high-stakes and genuine.’ 

Emily Gale, author of ‘We are out with Lanterns’

‘New mystery, new trouble, new(ish) normcore clothes… Forget Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew, teen PI Olivia Grace going deep undercover as Nansea is everything I never knew I needed. 

Fearless, fun and fake tanned, has Olivia found the perfect disguise in Nansea to take on cults, bad boy surfers and dangerously attractive acrobats? 

Trouble is my Business kept me reading, guessing and laughing late into the night.’

R.W.R McDonald, author of ‘The Nancys’

‘I am here for a brilliant young protagonist who’s solving mysteries and showing up for herself. A page-turning read.’ 

Claire Christian, author of ‘Beautiful Mess’

‘Hilarious, tender and fun, this sun-drenched teen PI mystery drips with humour and style. I adored it.’ 

Poppy Nwosu, author of ‘Taking Down Evelyn Tait’