Summer reading

Richard Osman's latest novel. Th British comedian has become a bit of a literary star.

There is nothing like the warm summer sun to inspire us to pick up a book.

Whether we are on holidays and or spending a bit of time at home escaping the summer heat.

The long languid days make a perfect time to do very little and to work through that long pile of “to read” books.

Here’s a few more that might be worth adding. I was lucky to be sent an early copy of The Tea Ladies along with a packet of biscuits and some teabags and after a full on year I spent all of Boxing Day wrapped in the book cheering on this fabulous women of Sydney’s 60s, drinking T2 tea and dunking Scotch Fingers – bliss.

Tania Phillips

The Tea Ladies

By Amanda Hampson

This year bestselling author Amanda Hampson brought us a wickedly witty cosy

crime novel set in Sydney in the swinging sixties, ideal for fans of

Richard Osman and Bonnie Garmus.

In Sydney, 1965, at Empire Fashionwear, upstairs are upstairs, downstairs

are downstairs, and the tea ladies see it all. But times are changing …

It’s the tea lady’s business to know everyone’s business. Hazel Bates knows how all the staff at Empire like their

cuppa, from the machinists to the managing director. She knows what biscuits they like with their tea, and whether

they dunk them or eat them on the side. So, when she sees mysterious woman in the building opposite, she knows

something is amiss. It’s certainly no co-incidence that, within 24 hours, that building is set on fire, and a dead body


Frustrated by the lack of action by police, Hazel and her network of tea ladies set out to solve the crime. As the

mystery deepens, Hazel wonders if she’s in over her head. Aware that she being followed, she wonders why her

beloved husband Bob is lying to her. Meanwhile, a revolution is happening in the factory. As hemlines head

upwards, will Empire get with the times or stick with the old guard?

A twisting tale with a surprise ending, The Tea Ladies is a fun frolic through the 60s fashion revolution, inside a strip

club to meet a Russian crime lord and on a search to rescue a performer in the Great Moscow Circus with lashings

of homemade wine, sponge cakes and, of course, tea and biscuits. Set in a time when Surry Hills was the heart of

the garment and textile production industry, and when tea ladies held special powers (before they were ousted for

tins of Nescafé), The Tea Ladies is charmingly nostalgic mystery in the vein of Agatha Christie that celebrates older

women, a bygone era, and the joy and restorative power of a great cup of tea.

The Cryptic Clue

By Amanda Hampson

The highly anticipated new novel in The Tea Ladies cosy crime series, a runaway bestseller of the year. Available for pre-order now!

Welcome back to Zig Zag Lane in the heart of Sydney’s rag-trade district, where our intrepid tea ladies, Hazel, Betty and Irene, have their work cut out. Solving a murder, kidnapping and arson case, and outwitting an arch criminal, earned them the respect of a local police officer. Now he needs their assistance to help solve a plot that threatens national security.

As if that’s not enough, Irene gets a coded message directing her to the spoils of a bank robbery, which sends the tea ladies on a treasure hunt with an unexpected outcome.

There’s also trouble brewing within the walls of Empire Fashionwear, where an interloper threatens not just Hazel’s job but the very role of tea lady. It’s up to Hazel to convince her friends to abandon their trolleys and take action to save their livelihoods – before it’s too late.

The Last Devil To Die

By Richard Osman

The fourth book in the record-breaking Thursday Murder Club series from British national treasure Richard Osman

Shocking news reaches the Thursday Murder Club.

An old friend in the antiques business has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing.

As the gang springs into action they encounter art forgers, online fraudsters and drug dealers, as well as heartache close to home.

With the body count rising, the package still missing and trouble firmly on their tail, has their luck finally run out? And who will be the last devil to die?

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