Welcome to the official home of NZ 2021 Ngaio Marsh Award wining author Chris Stuart.
Her eagerly anticipated second Crime Novel The Glasgow Smile was launched in New Zealand in May 2023. And will be launched in Australia in November 2023.
Review: “A thrilling and complex book, with depth of layers. It is inspiring and gritty, tragic yet hopeful. The plot was a tapestry of superb writing, the realism drawing me in to learn more of the world.” Jenni Oliver.
In a grimy graffiti-covered recess in one of Melbourne tangled inner city laneways, a woman is found murdered. ‘Why would anyone want to kill her? She was so ordinary,’ was the oft-repeated phrase DI Robbie Gray heard when the name of the deceased was revealed.
So why, then, she asked herself, was the body found propped up in such an extraordinary position, almost as if she was intimate with the portrait on the wall. Was this death intended to be symbolic, or was the placement merely a device to deceive?
Set against a background of civil unrest and rising white extremism, a government tainted by corruption and a family desperate to hide secrets, DI Robbie Gray, along with her Indigenous officer Mac, dig deep. As they work the case, they must also grapple with their own demons of guilt and failure while determining a motive.
Was this a random thrill kill, politically driven or tragically personal? When an arrest is made, DI Robbie Gray realises that not all killers hold a weapon, masks don’t always disguise, and the legacy of long-held secrets can have tragic consequences.
2021 Winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for debut novel.
Short-listed for NZ book of the year.
Longlisted for the Australian Davitts Award.
Can the past ever be left behind? Ask a flawed detective, a former refugee and a government desperate to misuse a dead body to reshape Australia’s security policy.
Melbourne is a city on the brink, from arson fed bush fires, searing heatwaves and the potential threat of terrorism. Detective Inspector Robbie Gray, falling foul of Police bureaucracy, gets called to a body found lying in a rural swamp. When the nationality of the victim is revealed, ASIO takes over her investigation and she is sidelined. Convinced they are misinterpreting the evidence, along with a disenfranchised Aboriginal policeman, she secretly digs for the truth and discovers an entirely different motive, one which transcends international borders and exposes corruption in the humanitarian world. When the killer is arrested, DI Robbie Gray realises that the past contains only hurt and pain and she asks herself whether, in certain circumstances, murder may well be justified.
“For Reasons of their Own,” is aimed at international readers who love the psychology of crime, who prefer to empathise with a strong female protagonist, who want to learn and understand something quite different about the humanitarian world and who look forward to the next book in the planned series.
"Local author Chris Stuart won the Best First Novel at the 2021 Ngaio Marsh awards for her terrific For Reasons of Their Own which introduced us to DI Robbie Gray – a very good detective, likeable, complex, and with the tenacity to find justice at all costs. The Glasgow Smile is an even better read. Well researched and with insight into the flaws of…read more →
"Using a piece of notable graffiti art and weaving her characters from her first book in new and challenging circumstances brings forward the ethical dilemmas that her characters tackle with professionalism and skill."
"It’s numerous themes include trust, deceit, betrayal, but loyalty does shine through in the special relationship DI Robbie Gray has with her sidekick detective and indigenous Australian."
"It's a twisty, thought-provoking read."
"Glasgow Smile is a terrific read and, in Chris Stuart, I’ve added another writer to my 'looking out for' list."
"I love Robbie Gray. She is relatable in so many ways. Flawed, disappointed, misjudged yet fierce and determined."
"The characters are believable and likeable and I cared about them. . Multiple themes resonated with me even as I struggled along with Robbie and Mac to solve the murder mystery. A highly recommended read, I hope it becomes a lengthy series!"
"This book pulled me in to where I had to keep turning the page, and yet I didn't want it to end."
"A thrilling and complex book, with depth of layers, inspiring and gritty, tragic and hopeful. The plot was a tapestry of superb writing, the realism drawing me in to learn more of the world."
"This is a crime thriller that grabs you from the first pages and doesn’t let go until the heart stopping ending. Chris paints a very descriptive picture of the background scenery, the vibe of Melbourne and the essence of the characters. Her main characters are a joy to get to know, despite their flaws, or maybe because of them. The…read more →