Preview Reviews: Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss

Preview Reviews: Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss

We recently had our Preview for Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss. Dead Man Switch is Tara’s return to crime fiction with a stunning new series, and a stunning new heroine. Meet PI Billie Walker – smart and sexy, with a dash of Mae West humour, she’s a hard-boiled detective with a twist.

Read what our Preview readers thought:

Tara Moss new novel takes us back to Sydney in the late 1940s after the end of World War II. Billie Walker has lost her husband during the war, missing and presumed dead. After taking over her late father detective agency she tackles more than a messy divorce and an unfaithfully husband Billie is determined to make a name for herself as a Private Detective. The first in Tara Moss new crime series takes us on a journey to locate a missing young man that is anything but straight forward. This new series is a bit sexy with a dash of humour with lots of twists and turns before we find our solution at the end. Recommend as a great read. – Karen, VIC, 4 stars

Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss struck me as a book more about Sydney clawing back from post war economic and societal woes more than a mystery. I enjoyed this aspect and placing the story in a local, federal and global situation more than I actually enjoyed the plot development. Too many storylines seemed to weave in and out of each other for no apparent reason and I often got confused. However I did enjoy the characters and I hope that they’re developed in further books. I am sure there will be inevitable comparisons with Phryne Fisher, however Billie carries a lot more on her shoulders and is much more a product of the times and situations around her. I liked the book, but I expect more and better if the characters are to continue in further stories. – Natasha, NSW, 3 stars

Tara Moss transports you back to post Second World War Sydney with a story that captures the beauty, glamour, grit and chaotic life of the femme fatale Billie Walker. The story flows effortlessly with surprising, yet welcome, twists that keep you wanting more. Billie’s life is etched well in this story. It speaks volumes of what life would have been like for post war women searching for something else as their identities were caged back into domestic expectation. Parallel to the grit of Billie’s life is the glamour of undercover nights, adventure and the unveiling of mystery. Tara Moss has brought to life a protagonist to be reckoned with and envied all in one. – Sarah, NSW, 4 stars

Another great crime novel from Tara Moss. Billie is such a strong, independent woman trying to make her way in what was seen as a man’s profession. The descriptive way Moss writes makes it easy to imagine being there yourself. If your looking for a compelling thriller that keeps you turning the pages this books for you. I look forward to reading what adventures Billie gets up to next time. – Chantelle, VIC, 5 stars

This is the first book in a series featuring a feisty, practical but supremely elegant and stylish Private Inquiry Agent, Ms Billie Walker. Set in post-War Sydney with rationing, Ms Walker has taken over her deceased father’s detective agency, following her stint as a war reporter in Europe with her now-missing husband. Equipped with Tussy’s “Fighting Red” lipstick, her handmade clothes courtesy of McCall’s patterns, and discreetly armed with a Colt in her garter, she has a returned serviceman assistant, Sam, to help with the day-to-day infidelity cases which are barely keeping the agency afloat. However, the disappearance of a 17-year-old youth proves to be a more complex, puzzling case to challenge her smart intellect. Soon Ms Walker is embroiled in uncovering not only some very serious crimes indeed but also in perilous danger. Meticulous research done by both the author and Chrys Stevenson, together with ample detailed descriptions, adds credibility and authenticity to the setting and it was easy to imagine myself with the protagonist, her titled mother who is quietly selling off her possessions in order to survive, and the other characters including possible future romantic interests. I loved the author’s exploration of several sociological and historical issues plus the pacy format: this book held me enthralled and I look forward to reading the next. Thanks Better Reading! – Pamela, VIC, 5 stars

This book took me into the world of Billie Walker right from the first page. The flashbacks to her time during the war helped build Billie’s character throughout the book. Her interactions with her mother and her assistant Sam were well written and I felt like I was living Billie’s life right along with her which I love it a good novel. Tara’s portrayal of Billie as a strong women in a man’s world will appeal to all woman and I can’t wait for hopefully the next installment in Billie’s life. A very enjoyable read! – Kathryn, WA, 5 stars

Tara Moss’ Dead Man Switch is an exciting tale of mystery and intrigue that is captivating from the very first page. The fast paced plot is complemented by an excellent array of characters, particularly main protagonist Billie Walker. Moss paints a clear image of life in 1946 through impressive descriptive language that strongly appeals to lovers of historical crime fiction. Thank you to Better Reading for an early copy of this terrific page turner! – Sarah, VIC, 4 stars

Set in Sydney in 1946, post-WW2, Billie Walker is a widow and former war journalist who has recently taken over her deceased father’s PI business. In a time when the bulk of cases are made from bitter divorces and cheating husbands, Billie, together with the “little woman in her gut” and her male assistant Sam, is set the task by a distraught mother to find her missing 17-year-old boy, Adin. What initially begins as a simple missing person case quickly turns into something much less straight forward. Along the way, Billie encounters many obstacles and has to more often than not rely on her women’s intuition to see her through. Tara Moss has written a great thriller with many twists and turns that unveils a dark crime underworld in Sydney. This is the first novel in the Billie Walker series, I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Billie and I very much look forward to seeing what comes of her as the series continues. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime fiction, particularly those who love a good Australian read. Thank you Better Reading and Harper Collins for my ARC in return for an honest review. 4.5 stars – Hannah, NT, 4 stars

There’s a new detective in town and her name is Billie Walker. Billie returns to Sydney, without her husband, from reporting on the WWII European front – he’s missing whilst undertaking his own reporting mission, but Billie refuses to believe he’s gone forever. Back home, Billie resurrects her late father’s private eye agency and employs her faithful assistant Sam, who has returned from the war with his own battle scars. The story has interspersed snatches of someone being interrogated, which leaves the reader guessing who it could be and how do they fit into the story. The narrative is very gangland, bringing to mind early gangster movie scripts – I wasn’t convinced this is how 1946 Australians, whether baddies or not, actually conversed or acted, however, not having been there then or ever moved in those circles, it was accepted for the style it is. Whichever way, the likeability of Billie’s character is what’s most important, especially the strength of her tenacity, resilience, acuity and style. Historically correct factual elements from this period are interwoven into a rather exciting story and you can’t help reading on to see what is going to happen. Many thanks to Better Reading and Harper Collins for this ARC. – Marilyn, WA, 4 stars

Welcome to Billie Walker, PI, the main character in Dead Man Switch. She is a ballsy character with modern day values, living and prospering in a male dominated world. Working as a Private Investigator, Billie uses her resources and abilities to be effective in a world that does not welcome women. Dead Man Switch is set in the period after World War 2, providing a dramatic backdrop of changing times, and offering opportunities for the practical and pragmatic, Billie. She faces her challenges with boldness and determination and is ably supported by a diverse range of characters in her personal and professional worlds. Dead Man Switch is a fun and enjoyable read. The author, Tara Moss, weaves in topical events from the time period as part of the storyline. She has crafted a stellar new main character with Billie Walker, providing the foundation (hopefully) for a new series. – Michelle, QLD, 4 stars

I wanted so bad to love this but just couldn’t get into it. – Rebecca, QLD, 3 stars

The first in a new female detective series by bestselling author Tara Moss, Dead Man Switch sees war widow Billie Walker pushing against the constraints of 1940s Sydney in an attempt to make a living from her late fathers Detective Agency. Moss brings the post war city to life with atmospheric, detailed descriptions of the physical, social, and sartorial aspects of the world Ms Walker inhabits. While this book seemed to have all of the ingredients of my ideal read – history, mystery and a strong female lead – it didn’t quite strike the right chord with me personally. At times I struggled to understand the motivation behind the protagonists decisions, and being someone who loves to fall in love with the characters she is reading, I felt as though I didn’t get to know Billie in a meaningful way. Instead the author focuses on developing a fast-paced plot with multiple strands; a real who-dunnit page turner that will appeal to a large audience. A well written and well researched first instalment in what I and sure will be a very successful long running series for Moss. – Angela, VIC, 3 stars

Sydney, 1946. Billie Walker has re-opened her late fathers PI office to keep herself afloat. She’s employed to find Adjn Brown, reported by his parents to be missing. What seems to be a simple missing persons case at first soon reveals itself to be a much more sinister situation. What has happened to Adin, and in searching for him, what’s going to happen to Billie? What I loved most about Billie is her strength and femininity. She has a colt strapped to her leg and the perfect shade of red lipstick. She is smart, sassy, stylish and sexy. Despite being a woman in a mans world she can hold her own. – Simone, NSW, 4 stars

As a long time fan of Tara Moss’ previous detective series, I was excited to see her back at last with a new heroine to join our libraries. While a little slow to start, we soon became engrossed as PI Billie Walker and her sidekick Sam battled through the many and varied obstacles they encountered in Sydney’s post-war underworld, as they endeavor to track down the missing boy they have been asked to find, and all the ensuing side stories that arise in their pursuit. A really good read, and I hope Tara Moss won’t be long in following up with a sequel – PI Billie Walker is definitely a character I will look forward to meeting up with again soon. – Jane, NSW, 4 stars

Being a massive fan of Tara Moss’ previous series – Mak Vanderwall and Pandora English – I jumped at the chance to read the first book in a new crime series. Dead Man Switch did not disappoint. In fact I stayed up way past my bedtime last night to finish it. It is a book that I could not put down. Billie Walker is a fantastic new character and I look forward to spending more time getting to know her in the future. This is a crime series with a difference for me. Set in Sydney in 1946 after the war – Billie Walker returned from being a reporter in Europe when her father was ill. She has re-opened his private investigation firm and is working to help the people of Sydney. Mostly she is dealing with cheating spouses but a new case has just landed on her desk. A distraught mother wants Billie to find her missing teenage son. Along with her trusty assistant Sam they start looking into the boys last known movements. This leads them down a dark path dealing with the city’s most dangerous people. How did a young boy get caught up in Sydney’s underworld and where is he? As well as this Billie has been asked to help a friend who believes members of her family are in danger from a man in the Blue Mountains. It is all go for Billie. Whilst reading this book I had a very clear picture of Billie’s world in 1946 Sydney. Tara Moss’ research has created a scene that you find yourself immersed in. Being a Sydney girl myself I could see the areas Billie and Sam were working in – trying to picture in a few decades ago of course. The buildings, the fashion, the attitudes of people, it was all there. Billie has her fans but at the same time she is a working woman in an era when this is still frowned on. Not only that but she is doing a man’s job in many peoples eyes. Billie and Sam are both intriguing characters. Both have returned from the war scarred in more ways than one. There is still so much more to their stories. Billie married Jack, a photo journalist during the war but he is missing. She is still holding onto hope that he will return to her. I hope that we will learn more about Jack and what has happened to him in future books. Billie herself is a strong, feisty, very attractive and determined young lady. She has to be to work in the world that she does. She does not take no for an answer and can’t leave things alone. She needs to find out why and how. I love this about her, although it can get her into trouble. So in case you hadn’t realised yet I absolutely loved this book! I highly recommend it to all crime readers, historical fiction readers will also love the step back in time. Thanks so much to Better Reading Australia and Harper Collins Australia for my advanced copy of this book to read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased. – Mandy, NSW, 5 stars

Thank you to Better Reading for allowing me to review this book. I found this book to be both intriguing and interesting even though I felt it took a while to get going however in saying that, the suspense theme kept me hooked throughout. I found Billie to be very passionate and determined, a very strong and capable woman who trusts and follows her gut instinct when it came to dealing with the disappearance of Adin. Another particularly intriguing character I found was Shyla who would pop up secretly and spontaneously but was a great aid to Billie. I applaud Tara Moss on writing a great novel with heart and sensitivity and a well researched theme of post World War II era. – Daniella, VIC, 4 stars

Dead Man Switch was my first Tara Moss novel and from the first page I was drawn in. What a delight it was to meet Billie Walker, a modern woman in a man’s world in Sydney just after the end of World War II. Tara cleverly wove the story of the horrors of the war and life moving on in the years following. We were treated to the fashions of the time, a view of the Sydney underworld and familiar landmarks in Sydney and the Blue Mountains as Billie works as a PI and “solves her case”. I look forward to Billie next case. – Susanne, QLD, 4 stars

Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss will not disappoint. My first book by Tara but not my last. This was a great holiday read, fast paced interesting plot likeable character and kept me guessing, with great twists as we went along. Billie is a new character that all will want to return. Set in Sydney1946,Tara made me feel I was there, great descriptive writing to set the scene and atmosphere. A must read. Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to read something that I may not have, always a pleasure. – Debbie, VIC, 4 stars

This story is incredibly well written, the authors descriptive writing puts you in that era. Whilst this was a good story it wasn’t my cup of tea it took too long to cut to the chase. I do find myself drawn to Billie as a character and will indeed look at future books with her in it – Emma, NSW, 3 stars

Tara Moss’ new novel is a lovely detective story set in 1930’s Sydney. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dead Man’s Switch and can’t wait for the next instalment. You can’t help but admire Billie’s approach to life and her spunkiness in a time that was not easy for women to make their own way. Five stars! – Cassandra, QLD, 5 stars

Dead man switch” – Tara Moss Billie Walker is a street smart, sexy and hardworking Private investigator, who has taken over her father’s agency. Making a living by chasing cheating husbands, until a case comes forward, which has Billie intrigued and which she cannot say “no” to, this is where the adventure and trouble starts. I enjoyed the overall plot even though it was a bit predictable. I found the first half of the book to be quite slow and the writer, Moss, over explains in places. In saying that Moss writes well in that her sentences are short and easy to read. I appreciated Billie’s character , being a strong , independent women would have been challenging and this is portrayed in her book. The book being set in Australia left you with a visual experience of her words. Overall my reading experience of “Dead man switch” was uncomplicated and effortless. – Antoinette, VIC, 3 stars

A greet read for lovers of crime fiction in an historical setting. These are my two favourite genres so I was hooked. The setting is Sydney in 1947. Many books have been set in this era but tend t be about the working class struggling to survive after the war. This time we ae introduced to Ms Billie Walker, whose mother was from a well off family, forced to live in leaner times but definitely not struggling. A different insight to a different clique of society at the time. Billie has taken over her late fathers PI agency and endeavoring to get enough work to keep it viable. She is very modern, capable and sexy. The who dunnit story flows well and touches on Nazi War criminals, the plight of aboriginal youth taken away from their families. And Jewish families affected by the Holocaust. This appears to be the start of a series of books with this new character. by this established writer. I’m looking forward to reading more about the antics of Billie Walker. – Sue, WA, 5 stars

What a wonderfully evocative and beautifully written trip back in time. I loved, loved, loved Billie Walker and her strength, how she took charge when people tried to pull her down. She is smart and sassy but still so feminine. I really enjoyed the wonderful cast of characters too, from John the lift guy to the Baroness, every character in this book was complex and interesting, strong and vulnerable and so very real. This is definitely a book you’ll be glad you put at the top of your TBR pile. – Tamara, SA, 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed the book, it was a well balanced mix of historical fiction and crime and enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. Looking forward to the next billie walker novel already. – Georgia, VIC, 4 stars

This is a highly readable light crime novel. There’s not much gore, and the violence is remarkably bloodless compared to some modern novels. Despite telegraphing the climax itself, the plot is tight and not too obvious and will keep most readers engaged. Billie is an attractive character, and will probably entice readers to read other books in the projected series. Although the mystery plot is tied up, there are loose ends in the characters’ personal stories. Sydney in the late 1940s is vividly drawn. Moss has clearly researched the period well. At times there’s a touch too much background exposition, which slowed things down a bit. It was often fascinating, but not always entirely necessary. On the whole, though, this is a briskly paced crime novel that moves at a good pace – there’s always something happening, but it doesn’t feel too rushed. The plot is credible and well grounded in the time period – certain events are far more powerful and credible for being placed immediately after World War II. You could tell the same (or very similar) story set in the present, but it would lose some of its’ emotional kick. Many readers will thoroughly enjoy “Dead Man Switch”. – Lorraine, ACT, 4 stars

A fantastic read with twists and turns right until the end! A little slow to get things going as she introduces the characters and storylines, but once the action starts it doesn’t slow down and before you know it you’re finished and left waiting for the next installment. – Jacque, NSW, 4 stars

I was glad to preview ‘Dead Man Switch’ as I usually do it choose ‘crime fiction’ but Tara’s book has changed my mind and I will now broaden my horizons to read different genres and definitely more of Tara Moss’ books, ‘Dead Man Switch’ also has an element of historical fiction which I enjoyed. The plot was easy to follow and the characters were easy for me to imagine and follow. – Amanda, QLD, 4 stars

A new series from Tara Moss. A feisty female lead. A PI in post-war Sydney. Two intriguing matters to investigate. Several nasty villains. Lots of action and a heart-thumping climax. More of Billie Walker and her friends will definitely be welcome. Excellent post-war Aussie noir. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

What a fun read! Tara Moss’s first installment in the Billie Walker series sees its main character, a female (!) private inquiry agent in 1940s Sydney, investigating the disappearance of a young man. During her quest for answers, Billie encounters thugs, corrupt cops, and other unsavory people in Sydney’s seedy underbelly. She will be involved in car chases, shoot outs and remote surveillance operations without ever losing her sense of style and elegance. The book has a great level of historical detail and addresses a variety of social issues of the time, some of which are – sadly – still current. It starts gently with lots of scene setting before picking up speed towards the end of the book and throwing in some shocking twists. Despite the themes addressed in the book, the writing is light and the story entertaining and – sometimes – even funny. This story would look great on the screen, so watch out Miss Fisher! – Gwen, VIC, 4 stars

In Dead Man Switch, Tara Moss has departed from her usual style of contemporary psychological thriller. In this initial book of a historical crime fiction series the reader is introduced to a feisty female private inquiry agent who plys her trade in the streets of post-World War II Sydney. The character of Billie Walker (the main protagonist) reminded me of Miss Fisher and I can see her developing quite a following in further books. The language of the book is very descriptive especially when referring to the fashions and architecture of the time. I found the story to be a bit slow at the start but it became suspenseful as the the two separate story lines intersected. Issues of race, war crimes, disability and gender inequality are an integral part of the story and you can see that a lot of research went into it. It will be interesting to see what crimes Billie will investigate in future and how her relationships with the male characters develop in future books. – Janelle, NSW, 3 stars

Tara Moss tells an engaging story in her latest book, ‘Dead Man Switch’, set for release in October 2019. Billie Walker, Private Inquiry Agent, steps into a male dominated world following her experiences in World War Two, with plans to follow in her late fathers’ footsteps and maintain her independence in post war Sydney. In this book, we follow Billie’s investigation the disappearance of a young man, which sends her spiralling into Sydney’s dark underworld. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story was engaging. The ‘world’ in which it occurs was built carefully and based on excellent research. The book approaches the post-WW2 world with respect, and tackles concepts such as feminism and bereavement with grace. The characters were well developed, strong and likable (for the most part). I particularly liked Billie, a fiercely independent woman who does not sacrifice practicality or intelligence for the sake of style or reputation. Whilst, I found the writing style to be overly descriptive at times, this did not take away from my enjoyment of the book. The plot maintained momentum and the end was satisfying. I look forward to reading more about Ms Billie Walker in the future. – Laura, SA, 4 stars

Tara Moss has once again created a world that is so immersive. A bit of a slow start to this one, but once it got going, I couldn’t put it down. Moss has such a way with describing places that you feel like you’re there. The characters are extremely likeable, and I look forward to finding out more of their back stories in future books in the series. I also felt this was very well researched to ensure it aligned with how things would have been in the 40’s. It made me very glad to be alive now and fortunate enough to not have lived through such tough times. – Kelly, SA, 4 stars

It was a fantastic read. Grabbed you from the start. Being the first is what I’m assuming will be a series for Billie Walker it starts of fast then introduces you the main characters. Unlike a lot of books that are starting a series it doesn’t get bogged down with everyone’s backstory but does give enough so you know there will be more backstory in future books. The story was great that brought all the parts together to wrap up the story but leave a few threads loose for a follow up book. The story flowed well & didn’t feel like it struggled to get to where it needed to go. There was always a reason for Billie to be where she needed to be & let the story flow. Ms Walker has a great supporting cast to help her with her cases especially Sam her assistant. I’m hoping his story will grow more in future books. For when the book was set I was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did seeing I don’t read books set in that time period (post WW2) I’m glad I got an early copy from Better Reading Preview campaign. I enjoyed Dead Man Switch & recommend it to anyone who enjoys PI books. – Terry, NSW, 5 stars

Tara Moss conjures up a vivid picture of post war Sydney in ‘Dead Man Switch’. The first in a new series featuring glamorous private detective Billie Walker is a rollicking read, perfect for the beach or a long flight. Moss has clearly done her research on the locations, vehicles and social mores of the time. Her descriptions of Billie’s clothes are particularly vivid. I could easily visualise this being made into a tv series or movie. Billie is engaging, with an interesting back story. I think this is going to be a series I could easily get hooked on. – Penny, VIC, 5 stars

Billie Walker is a PI in a man’s world. She’s smart. She’s tough. She’s also haunted by WW2, and the loss of her husband. Billie is my kind of PI. She has reopened her dad’s old detective agency and together with her secretary, Sam, they undertake to find a runaway boy. This case takes them from gangster ridden Sydney to the wilds of the Blue Mountains. I enjoyed meeting Billie very much and whilst I don’t share her love of clothes, I did love her sense of fairness and her doggedness in the face of obstacles placed in her path. Dead Man Switch was an entertaining read with a cracker of an ending. I’d read her adventures any day. – Daniella, QLD, 4 stars

The talented Tara Moss has returned to crime with this first book in what I hope will be a long and successful series, and has introduced us to a new protagonist, P.I. Billie Walker. It is 1946 in post-war Sydney, where returned soldiers are back in the work force, leaving most of the women, who had stepped up to the plate admirably in the absence of men, expected to go back to their pre-war domestic duties. But not Billie. As a reporter in Europe during the war, Billie worked alongside her husband, Jack. Now Jack is missing, presumed dead, and Billie has returned home to reopen her late father’s Private Inquiry Agency. When a woman hires Billie to find her missing 17yo son, it sets in motion a chain of events that sees Billie and her trustworthy assistant, Sam, involved with some dangerous criminals, who aren’t keen on Billie’s interference. Despite the shortage of silk stockings, and being down to the last stick of her favourite lipstick, Billie cuts a fashionable swathe through Sydney in a fascinating era. Billie is smart, strong and determined, and with her trusty Colt strapped to her thigh, will not rest until her curiosity is satisfied, and the bad guys are brought to justice. Whatever that justice may be. Tara Moss has done an amazing amount of research to bring post-war Sydney alive, and has woven an interesting tale which started as a slow burn, then gripped me more and more as it progressed. A really enjoyable read. Looking forward to more of these characters. – Cate, SA, 4 stars

Tara Moss has created a captivating new character that you can’t help but fall in love with. Billie is an incredible woman who faces many different situations in a post war Australia. This was a book I could not put down and am already looking forward to reading the next installment. Tara has set the scene perfectly with the reader being able to visualise every moment. Thank you for creating such a beautiful novel. – Aleisha, QLD, 5 stars

For a non-lover of mystery stories, this book certainly may change my mind. Tara Moss is a detailed and sophisticated author, taking the reader on an epic journey. The setting for the story, with PI Billie Walker bucking the trends of the time! A great read- credit to Tara Moss. – Heidi, NSW, 4 stars

Murder, mystery and suspense with a stylish detective It’s Sydney Australia, 1946 and Billie Walker is a Private Inquiry Agent in a predominantly male business, she carries a Colt 1908 pocket semi-automatic with mother of pearl grips (a gift from her mother) hidden in her garter. She’s attractive, smart, fearless and has an attachment for her favourite shade of lipstick ‘Fighting Red’. Billie employs a male secretary/assistant Sam who is easy on the eye and injured from the war. Previously Billy was a reporter chasing Nazi activity across Europe but came home to Australia after her father died to take over his agency. She is a widow to Jack, a photojournalist who went missing during WW11 while also in Europe and is presumed dead. Billie’s main cases are domestic, tailing cheating husbands etc. but her latest case has become more interesting, a seventeen year old boy Adin has gone missing and there are shady characters and Sydney’s underworld involved. I really admired Billie’s character. An enjoyable, tense and entertaining read. Thank you to Better Reading for the advanced reading copy. – Gloria, SA, 4 stars

Tara Moss’s Dead Man Switch is fantastic from start to finish. I want to be Billie Walker she is an amazing character. I really loved this book. I mean really what’s not to love. Billie is a PI based in Sydney and she is shaking up the boys while wearing red lippy and a gun in her garter. Can’t wait for the next one. Thank you Tara. – Elizabeth, NSW, 5 stars

Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to read Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss. Well this was one book I didn’t want to put down!! The main character Billie Walker is a P.I. who is tasked with a missing persons case, which takes her to the underworld of Sydney. I loved the character Billie and I want to be Billie, she is smart, determined and tough as nails and doesn’t get scared easily. An extremely well written murder mystery that flowed so well I was constantly asking myself who, why and how? Set in a time when women didn’t work, were expected to dress and act like ladies and certainly not a P.I. chasing the baddies with her best friend a pearl handled colt. I highly recommend this mystery with its loveable and shady characters and twists and turns. This won’t be my last Tara Moss book!! #BRPreview# #betterreading# #TaraMoss# #deadmanswitch – Judy, NSW, 5 stars

Tara Moss’ Dead Man’s Switch is the first of a new series set in post-WWII Sydney, featuring P.I. Billie Walker – ‘smart and sexy, with a dash of Mae West humour, she’s a hard-boiled detective with a twist.’ I don’t normally read from the detective genre, which may influence my opinion, but there were a number of things I found bothersome, and which I don’t think are a reflection of the genre. The first was too much use of description – from multiple adjectives for simple everyday objects, to page-long explanations of the architecture of a building or of the surrounding countryside, and of the protagonist’s thoughts and feelings. I realise Moss wanted to set the scene, but the effect was often heavy-handed and encouraged skimming. I also found the characters somewhat clichéd, and if Billie Walker is supposed to be ‘smart’, her actions often belie this. Other things were simply unbelievable – eg: it took three women to carry a dead man wrapped in a rug, but only one man to lift the said corpse, now in a ‘big steamer trunk’, onto the luggage rack of a car? Having said that, I think the plot development was good, and the suspense built effectively with ever-increasing momentum. – Dominique, SA, 2 stars

DEAD MAN SWITCH – TARA MOSS Living in a post WW2 man’s world, Billie is an independent free thinking woman. During the war she worked as a journalist in Europe, where she fell in love with Jack, a press photographer, who hasn’t been seen for years presumed dead. . . Upon her return to Australia, Billie is working as a Private Inquiry Agent after taking over her Fathers business. The case she is employed to solve is that of a missing young man, and, like all good detective novels everything isn’t as straight forward as it seems. . . I believe this to be an incredibly accurate portrayal of what life would have been like for women during this time. I really appreciated the eye to detail and the amount of research involved must have been staggering. I really did feel like I was a part of post war Sydney. . . I am excited to read more adventures of Billie Walker. – Laura, WA, 5 stars

Exciting tale – stepping back in time to when ladies had to be escorted was an eye opener for me with the added mystery to keep you enthralled. – Sally, VIC, 4 stars

Great book hard to put down, Do not stand in Billie Walkers way, Billie is a PI back in Sydney she has taken over her fathers business, she was in Europe for a time WW2 and has witnessed some horrible things and in now a PI in a mans world ( no spoilers ) fans of Tara Moss will love this book can’t wit for the next book in this series. – Gavin, NSW, 5 stars

Tara Moss what a page turner of a book, From WW2 in Europe to Sydney Australia 1940, PI Billie Walker and her assistant are on the hunt for murderers kidnappers smugglers this book has it all with a ending I never saw coming – Deborah, NSW, 5 stars





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            Publisher details

            Dead Man Switch
            Tara Moss
            Detective Novel, Fiction, Mystery
            21 October, 2019


            Bestselling author Tara Moss returns to crime fiction with a stunning new series, and a stunning new heroine. Meet PI Billie Walker - smart and sexy, with a dash of Mae West humour, she's a hard-boiled detective with a twist.She's a woman in a man's world ...Sydney, 1946. Billie Walker is living life on her own terms. World War II has left her bereaved, her photojournalist husband missing and presumed dead. Determined not to rely on any man for her future, she re-opens her late father's detective agency.Billie's bread and butter is tailing cheating spouses - it's easy, pays the bills and she has a knack for it. But her latest case, the disappearance of a young man, is not proving straightforward ...Soon Billie is up to her stylish collar in bad men, and not just the unfaithful kind - these are the murdering kind. Smugglers. Players. Gangsters. Billie and her loyal assistant must pit their wits against Sydney's ruthless underworld and find the young man before it's too late.
            Tara Moss
            About the author

            Tara Moss

            Tara Moss is a novelist, television presenter and journalist.Since 1999 she has written seven bestselling novels and been published in seventeen countries in eleven languages. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Moss, who began penning gruesome 'Stephen King-inspired' stories for her classmates at the age of ten. She went on to an international career as a fashion model before pursuing professional writing. Her novels have been short-listed for both the Davitt and the Ned Kelly crime-writing awards, hit No. 1 on numerous bestseller lists, and made her Australia's No. 1 selling crime writer several years running. Her in-depth research has seen her earn her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy, tour the FBI Academy in Quantico, spend time in squad cars, morgues, prisons, the Hare Psychopathy Lab, the Supreme Court and criminology conferences, take polygraph tests, shoot weapons, conduct surveillance, pass the Firearms Training Simulator (FATSII) with the LAPD, pull 4.2 G's doing loops over the Sydney Opera House flying with the RAAF, and acquire her CAMS race driver licence. Stopping at nothing to 'experience' the research for her crime novels, Moss was set on fire by Hollywood stunt company West EFX and choked unconscious by Ultimate Fighter 'Big' John McCarthy.Moss has been an ambassador for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children since 2000, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007 and UNICEF Patron for Breastfeeding for the Baby Friendly Heath Initiative (BFHI) since 2011, advocating for better support for breastfeeding mums in hospitals, the workforce and general community. She is a dual Australian/Canadian citizen.

            Books by Tara Moss


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