I got handed a copy of Glitter Rose by Marianne de Pierres herself at the 2013 Crimescene WA convention in Perth.
Marianne is one of Australia’s popular crime fiction AND science fiction authors and one that is so prolific that I am beginning to suspect she is Agatha Christie’s reincarnation. Her work isn’t as cozy as Christie’s can be though. Far from it – Marianne seems to like pushing boundaries for a hobby. Or for a laugh.
Glitter Rose is a collection of four short stories all set on Carmine Island somewhere off the East Coast of Australia. It’s crime fiction with a hint of magical realism. Carmine Island harbours pretty yet possibly lethal spores, a small tight knit community with a variety of native superstitions and beliefs and more puzzles and mysteries than grains of sand on the beach.
Into all this wanders Tinashi with all sorts of deeply buried insecurities, fears and secrets of her own (which of course had me intrigued because ‘Tinasha’ is a Sri Lankan name).
There are twists and turns, all of the magical realism variety, almost fantastical in nature throughout the stories. The plotlines weave together and are resolved and the fact that there are many different truths for a single event comes through in each story as you see Tinashi struggle to figure out what is going on, often having to face her fears to do so. As she continues to learn about culture and custom on Carmine Island, you also realise what a great job Marianne de Pierres has done of worldbuilding.
My first time, I stood in wonder as they engulfed me on the dunes above Bara Beach. A swirl of wings: exotic, dancing petals whisking me inside their kaleidoscope. I stood still, lost in the fluttering, marvellous eccentricity of it all.
– Excerpt from “The Flag Game” in “Glitter Rose” by Marianne de Pierres
There is a language, a history, a connection all the characters have to the setting, there are cultures, customs and ideologies. With Tinashi as entree we see Carmine Island from the stranger’s viewpoint. After four stories, you want more of Carmine Island and Marianne de Pierres rounds off the collection with In The Bookshadow, another short story though this is not part of the Carmine Island set and is more of a psychological thriller.
Marianne de Pierres also writes fiction as Marianne Delacourt and is better known under that name as the author of the Tara Sharp crime fiction series. You can check out her website for more of her crime fiction and science fiction series. Her next book is Peacemaker and is part western, part science fiction, part crime fiction and part urban fantasy – in other words you are in for a ride when it comes out in May this year.
In the meantime, get your hands on Glitter Rose while you can – it’s a limited edition collection – and check out all her series. You won’t be disappointed.
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Genre: Crime/Sci Fi/ Magical Realism
Publisher: Twelfth Planet Press
Publication Date: 2013