Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the emergence of Cliff Hardy, the Sydney private detective created by Peter Corris.
To celebrate and commemorate, his publisher Allen & Unwin s releasing SEE YOU AT THE TOXTETH, the best of the Cliff Hardy short stories as selected by Jean Bedford.
Hardy proved true to his name, hero to forty-two books and countless stories.
Hard to imagine the first Cliff Hardy novel, The Dying Trade was made an orphan when the American publisher McGraw-Hill cancelled ts Australian fiction list.
Happily, it got positive reviews from all quarters and was picked up, along with the next two in the series, as a paperback by Pan, and later by Allen & Unwin, and the rest, as they say is history.
Historically, the Hardy novels and short stories can be seen as a renaissance of the home grown crime novel and opened up critical acclaim and public appetite, an appetite that was insatiable, an appetite that Corris was happy to feed.
The prodigious output and unfaltering quality of writing earned him the title ‘the Godfather of Australian Crime’, senior statesman in the genre he was instrumental in resuscitating, if not resurrecting.
Creating a credible, endearing and enduring character like Cliff was only ever part of the equation. The sense of place was always meticulous and revealing. As R.S. Brissenden wrote in The National Times, “Corris’ presentation of Sydney – blowsy, rough, vital and corrupt, but still sprawling indolent and beautiful, is one of the most distinct and satisfying things in his fiction.”
Diving into the dozen stories selected here, spanning the period 1984 to 2007, the blowsy, rough, vitality of Sydney is there in all its sprawling beauty.
Further celebrating Corris’ coruscation, SEE YOU AT THE TOXTETH also contains a selection of his columns, along with his ABC of Crime Writing, a miscellany of mayhem, an index of detection and deduction, a compendium of crime, stock, plot and two smoking barrels.
SEE YOU AT THE TOXTETH by Peter Corris, selected by Jean Bedford is published by Allen & Unwin.