The Incredible Here and Now
Felicity Castagna
Giramondo, A$19.95

Felicity Castagna's novel is securely rooted in its sense of place, most specifically in the suburbs of western Sydney. Fifteen-year-old Michael knows his neighbourhood intimately; he traverses the streets and hero-worships his older brother Dom, and hangs out with best mate Shadi. All is well until one day a tragic event upends his world. The Incredible Here and Now is narrated in short, sharp chapters.

Murder and Mendelssohn
Kerry Greenwood
Allen & Unwin, A$22.99

Phryne Fisher is back with her 20th novel. This one is set in Melbourne in 1929, and concerns the murder of an orchestral conductor. (The title refers to his death via sheafs of Mendelssohn shoved down his throat.) ''Seems excessive, even as musical criticism,'' murmurs Phryne archly. Again, DI Jack Robinson requires her assistance to unravel a case involving code-breaking, spies, maths, music and, yes, more murders.