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Brian Kavanagh has many years experience in the Australian Film Industry in areas of production, direction, editing and writing. His editing credits include THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH, ODD ANGRY SHOT, THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND, LONG WEEKEND. Directed A CITY'S CHILD, DOUBLE DEAL, DEPARTURE. Author of the Belinda Lawrence mystery series.

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Book Title
Mystery, Thriller

The old lady's body lay at the foot of the stairs. The police believe it was an accidental fall that killed great-aunt Jane. Young Australian, Belinda Lawrence is convinced it was murder and when she inherits her great-aunt's ancient cottage and garden on the outskirts of Bath, England, she finds herself deep in a taut mystery surrounding her legacy. A second vicious murder by a ruthless killer intensifies the tension and Belinda, now under threat herself, is befriended by two charming men: her neighbour Jacob and real-estate agent Mark Sallinger. But can she trust them? And what interest has befuddled antique dealer Hazel Whitby in the cottage?

An excellent example of a time-honoured English village murder mystery with a lively young heroine pitting her intellect against an evil killer, both bent on solving the riddle of an ancient garden. An inventive puzzle glazed with wit and the first of the Belinda Lawrence series.

4 Stars - Verified Amazon customer.

Mysteriously summoned by her relative, Belinda finds Great-Aunt Jane's body dead on her own stairs. Too dead – the letter summoning her was mailed days after her aunt died.
Much to her surprise, Belinda inherits the ancient cottage and grounds. Should the city girl move to the village? Belinda rather likes the idea. Then she begins to notice that all of her neighbors seem to have ulterior motives. Her elusive solicitor, her determinedly friendly next door neighbors, a handsome real estate agent, and an alcoholic antique dealer all seem to think there is something valuable in Belinda's new home.
Belinda seems to be alone in her belief that Great-Aunt Jane was murdered, until another murder occurs in the same house. It was obviously meant to be Belinda lying dead there. Knowing the motive doesn't tell her who did the killing – it is a big, juicy motive almost in plain sight, enough to tempt any of her neighbors.

5 Stars - LLona Cunningham

The story was very good, and included a true mystery with plenty of red herrings and suspicious actions. I wasn't particularly conscious of the change when it moved from 'good little story' to 'holy cow, I can't put it down', because the pace was so smooth it just sucked me right in. But what I really find outstanding is that several days after completing the book, and in fact having read another book in the meantime, I still have those characters and that location on my mind.

5 Stars - Verified Amazon customer.

It is through Kavanagh's use of descriptive narrative that we see Belinda's emotions seep through to the reader, sweeping you along with the shocking events in the girl's life.
Kavanagh's use of light and dark storylines means that Capable of Murder is unlike other murder mysteries. The novella contrasts the mundane lives of its characters with a more sinister undercurrent which emerges as the novella progresses, so that when shocks occur, Kavanagh ensures the reader feels the act with full force making Capable of Murder an exhilarating read.

Book Title
Mystery, Thriller

Belinda Lawrence returns to her home town of Melbourne, to discover a murder that's close to her heart.
A murder which leads to the seat of political power, Parliament House.
The various threads of deceit and intrigue are gradually unravelled and, with Hazel Whitby at her side, Belinda is confronted by warring political factions.
The mystery deepens with the discovery of a priceless historical item, of value to both political powers, and which places Belinda's life in jeopardy.

Marvin Allan Williams (Fayetteville, North Carolina) This review is from: A Wicked Design: A Belinda Lawrence Mystery (Kindle Edition)
This was the best of the Belinda Lawrence Mysteries so far. Historical treasure unearthed, relational intrigue, humor, and of course no mystery would be complete without a dead body or two.
P.S. I'm growing quite fond of Hazel.
Marvin Williams rated it 5 of 5 stars ***** Good Reads

I absolutely love this series and A Wicked Design did not disappoint. The best so far. Character development is a plus. I'd share a few drinks with Hazel anytime.

***** Five Stars: Each novel by Brian Kavanagh gets better and better, but A Wicked Design is certainly the best of all his works. Intense, complex plots with unpredictable characters interact so that the reader will have to read this novel in one or two sittings, as it;s very, very hard to put down once started. There's also a nice touch of history and its symbolic value in government that.s informative and intriguing as well! All in all - very nicely done, Brian Kavanagh!

Book Title
Mystery, Thriller

Two startling murders that replicate the death of a mediaeval English king and the discovery of a mysterious ancient tapestry lead Belinda Lawrence and her associate Hazel Whitby into a vortex of suspense involving a bizarre religious cult, an enigmatic academic, a group of monks devoted to aggression and clues to a thrilling conspiracy nearly a thousand years old.

It is the murder of a local villager that ensnares Belinda and Hazel in this web of intrigue and as they follow up each clue they little realise that their own lives are in danger. Each perilous turn brings them closer to an electrifying climax and imminent death. Following on from Capable of Murder, this is the second in the Belinda Lawrence Mystery Series and continues the lively young Australian's adventures in England with the same degree of wicked humour and heart-stopping excitement.

5 Stars - Meg Taylor - Amazon

Good cozy mystery. Some twists & turns. Belinda & her sidekick friend buy an antique desk and find an ancient tapestry. Along the way, there is murder, cults, and you will be kept guessing. I have read a few of Belinda Lawrence mysteries and look forward to reading more. Pure enjoyment!

4 Stars - Angela S - Amazon

They say never judge a book by its cover, and I didn't. I judged it by its name, which is possible just as unwise, but with a cracker of a title like this, I couldn't resist buying my first novel from Brian Kavanagh. I have no regrets! "The Embroidered Corpse" delivers its promise of a thrilling mystery with likeable characters, and that it was part of a series was a big bonus because I love the character development opportunities that a series offers. Certainly this was a fun read - not sugar-coated, yet not revoltingly gory - and I quickly found myself engaging with the story and with Belinda. There is one scene in particular (no spoilers) that was full of suspense and well written. Brian Kavanagh has an amusing turn of phrase and his interpretation of the wonderful English mystery series of yesteryear makes for delightful entertainment. I will be sure to read other Belinda Lawrence mysteries.

4 Stars - Marvin Allan Williams

This is the second book I have read from this author and again I was impressed with his ability to build suspense into the story-line without having to resort to gimmickry. A fine story by a great author. I was going to say this series was for anyone who likes British mysteries, but that would be an injustice because of the limitation. Instead, I will say it is for anyone who enjoys a finely crafted story.

Author's Books
Book Title
Mystery, Thriller

The ancient walled city of Canterbury has held many secrets over the centuries but none more mysterious than the death of Professor de Gray.

Called in to evaluate the contents of his Tudor Manor House, Belinda and Hazel are confronted with a number of suspects who would benefit from the book the Professor was about to publish; a book he promised would re-write the history of St Thomas Becket who was murdered in the Cathedral in 1170.

Confirming the Professor was murdered proves to be a challenge and, gradually, as they get to know those associated with the Manor House, Belinda and Hazel discover another murder and an intricate web of secrets that leads them to life-threatening danger and finally to the killer, in this fourth book of the series.

5 Stars - Diana M. Hockley

I loved the imagery of Canterbury and the cathedral, a city I have not visited unfortunately. Next time I go to the UK I shall certainly do so, mainly because of this book, a great rainy afternoon read.

A "cozy" tale - if murder- could be said to be - the characters are engaging and the plot reasonably simple, though I don't mean that in a derogeratory way.

I don't give spoilers, as I feel that the synopsis put out with the book is more than enough about the plot, but suffice to say I do have another Brian Kavanagh novel on my kindle and shall be seeking out more :)

5 Stars - Joseph Gilpatric

I just finished A Canterbury Crime and I LOVED IT! I'm not a mystery reader, but this book was truly worth the read, The murder suspects are many and colorful -- hard to tell "who dun it." Unlike most mystery books, there is no foul language, no sexuality, and no gore -- just a good clean mystery that will keep the reader in suspense. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Kavanagh's books.

4 Stars - Kindle Customer Lacey

I like books set in England. the characters could have been drawn a little better to make them more interesting but I did enjoy it. l will read more in the series and hope to find out more about the characters.the scenery and homes and the history are enough for me to enjoy this book. Can't recommend to everyone but to people who like this type of mystery.

Book Title
Mystery, Thriller

Belinda and Hazel find themselves on the island of Guernsey where they are invited by Sir Mark’s mother, Melba, Lady Sallinger. Other house guests include her parents, a handsome interior designer, a slovenly bookseller, a Jesuit priest, and Catherine, a mysterious woman writer. Soon after, the residents of the old Tudor mansion are thrown into confusion with the discovery of human remains buried in the garden.

The priest tells of the Guernsey Martyrs, burned alive in 1556 for theft, and he believes a silver cup from that theft, is hidden in the house. One murder and a second mysterious death lead to revelations of past crimes that resonate to the present day and result in an exciting resolution tinged by the island’s history of Nazi occupation.

5 Stars -Amazon Reader

Belinda Lawrence and fiancé Mark Sallinger are on their happy way as an engaged couple to join Mark's mother, Dowager Lady Sallinger (or Melba) at the family home on the island of Guernsey to settle their wedding plans. They will be joined by Belinda's parents, BFF Hazel Whitby, a Priest, and Author of Nazi occupation of the Island, and a decorator, Harvey. Quite a group.

Mark has to rush back to his business empire leaving Belinda to handle his rather dictatorial mother.

However, as soon as the reach the rundown Tudor Manse, Hazel informs Belinda that "something very odd" is afoot in the Manse.

The reader proceeds through ghost stories, treasure hunts, murders, and more, as Belinda tries to figure out whether she is truly engaged or not.

This novel is being reviewed somewhat vaguely as to go into any detail would spoil the excellent journey through what, in my opinion, is the best volume of the series yet! Do Enjoy!

A Thank You to Mr. Kavanagh for his fine writing!

5 Stars - Bonny Scot

Brilliant as usual! My problem with Brian Kavanagh's Belinda Lawrence books is that we don't get enough of them. 🙂

5 Stars - Diane M. Hockley

I can never resist "cozy" mysteries, so when I learned that Belinda Lawrence is involved in a new mystery involving the island of Guernsey to meet up with Mark Salinger, her fiance, and meet his mother at her house, I just had to read it. The old girl is a real trout and takes over the wedding immediately. Belinda's parents and her friend Hazel, a priest and two strangers are the bystanders in this mystery and they are joined by another person - the book seller from the island. Hazel of course, has a young man in her sights and rather than making her a cougar, I find this trait in her personality (it's been in other mysteries) almost endearing. Suddenly Mark is called away on business, leaving Belinda to the mother's tyranny. Then as is usual with Belinda Lawrence novels, bless her, a murder occurs!

Written with all the panache of which Brian Kavanagh is known, as always I thoroughly enjoyed his work :)

Book Title
Mystery, Thriller

The third adventure for Belinda and Hazel continuing the pace and humour that readers have come to acknowledge and appreciate. Excitement and tension begin on the first day of filming a Restoration drama on location at the historic Jacobean mansion, Ham House in Surrey when one of the leading players collapses and dies. With the death ruled non-accidental the director, producer and members of the cast are all suspects.

An award winning Hollywood star is brought in to replace the dead actor and Belinda is employed as her stand-in. When another member of the crew is found stabbed to death, Belinda is forced to prove her innocence. In all this tumult, Belinda finds herself torn between her longtime English lover, Mark and the energetic and exuberant Australian, Brad she met again on a trip to Australia.

5 Stars - Liz Kingsbury McKeown

Bloody Ham is a mystery taking place during a film production in London. Since the movie Playing Boys is set in the 17th Century, it's easy for a murderer to tamper with the brown water masquerading as wine since the script calls for it. That's one way to stop a blonde bimbo from doing a nude dance to impress her new director boyfriend. Check out the dialogue. **Belinda shrugged, "I don't know. They're a pretty strange group of people".
"What do you expect? They make films".** Interesting, well drawn characters. A film industry mystery written by an insider.

5 Stars - Diane M. Hockley

Kavanagh at his best, this yarn takes the reader into the plastic world of film, with bloody murder along for the ride.

The two girls are back, Belinda - with a choice to make about marriage to Mark, while her old boyfriend Brad muddies the waters - and Hazel, who is at her rampant best with Tim, a young Australian editor. The plot moves at a good pace, and almost every question is answered. Brad is a bit of a twit, showing his hand at the end when confronted by - but I don't do spoilers!

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery of two murders and plenty of suspects. As to the question of who Belinda chooses - Kavanagh had better be in the throes of writing the next novel in this series, or woe betide him...

5 Stars - Mitzi Reinbold w/a Mitzi Flyte

This was another entertaining mystery from Brian Kavanagh. I will admit to being an Anglophile, especially English mysteries and Kavanagh delivers every time. Now to download The Embroidered Corpse...

Book Title #76
Mystery, Thriller

Power. Envy. Greed. Lies. All surround amateur sleuths Belinda Lawrence and Hazel Whitby in this maze of personalities.

An invitation to a private screening at a film group involves them in more than the cinematic arts.

Murder and the search for a long-lost film, involve them in more hair-raising adventures as they begin to investigate each member of the group, all of whom could be potential murderers.

Belinda's skills are tested as she faces the greatest danger in her sleuthing life.

5 Stars - Victoria McCullough

The Name Belinda Lawrence is well-known for those who like Kavanagh mysteries. A big "M" fan since when my mother and I had decided to div up books that were mysteries and exchange chat about them, I liked this one--Illusion Of Death.
I found it an on it-sitter. I've read Kavanagh before and have enjoyed the jaunt through. I felt I also liked it the way I like music on the free radio where you are innocent of the scenes and just want to pass the time getting a chance to go from cops and robbers playing their roles to the film-industry as it grew. From Belinda Lawrence, to Hazel, to Lance, to Harry to Max's Culprit--these names are as cool as the thought that you can actually don the role of a J.D. Salinger, so-to-speak, even though you are a greatly enjoyed Australian writer like Kavanagh! Read this and you will probably fear no malice. The craft of writing in its perfection. Ready, set, do it! Go for Kavanagh when choosing a good book!

5 Stars - Amazon Reviewer

Our intrepid duo, Belinda Lawrence and Hazel Whitby have landed back at Belinda's parents home in Melbourne, Australia. Well actually Eastern Melbourne to be correct. Belinda is healing her heart after breaking off her engagement.

During an afternoon of reflection for Belinda and shopping for Hazel, Belinda happens upon an showing at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Fascinated she heads towards a historic display showing parts of films, cameras, projection units etc.

Hearing her name hailed, Belinda turns to find an old school mate. Although rather annoying, Bridie is thrilled to find Belinda. Belinda, at loose ends, accepts an invitation from Bridie for herself and Hazel to attend a classic film society's gathering that evening.

The three ladies receive more than refreshments and a film showing...they are embroiled in a murder of no less than the owner of the house they are gathered in. Hazel and Belinda begin to take charge and off we go to solve the crime.

This novel takes us back into the history of cinematography in Australia. The author reminds us how far the industry has come since the nineteenth century. Names of famous old stars and productions come alive once more and add a dimension to the book that I didn't expect and was enchanted by.

The murder is...well, you will have to find out for yourselves as I am one reviewer who never gives away the five 'W's.' I will say I was still solving out the last W way near the ending. Exactly as Mr. clearly planned.

This is a book that will keep you turning the pages. Enjoy!

5 Stars - Margaret Tanner

Illusion Of Death starts with a bang and never lets up. i.e. Max struggles against the ropes binding him….This Belinda Lawrence mystery is full of drama and suspense. A classical who dunnit with an array of eccentric characters and suspects from Max’s secretive film society.
What happened to the negative of the Salvation Army’s Soldiers Of The Cross, the first dramatic narrative film ever screened? If it does it exist, it would certainly be worth killing for.
Belinda and her English friend Hazel, must follow many false leads before they find the murderer.
Is it Jake Schwartz, drug addict or Tommy and Adele who recently joined the society? Maybe it was Harry, Charmaine, Lance, or sponge cake baking Muriel?
The murderer, when finally revealed, surprised me.
A great, don’t put down until you finish, read.

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