Book Review – GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS by Maggie Groff

Good News Bad News Synopsis

Good News Bad News by Maggie Groff

Intrepid investigative journalist Scout Davis has given herself a holiday, but when Hermione Longfellow floats towards her in the supermarket, wanting to engage her services, she stops to listen. Most people in Byron Bay are aware of the eccentric Anemone sisters. Always dressed in black, they rarely leave their home nestled in the hills – but Scout is sure that the drinking of chicken blood is just idle gossip. When Hermione asks Scout to track down sister Nemony’s AWOL husband, believed to have died at sea 30 years ago, but recently popped up again on the Great Barrier Reef, Scout, checking there is no eye of newt in Hermione’s shopping trolley, jumps at the chance.

Another source of intrigue falls close to home when Scout’s sister Harper despairs over her husband’s odd behaviour. And if that weren’t enough, Scout’s journalist boyfriend is finally coming home from Afghanistan. Trouble is, Scout thinks she may be falling in love with irresistible local cop Rafe – who coincidentally is also Toby’s best friend….

Delightfully witty and addictively fast-paced, this is the second hilarious outing for unforgettable sleuth Scout Davis. Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich and Alexander McCall Smith, this is storytelling at its laugh-out-loud best.



Good News Bad News by Maggie Groff is one of those novels that is Aussie all over. Although entertaining, it is so in a very understated, laid back way.  It’s an interesting mix of what I’d call light crime and women’s contemporary fiction with a dry sense of humour.

This title is the second in the Groff’s Scout Davis Investigation series. My not having read the first title Mad Men, Bad Girls did not hamper my enjoyment of Good News Bad News, as Groff provided sufficient back story for me to understand the characters’ motivations.

Scout Davis is one of the more mature female protagonists I’ve come across in some time. She’s appealingly down to earth, far from perfect, loves her pet cat ‘Chairman Meow’ and is a bit of a mother-hen to her family and friends. For the most part she is liberated by her life experiences rather than being weighed down by them. Her love of bucking the establishment and risk taking behaviour lead her into all sorts of amusing scrapes, of both the criminal and romantic persuasion.

Good News Bad News is indeed witty and perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich, but I must respectfully disagree with the publisher’s description of ‘addictively fast-paced’. It’s simply not – and in the main, is not intended to be – it’s set in Byron Bay for goodness sake!

Additionally, descriptions of daily life and family dramas are given a fair portion of real estate, and while adding heart, they do slow the pace of the investigation. The pace heightens, as does the danger, when the novel’s conclusion comes into view though.

I listened to the audio version of Good News Bad News. Narrator Catherine Milte’s tone was well matched with the no-nonsense character of Scout Davis and I found listening to this story a pleasant way to pass the time during my daily commute.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

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BOOK DETAILS: Good News Bad News by Maggie Groff ( Audible | Booktopia | Kobobooks )

* This book counts towards my participation in the Aussie Author Challenge 2013 and the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.

Genre: Crime-Detective, Action-Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Humour

Author Information: Maggie Groff is the bestselling author of two non-fiction books, Mothers Behaving Badly and Hoax Cuisine. She has worked as a columnist for Sunday Life magazine in The Sun-Herald and extracts of her work have been published globally by Readers Digest. She lives with her husband in northern New South Wales and is currently working on her third Scout Davis novel after Mad Men, Bad Girls and Good News, Bad News.

Interview: Maggie Groff answers Ten Terrifying Questions with Booktopia

Other reviews of Good News Bad News: Book’d Out; Fair Dinkum Crime; Beauty and Lace; Confessions of a Booky Monster