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Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute

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When a secretive American cult moves to the Gold Coast, freelance journalist Scout Davis's investigative antennae start quivering. She sets out to expose the cult's lunatic beliefs and bizarre practices, but when she learns the identity of a recent recruit, her quest becomes personal. And dangerous. The cult isn't the only case on Scout's agenda. Someone is cutting up girls When a secretive American cult moves to the Gold Coast, freelance journalist Scout Davis's investigative antennae start quivering. She sets out to expose the cult's lunatic beliefs and bizarre practices, but when she learns the identity of a recent recruit, her quest becomes personal. And dangerous. The cult isn't the only case on Scout's agenda. Someone is cutting up girls' underwear at an exclusive school and Scout agrees to look into it. And the sinister secret behind the vandalism is not nice. Not at all. But Scout has her secrets too. In the dead of night she sneaks out with an underground group of yarn bombers to decorate the locality with artworks. The next mission ticks all the right boxes – it's risky, difficult and extremely silly. However, not everyone is amused, and Scout has a sneaking suspicion that the local police sergeant, Rafe Kelly, is hot on her tail.


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When a secretive American cult moves to the Gold Coast, freelance journalist Scout Davis's investigative antennae start quivering. She sets out to expose the cult's lunatic beliefs and bizarre practices, but when she learns the identity of a recent recruit, her quest becomes personal. And dangerous. The cult isn't the only case on Scout's agenda. Someone is cutting up girls When a secretive American cult moves to the Gold Coast, freelance journalist Scout Davis's investigative antennae start quivering. She sets out to expose the cult's lunatic beliefs and bizarre practices, but when she learns the identity of a recent recruit, her quest becomes personal. And dangerous. The cult isn't the only case on Scout's agenda. Someone is cutting up girls' underwear at an exclusive school and Scout agrees to look into it. And the sinister secret behind the vandalism is not nice. Not at all. But Scout has her secrets too. In the dead of night she sneaks out with an underground group of yarn bombers to decorate the locality with artworks. The next mission ticks all the right boxes – it's risky, difficult and extremely silly. However, not everyone is amused, and Scout has a sneaking suspicion that the local police sergeant, Rafe Kelly, is hot on her tail.

30 review for Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Scout Davis lived in Byron Bay, NSW, and was an investigative journalist. When her friend Brian contacted her about the possibility of a cult having arrived in Queensland from America, her instincts told her there was a good story to be had. But from what she knew, and what she found out in her searching about the cult, she knew she had to be cautious. It was when Scout was contacted by an old friend who was distraught and not knowing where to turn next that she knew she would do everything in he Scout Davis lived in Byron Bay, NSW, and was an investigative journalist. When her friend Brian contacted her about the possibility of a cult having arrived in Queensland from America, her instincts told her there was a good story to be had. But from what she knew, and what she found out in her searching about the cult, she knew she had to be cautious. It was when Scout was contacted by an old friend who was distraught and not knowing where to turn next that she knew she would do everything in her power – and then some – to expose the horror of what the cult was doing. In the meantime, Scout’s sister Harper who lived at Robina on the Gold Coast, needed help at the school where she taught – and Scout’s own slightly nefarious activities were keeping her adrenalin pumping… Could Scout bring the cult to its knees without endangering herself or anyone else? Could she solve Harper’s problems? And would she stay clear of the law herself? Mad Men, Bad Girls is the 1st in the Scout Davis Investigation series by Aussie author Maggie Groff – and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it; how entertained I was; how much I laughed. The book has been languishing on my bookshelf here at home since February 2013 – I’m so glad I’ve finally read it! Scout is an endearing character; the setting is one I’ve been to many times, including the places mentioned on the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise; the writing is easy to read – all in all, an excellent, entertaining mystery that I highly recommend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Kent

    Sigh, I really want to like Australian chic-lit but its just so lame. This book was slow to take off, I found it clunky to read and I was annoyed at the attempts the author made to validate the main character starting an affair with her partners best friend. Also the constant referral to her diabetes and its management - felt like i was reading a pamphlet on 'why diabetics are just like normal people, except for the needles'. Please! Sigh, I really want to like Australian chic-lit but its just so lame. This book was slow to take off, I found it clunky to read and I was annoyed at the attempts the author made to validate the main character starting an affair with her partners best friend. Also the constant referral to her diabetes and its management - felt like i was reading a pamphlet on 'why diabetics are just like normal people, except for the needles'. Please!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Tyley

    “I can’t describe what it is that makes Byron special; there’s an intangible quality that’s difficult to define. Apart from the outstanding natural beauty, there’s a soul that seeps into your bones. Byron is an eclectic mix—cultured and feral, chamomile and gin, tattoo and Gucci. With attitude.” -- Mad Men, Bad Girls Scout Davis, a diabetic, tea-drinking journalist, lives in Byron Bay, her only company while her partner is away working in Afghanistan a rescued cat she calls Chairman Meow. She’s i “I can’t describe what it is that makes Byron special; there’s an intangible quality that’s difficult to define. Apart from the outstanding natural beauty, there’s a soul that seeps into your bones. Byron is an eclectic mix—cultured and feral, chamomile and gin, tattoo and Gucci. With attitude.” -- Mad Men, Bad Girls Scout Davis, a diabetic, tea-drinking journalist, lives in Byron Bay, her only company while her partner is away working in Afghanistan a rescued cat she calls Chairman Meow. She’s investigating a rumour that an American cult has established itself somewhere in the Gold Coast hinterland. When she discovers a childhood friend of her daughter’s has been caught up with the group, it becomes personal. For me, it rambled a little at the start, which I realise was all to do with story and character set-up, but it did make me itch to get to the guts of the story. However, once into it, I didn’t want to put the book down. Mad Men, Bad Girls is a light-hearted, entertaining mystery laced with that quintessential irreverent Aussie humour. The characters, none of whom are perfect with maybe the exception of Chairman Meow, are real and relatable. A most enjoyable read. I look forward to reading Good News, Bad News.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Who can resist a title like Mad Men, Bad Girls and The Guerilla Knitters Institute, it promises a fun, quirky story with a little intrigue and danger which is exactly what it delivers. This fiction debut novel by Australian author Maggie Groff is quite the departure from her non fiction titles dealing with motherhood (Mothers Behaving Badly) and cooking (Hoax Cuisine) though Groff's irreverent sense of humor remains intact. A freelance investigative journalist, Groff's protagonist, Scout Davis, Who can resist a title like Mad Men, Bad Girls and The Guerilla Knitters Institute, it promises a fun, quirky story with a little intrigue and danger which is exactly what it delivers. This fiction debut novel by Australian author Maggie Groff is quite the departure from her non fiction titles dealing with motherhood (Mothers Behaving Badly) and cooking (Hoax Cuisine) though Groff's irreverent sense of humor remains intact. A freelance investigative journalist, Groff's protagonist, Scout Davis, is asked to look into the establishment of a secretive American cult on the Gold Coast. A cursory study reveals some bizarre practices but when she discovers her daughters childhood friend has deserted her young family and joined them, it becomes personal and Scout is determined to expose their corrupt lifestyle. In amongst investigating the members of The Luminous Renaissance of Illustrious Light, Scout is helping her sister solve a nasty incident at the exclusive private school where she works, wondering who filled her car with weed, knitting frantically and avoiding Detective Rafe Kelly's knowing gaze. Scout flirts with danger, disaster and romance in this entertaining contemporary mystery. Set against the backdrops of Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, the laugh out loud humour of Mad Men, Bad Girls and The Guerilla Knitters Institute is paired with a more serious exploration of issues such as bullying, corrupt spiritualism and post natal depression. It's a strong combination that makes for an interesting and entertaining plot. Scout's investigation into the cult of Bacchus Rising is the central plot, it leads her to contact first with the family of an American member and then the mother of an Australian victim whom she was once acquaintance with. As with many cults, the messages of peace, love and harmony hides a sexual and financial predator who preys on the weak minded and ruthlessly protects his ego driven empire. Scout finds herself vulnerable when she infiltrates the group as an interested wannabe disciple and her cover is blown. Groff deepens the plot with smaller mysteries including a runaway child, a suicide attempt and a teacher accused of inappropriate behaviour at an exclusive high school where Scout's sister, Harper, works. On a lighter note, Scout's yarn bombing group, which includes a doctor and lawyer and in which she involves her nephew, is a fun sub plot as is the steamy relationship between Scout and Rafe. Scout is half heartedly involved with a fellow journalist who spends more time overseas in war zones than in Australia. Rafe is a temptation she finds difficult to ignore and throughout the novel the pair smoulder in each others company. I really like Scout, she is smart, clever, loyal and fun (and yes her parents were fans of To Kill A Mockingbird). In her early forties, Scout is older than the usual heroine in this genre and its something I appreciate being of a similar age. She is also an insulin dependent diabetic which is something Groff makes a point of mentioning regularly through the story. Scout has to monitor her blood sugars, eat regularly and be prepared for a hypoglycemic emergency. I felt as if it was perhaps mentioned too often, but on the other hand diabetes can be an intrusive disease and Groff raises awareness of that. With a strong plot, witty dialogue and likeable characters, Mad Men, Bad Girls and The Guerilla Knitters Institute is a wonderfully entertaining read. Apparently Groff has plans for a series featuring Scout Davis and I am looking forward to the second, so make sure you pick this up!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    This book was previously released as Mad Men Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute. I received this book free through a loyalty rewards program (yay freebies!) and I strangely decided to read it straight away. This isn't a genre I normally read, and the only way I feel like I can describe the genre is that it's just a fluffy, chick lit, crime/mystery novel. That said, I was surprised that I enjoyed it a lot. I was instantly drawn in to the story line; Scout Davis, investigative journalis This book was previously released as Mad Men Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute. I received this book free through a loyalty rewards program (yay freebies!) and I strangely decided to read it straight away. This isn't a genre I normally read, and the only way I feel like I can describe the genre is that it's just a fluffy, chick lit, crime/mystery novel. That said, I was surprised that I enjoyed it a lot. I was instantly drawn in to the story line; Scout Davis, investigative journalist, plans to infiltrate an American cult that's recently moved to the Gold Coast. There are quite a few subplots as well, and I found they all tied in nicely, although I thought the Guerilla Knitters Institute story line may have been a bit superfluous, even though it was part of the original title. It didn't really add much to the plot of the novel at all, and is hardly ever mentioned (in my opinion, not mentioned enough to be part of the title), but it was a fun little aside. I thought this book was written very simply, which isn't always a bad thing. I found it very easy to read and very easy to get absorbed in to. It's definitely a book that you can sit and read and read a good chunk in one sitting (that's what I did, half the book in one night). I thought Groff did a good job on the characters and describing the scenes. It's always different to read a book about places that you know. This book is the first in a series (second to be released March this year I think) and I'm not sure if I'll read the next one/s. It's not really my thing but surprisingly I liked it, so maybe I will if I want another really easy read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This book was a lot of fun. A good light read perfect for a lazy summer day. Scout Davis is a freelance journalist living in Byron Bay. She agrees to look into a cult that has moved from the US to Australia and goes undercover to find out if the cult is phony or not. At the same time she is helping her sister, a teacher at an exclusive private school, solve a puzzle involving slashed underwear in the girls change rooms.3.5★

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Good stuff! Love the way Byron Bay became a character. Finished a few days ago and miss being able to pick the story up and jump back in. Currently staying at Ballina and wondering if I'll bump into Scout or any of her friends (Rafe. Let it be Rafe). ;) Good stuff! Love the way Byron Bay became a character. Finished a few days ago and miss being able to pick the story up and jump back in. Currently staying at Ballina and wondering if I'll bump into Scout or any of her friends (Rafe. Let it be Rafe). ;)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    Its always fun to read a book set in places you know, especially so close to home (this one is set on the Gold Coast and Byron Bay). I enjoyed the story, liked the characters but did have moments when I did wonder if she could wrap it up! She also went on a bit too much about her diabetes!

  9. 4 out of 5

    MichelleG

    I thoroughly enjoy this little gem! It's a quick, light read that addresses some powerful topics while not getting too bogged down. Highly recommended for light weekend/ summer reading. :) I thoroughly enjoy this little gem! It's a quick, light read that addresses some powerful topics while not getting too bogged down. Highly recommended for light weekend/ summer reading. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    This was a fun read! Set between Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, there were many familiar settings which made it easy for me to picture. The story is about a journalist who lives in Byron Bay who is trying to find out if an American cult has come to Australia. Toss in the fact that she is a member of a yarn bombing group and is also in lust with the local cop, it is an adventure! The characters are great, and I will definitely read the next book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Lost in a Good Book)

    The story itself is quite interesting, the investigation into a cult and the second mystery and investigation at the school is really good. Scout is a great investigative journalist and seeing how she maps out her stories and her plans are a nice insight into the mind of someone in her profession. She is headstrong and good at her job, she is clever and creative and seeing her work is an engaging part of the story. But having said that, I wasn’t a fan of Scout herself at times. Yes, admittedly, The story itself is quite interesting, the investigation into a cult and the second mystery and investigation at the school is really good. Scout is a great investigative journalist and seeing how she maps out her stories and her plans are a nice insight into the mind of someone in her profession. She is headstrong and good at her job, she is clever and creative and seeing her work is an engaging part of the story. But having said that, I wasn’t a fan of Scout herself at times. Yes, admittedly, she is strong and confident and snarky and sarcastic and knows how to laugh and enjoy life, but she also isn’t the most faithful, and while she is having adulterous thoughts about a friend she doesn’t seem the least bit guilty. I kept waiting for her to snap out of it, to realise she couldn’t have these thoughts while her partner is overseas. It annoyed me she didn’t try to stop herself and that she went on with no remorse. It didn’t make you like her as a character in that regard. Also while the guerrilla knitting part was interesting, I couldn’t see the point in relation to the rest of the story. It was more like a side quest that had no relation to anything else. It is like Groff has just put a few weeks of Scout’s life together and is telling us. Which is fine, but while the rest of the events sort of blended together or connected in some way, this never really needed to be there in terms of story. As a narrator Georgie Parker probably isn’t the best choice and maybe this also came into play of how I enjoyed the story. She adds emotion as she reads into odd places and doesn’t read it…I don’t want to say normally, but she pauses at odd times in sentences, it’s very casual and seems like a fun activity rather than trying to read the book as it were. I couldn’t quite get used to Georgie’s style and her voice annoyed me more often than not, it kept bringing me out of the story and while I accepted her style, I never stopped noticing it like I have done with other audio books when I become more invested in the story than the voice telling it. Overall it was interesting for the investigative style and the story surrounding it. Groff frames the story well and shows how Scout moves from one part of her research into another, how she fits it into her day with life’s little dramas and adventures. The writing is good, the action and suspense was good, the balance of the serious and the every day worked well and Groff flows from one event to the next successfully. It was enjoyable and I might have to find the next book to see if it really gets me into the series and maybe see more of the Guerrilla Knitters in action. A longer version of this review was published on my blog http://wp.me/p3x8rS-1oc

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Forbes

    It's touch and go whether I'll finish this. The Bolinda audio version is narrated by Georgie Parker, a well-loved Australian actress, whose nasal presentation verges on parody, which I'm finding painful. The writing is a little painful, too. The main character is supposed to be about my age, but for a supposed journalist she doesn't seem to know about copy and paste on a computer. Description of a consumer affairs web site as flashing "Danger" made either the author or the main character seem ki It's touch and go whether I'll finish this. The Bolinda audio version is narrated by Georgie Parker, a well-loved Australian actress, whose nasal presentation verges on parody, which I'm finding painful. The writing is a little painful, too. The main character is supposed to be about my age, but for a supposed journalist she doesn't seem to know about copy and paste on a computer. Description of a consumer affairs web site as flashing "Danger" made either the author or the main character seem kind of old. Now one of the characters has the same name as someone I detest IRL. update: I finished it, due to a couple of car trips. The character just seemed about ten years older than she was supposed to be, her music taste was positively parental. There were some dubious attitudes to teenage girls and predatory teachers, and a slightly unsavoury obsession with the legal status of immigrants. There seemed to be a bit of condescension to the mentally ill. The diabetes was actually slightly interesting although the idea that most people think diabetics are fat people who bring it on themselves was news to me. The narration never became less than painful, dipping occasionally into excruciating. I couldn't understand the reasoning behind pronouncing "...asp" words with a short a, which sounded like even the narrator wasn't sure how they should sound. There was a fair bit of "gasp"ing and "clasp"ing, and this jarred every time. Sometimes the phrasing felt like the narrator was seeing the text for the first time. I won't be listening to anything else she narrates. The story was alright, if a little melodramatic. The cult member names were so dumb as to be unbelievable. The style relied a little more on telling than showing, but the author obviously loves Byron Bay and surroundings.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Simpson

    Just a sneaky comment, I have just finished the sequel, due in March, and it is FANTASTIC, as good as if not better than the first. I love this series. Scout is a great character, and they are calling this series the Australian Evanovich, which is spot on, but if you are a fan of Marian Keyes quirky family tales with the Walsh Sisters, I think you will also love these books. magpie Groff does a great job of weaving three tales into the one book, and veering between them at just the right time to Just a sneaky comment, I have just finished the sequel, due in March, and it is FANTASTIC, as good as if not better than the first. I love this series. Scout is a great character, and they are calling this series the Australian Evanovich, which is spot on, but if you are a fan of Marian Keyes quirky family tales with the Walsh Sisters, I think you will also love these books. magpie Groff does a great job of weaving three tales into the one book, and veering between them at just the right time to keep the pace of the book cracking along. if you are looking for the perfect lighthearted read, but with a good old fashioned mystery, this is the series. An ideal book for a long plane trip, for the beach, or just to curl up to with a glass of wine. I highly recommend this book and its sequel, and I can not wait for the next Scout Davis book to land on my desk.

  14. 5 out of 5

    KylieAtkinson

    Great easy, summer holiday beach read. Nothing too heavy and lots of laughs. The love interest (Rafe) sounds yummy but not sure about the relationship (as he is her long distance boyfriend best friend). Sometimes thought that the sub plots overtook the main plot although they all linked up well. Also thought that some of the basics of life were given a bit too much detail (what she wore, jobs around the house, what she did during the day that didn't relate to the story) and ALOT of focus on her Great easy, summer holiday beach read. Nothing too heavy and lots of laughs. The love interest (Rafe) sounds yummy but not sure about the relationship (as he is her long distance boyfriend best friend). Sometimes thought that the sub plots overtook the main plot although they all linked up well. Also thought that some of the basics of life were given a bit too much detail (what she wore, jobs around the house, what she did during the day that didn't relate to the story) and ALOT of focus on her diabetes. What I really loved about the book was that it is set in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast which is near where I grew up so I was familiar with place names and found that that resonated with me. I will definitely read the next one in the series, in fact, I'm looking forward to it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Drka

    This is a fun read and a terrific example of the genre, just what I needed for a day in hospital undergoing tests. Much more depth than chick-lit which I generally don't enjoy, but perhaps because this is a very Australian novel, lots of self deprecating humour, and a delicious sleuth/journo who doesn't take herself too seriously. It's not a very strong plot, or an intricate one, but I enjoyed it. Some readers have compared this book to the novels of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton and there is This is a fun read and a terrific example of the genre, just what I needed for a day in hospital undergoing tests. Much more depth than chick-lit which I generally don't enjoy, but perhaps because this is a very Australian novel, lots of self deprecating humour, and a delicious sleuth/journo who doesn't take herself too seriously. It's not a very strong plot, or an intricate one, but I enjoyed it. Some readers have compared this book to the novels of Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton and there is a similarity. 3.5 stars

  16. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    What fun! This story of an investigative journalist with an interesting life in Australia is propelled by to one, it two mysteries that need solving. One involves a cult, and despite the heavy material, the author does a splendid job of balancing the seriousness of the subject without making it too heavy. Very enjoyable. If we're lucky, this will become a series. What fun! This story of an investigative journalist with an interesting life in Australia is propelled by to one, it two mysteries that need solving. One involves a cult, and despite the heavy material, the author does a splendid job of balancing the seriousness of the subject without making it too heavy. Very enjoyable. If we're lucky, this will become a series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Unfortunately, this novel is full of vanities, ever-lasting descriptions about grocery shopping, clothes, whereas the reactions to the male OMG-hottie resemble those of a fourteen-year-old. It takes many pages to reach the climax of the story that is implausible and convenient in his denouement. All in all, a petty and bland story that gets lost in small details of daily life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jowellyn Neville

    This book, set in Byron Bay/Gold Coast Australia, is all they say about it and more. It's funny and witty. The plot keeps ploughing ahead with every page. Filled with characters you can't forget, this is a delightful, easy read that you just can't put down. This book, set in Byron Bay/Gold Coast Australia, is all they say about it and more. It's funny and witty. The plot keeps ploughing ahead with every page. Filled with characters you can't forget, this is a delightful, easy read that you just can't put down.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laura B.

    I got this free when I bought another book and after sitting on my bookshelf for at least 6 months I decided what the hell I'll give it a go..... I read this in about 6 hours.... I got sucked in to the story right away.... its fun and easy to read can't wait to read the next one I got this free when I bought another book and after sitting on my bookshelf for at least 6 months I decided what the hell I'll give it a go..... I read this in about 6 hours.... I got sucked in to the story right away.... its fun and easy to read can't wait to read the next one

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    Excellent book. Wonderfully written. About an Investigative Journalist investigating a number of intriguing cases. Therapeutic read on a number of different levels :-)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    It's ok, very light and fluffy. Quick and easy read that kept my interest . It's ok, very light and fluffy. Quick and easy read that kept my interest .

  22. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    3.5 Interesting. You must be warned... It's very slow. Very very slow. Lots of diabetes are normal type thing... all while the main character is hiding it behind the back she'd like its the plague. There is cheating, which is somehow rationalised and continued as per the norm, which was a bit strange. I was expecting that to be 'something'. Either called off until the standing relationship was decided or to have the standing relationship ended once the new one started, but no, it was a bit 'well, 3.5 Interesting. You must be warned... It's very slow. Very very slow. Lots of diabetes are normal type thing... all while the main character is hiding it behind the back she'd like its the plague. There is cheating, which is somehow rationalised and continued as per the norm, which was a bit strange. I was expecting that to be 'something'. Either called off until the standing relationship was decided or to have the standing relationship ended once the new one started, but no, it was a bit 'well, this is confusing, I guess I'll just keep sleeping with #2 until #1 comes back and we'll see what happens then...' Cause that's the logical way to go when your sleeping with your partners BFF right? Just enjoy the sex until you know what the damage is. Anyway, the partner sounds like an asshat anyway, so I vote for the BFF, but you cancel your first contract before you start another! I'm on the fence about the next book. I'm kind of interested, but am worried it will be slow again. But then, it's $13, and that above my cheapskate budget and more than I'd pay for this kind of easy read. And looks like there's only two books in the series anyway.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Iris Petropoulos

    Usually I don’t like books that include descriptions of every little thing the protagonist does - like how and when they make their tea and when they make minuscule movements around their apartment, but those are the things that made this book so much more warming to read in my opinion. Honestly, I am so jealous of the life Scout is leading; she’s living the absolute dream! Living in Byron Bay by herself, working as an investigator/journalist, having very few things restricting her for living he Usually I don’t like books that include descriptions of every little thing the protagonist does - like how and when they make their tea and when they make minuscule movements around their apartment, but those are the things that made this book so much more warming to read in my opinion. Honestly, I am so jealous of the life Scout is leading; she’s living the absolute dream! Living in Byron Bay by herself, working as an investigator/journalist, having very few things restricting her for living her best life, being involved in light criminal activity and lusting over a hot cop who feels the same about her, Scout is well and truely what reality is not, but we can all dream! This novel is such an interesting and easy page-turner; with various plot lines which keep you attentive and lots of descriptions that assist you in clearly picturing the scenery and characters as intended. If you like reading about cults, then this one is for you. The only downfall of this novel for me is how quickly the book ends. The main event that the entire plot leads up to feels a little rushed. Otherwise, a really great read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    An enjoyable listen, with, for me, Georgie Parker's voice being an excellent match to the humour, pace and drama of this tale set in Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and its hinterlands. There are dark issues at the heart of the drama in the book ... bullying, cults, abuse, and mental health issues, being just some of them ... but they are 'surrounded' by likeable characters, who, if not totally believable, are enjoyable and fun, with the 'Guerilla Knitters Institute' and its activities being a humourou An enjoyable listen, with, for me, Georgie Parker's voice being an excellent match to the humour, pace and drama of this tale set in Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and its hinterlands. There are dark issues at the heart of the drama in the book ... bullying, cults, abuse, and mental health issues, being just some of them ... but they are 'surrounded' by likeable characters, who, if not totally believable, are enjoyable and fun, with the 'Guerilla Knitters Institute' and its activities being a humourous aside (as a knitter I always get a kick out of knitting forming part of a storyline).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Murray

    I was excited when I saw this book on the shelf and it stated Maggie a Groff was the Australian Janet Evanovich! I couldn't wait to get home and read it. Having said that it started off ok, and while I was reading it is wanted to keep going but found that when I put it down I could leave it for days before going back. Then when u was about 2/3 of the way in I was hooked and didn't want to stop....and I didn't! Now I can't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series 😍 Bring it on! I was excited when I saw this book on the shelf and it stated Maggie a Groff was the Australian Janet Evanovich! I couldn't wait to get home and read it. Having said that it started off ok, and while I was reading it is wanted to keep going but found that when I put it down I could leave it for days before going back. Then when u was about 2/3 of the way in I was hooked and didn't want to stop....and I didn't! Now I can't wait to get my hands on the second book in the series 😍 Bring it on!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Peter Jochinger

    What a surprise this one was. We had crime mixed superbly with light hearted humor and a down to earth female investigater. In this novel we go solveing a few cases on the run the most pressing being an American cult that has moved to Australia. All this spiced up with Scout Davis our investigator embroiled in a juicy love interest. Maggie Groth a writer with a lot of human warmth and charm.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily Fletcher

    3.5 The three titular storylines (mad men - a mysterious cult, bad girls - drama at a private high school, and the guerilla knitters society) are woven together quite well; I enjoyed the romance storyline as well, but wish it had been put together a bit differently. This isn't fantastic prose, the writing gets a bit procedural at times, but the character of Scout is engaging and put together with a lot of little quirky elements, and this overall makes for a fun read with a thrilling ending! 3.5 The three titular storylines (mad men - a mysterious cult, bad girls - drama at a private high school, and the guerilla knitters society) are woven together quite well; I enjoyed the romance storyline as well, but wish it had been put together a bit differently. This isn't fantastic prose, the writing gets a bit procedural at times, but the character of Scout is engaging and put together with a lot of little quirky elements, and this overall makes for a fun read with a thrilling ending!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pip Snort

    Mixed feelings about this book. It was definitely fluff, Stephanie Plum style, although far more competent, but had real substance, a helpful and thoughtful, well researched analysis of cultic indoctrination techniques and a thoughtful and nuanced approach to their victims which was very heartwarming. Overall, I liked it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Morgan

    Witty and relatable. Brilliant characters full of life and love. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the mystery, I loved the depth of characters, I loved the locale and the Australian culture. I'm really looking forward to reading more of Scouts adventures in 'hippy heaven'. 😀 Witty and relatable. Brilliant characters full of life and love. I really enjoyed this story. I loved the mystery, I loved the depth of characters, I loved the locale and the Australian culture. I'm really looking forward to reading more of Scouts adventures in 'hippy heaven'. 😀

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hayls Lieschke

    This book made me smile. It’s so light & fluffy but so serious at the same time. Scout is a delight & most of the main characters are as well. It a fantastic quick read the will leave you smiling & happy.

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