WIN, LOSE OR DRAW by Peter Corris, Allen & Unwin.
I’m so late to the Peter Corris party I’ve arrived at the door just as the last guest is leaving. Win, Lose or Draw is the 42nd, and, sadly final, Cliff Hardy book (due to the author’s failing eyesight). But better late than never, especially when there’s a gritty gumshoe solving crimes in old-fashioned, unorthodox ways. Hardy is a struggling private investigator in a very different Sydney to the one in which he started sleuthing 35 years ago. His last case is extremely cold indeed. Vaucluse heiress Juliana Fonteyn, 14, has been missing for more than a year. Her distracted dad, difficult brother and crazy stepmother are little help. But Hardy sniffs out a faint clue and chases it down with not quite enough regard for his own safety. It will be hard for long-time fans to say goodbye to the sympathetic cynic, Mr Hardy.