Reading Stella Bruno Investigates

Stella Bruno Investigates is a series of six books telling seven stories.

Each title in the series is dedicated to a particular crime, but the seventh story, Stella’s story, is interwoven through the six stories that make up the series.

To fully appreciate the gradual unfolding of Stella’s story, you’ll need to read the series in book order.

Set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the stories open a window into Australian life and policing that allows you to explore life down under, without making the long-haul flight required to get there. That has to be a bonus.

All of the places mentioned in the stories exist – you can look them up using your search engine of choice. And, you can enjoy a meal at any of the restaurants where Stella and Shaun eat – if you ever make that long-haul flight and come to Adelaide. You might even spot me at one of the tables.

Australians are fairly informal in their working relationships, even within the confines of the rigid hierarchy of a police force. Working relationships are built on trust, and it’s not uncommon for officers of differing ranks to treat each other as equals – as Stella and Brian do. Of course, there is also a place for respecting rank, which is why Stella has a different relationship with DI Frank Williams, who is still coming to terms with the reality of his most competent detective sergeant being a woman. He gets better as the series progresses.

The other man of interest across the series is Shaun Porter. He works for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but that is secondary to his role as Stella’s new love interest. Yes, police officers have a life outside of investigating crime, and one of the joys of writing the series was witnessing the development of the relationship between Stella and Shaun. I hope you enjoy their story.

If you’re wondering what makes Australian crime stories different, Stella Bruno Investigates gives you the opportunity to find out in six quick reads.

Start with The Identity Thief.

Stella Bruno Investigates – season one

Stella Bruno Investigates is a series of quick reads – books designed to be read in one sitting.

They’re stories designed to be consumed in one irresistible gulp. The kind you can read on the way to work or before you go to sleep. Something addictive to distract you while you wait in line. Intriguing mysteries to enjoy on the train, in the car, or on a flight for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee, with ten times the kick.

Set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the stories focus on the criminal investigations led by Detective Sergeant Stella Bruno.

Stella is assisted by Detective Constable Brian Rhodes, who’s approaching retirement, harassed by Detective Inspector Frank Williams, and distracted by Shaun Porter from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In addition to all the crime, the stories follow Stella’s developing relationship with Shaun and provide insights into her life as a single mother with a teenage son. You’ll also discover some of the benefits she enjoys being part of an extended Italian family.

If you’ve never been to Australia, this series will give you a little taste of life ‘down under’ where you can experience the North Wind as hot and blustery, and winters without snow and ice.

Season one has 6 stories:

The series is also available in two collections for those who prefer their books printed on paper.


Peter Mulraney is the author of the Inspector West and Stella Bruno Investigates crime series.

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Where do your stories come from?

Guest post by Paul Toolan, author of the collection of short stories: A View from Memory Hill: Stories of ‘a certain age’.

If only I received royalties every time a reader asks me this!

Here, there and everywhere is the true but unhelpful answer. In ‘A View from Memory Hill’, there’s a story called Old Man, Young Pub that was triggered by seeing…an old man in a young pub!

Continue reading “Where do your stories come from?”