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The Sands of Windee by Arthur William…
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A lone man driving a car disappears in the Australian bush near the great sheep station of Windee. When he is discovered to be a rogue police officer the case catches the attention of Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, who goes undercover (and off the reservation) to investigate. The book contains vivid scenes of bush fires and aboriginal culture, but it seems fairly racist to a modern reader. Bony is a half-caste, part Englishman and part aborigine, and the way the author describes the conflict between the two parts of his nature is at times condescending. The mystery is fairly simple, but it leaves Bony with a dilemma which he must overcome. I enjoyed the story very much. ( )
  Bjace | Feb 10, 2013 |
second entry in the Napoleon Bonaparte (Bony) Mystery series. I absolutely love these books and have gone on to order #s 3 & 4 to begin collecting them.

In this episode, we find Bony once again in disguise, hiring himself out as help
at Windee, the home of a local sheep rancher. He is there because of a murder that no one else in the police department realized was murder: he had seen a photograph of an abandoned car, and in the picture saw something that the police would not have noticed: a series of fanned-out sticks in such an arrangement that Bony knew immediately it was an Aboriginal sign for "watch out for spirits -- white man killed here." Thus begin the book...and it is a long road until Bony uncovers the nearly perfect method of murder & body disposal.

So...if you decide to read this, you may be put off by what people may consider today to be racial stereotyping & racism. However, please keep in mind that Upfield published this book in the 1930s, years ago when this was a normal way of looking at things. You can't judge something by today's standards that was written so long ago. Other than that, and that fact that it's a wee bit wordy, I think anyone who wants to read a very good mystery will enjoy this book. Be warned: it's NOT a cozy and is not meant to be read in a matter of hours. You don't need to start with the first in the series (the lure of the bush), but it is helpful because you start getting to know not only the main character, Bony, but Upfield's writing style as well.

and now, for your added entertainment, from Wikipedia, a story about a killer who was an acquaintance of Upfield's who committed murder by using Upfield's book ending before it had been published. This murder became known as the Murchison Murders:

"The Murchison Murders were a series of murders, probably two or three, committed by an itinerant stockman named Snowy Rowles, near the Rabbit-proof fence in Western Australia during the early 1930s. The case was particularly infamous because Rowles used the murder method that had been suggested by author Arthur Upfield in his then unpublished book The Sands of Windee, in which he described a way to dispose of a body and thus commit the perfect murder."

Interesting, huh? Anyway, I recommend the Bony series most heartily! ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Jan 10, 2007 |
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The police never notice the small detail in the background of a police photograph of an abandoned car. A detail that tells Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte plainly that the mysterious disappearance of Luke Marks near Windee Station is anything but accidental. Why had Luke Marks driven specially out to Windee? Had he been murdered or had he, as the local police believed, wandered away from his car and been overwhelmed in a dust-storm? Bony feels the answers lie somewhere in the sands of Windee.… (more)

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