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Bay of Fires

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  482 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Sarah Avery's reckless behavior has cost her a job, her boyfriend, and the independence she desperately craves. Reluctantly home for the holidays in the tiny seaside town where her parents live, her hopes for calm are shattered when she finds the body of a young female backpacker, washed up on the shore. A year earlier, another woman went missing and hasn't been seen since ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Reagan Arthur Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Poppy Gee Hi there. There are several types of snakes in Tasmania. The snakes referred to in BAY OF FIRES are Tiger snakes. This snake is referred to by locals …moreHi there. There are several types of snakes in Tasmania. The snakes referred to in BAY OF FIRES are Tiger snakes. This snake is referred to by locals as a 'black snake'. It comes in different shades, sometimes with faint streaks of grey, dark olive or yellow. The snakes seen curled up sunbathing on big rocks around the east coast are usually black. They are timid; but you don't want to surprise one as their venom is highly toxic.

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Average rating 3.08  · 
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Mike Musings Book Reviews
Jan 03, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: gentle crime with engaging characters and story
Shelves: aussie-books, crime
A promising first book from a Australian author. Set on the coast in Tasmania, with people camping when a female tourist disappears. Who is responsible - is it a serial killer? A gentle engaging story with good characters amidst a beautiful landscape. Well worth the read with a three star rating.
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
I have just finished this and feel very disappointed. The writing, technically speaking, is excellent and deserves a 4-5 stars - as does the characterization - but the story barely makes a 2. Bay of Fires is touted as a murder mystery, and while there is a dead body and someone with a guilty secret, the author pays little attention to building suspense and infusing menace into her plot, which it desperately needs. Instead she focuses on describing fish and wind / dust-swept landscapes, and bangs ...more
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was slightly disappointed in this book. The blurb sounded exciting.... the dead body of a woman is washed up on the beach, a year after another young girl has gone missing. It started off quite well but then just seemed to move really slowly. I found it disjointed in parts and boring in others. I wasn't really able to relate to the main characters and I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing really ever did. The ending was also quite anticlimactic. Overall it was an easy read but not ...more
Sarah Avery had returned to her parents’ home in the Bay of Fires on the east coast of Tasmania, after a turbulent break-up with her boyfriend, and the quitting of her job at a barramundi farm in Queensland. It was the Christmas holidays and her sister Erica was also home, with her long-time boyfriend Steve. Sarah wasn’t coping with the trauma that was keeping her awake at night, and took to drinking way too much. She also fished day in and day out, alone and happier without company. So when a l ...more
Apr 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
This was a book that suffered from a form of bipolarity. It was either a love story in which the main characters were interested in solving a murder mystery, or it was a murder mystery in which the main characters happened to be looking for love, but either way, the result was a disjointed, hard to follow story where the details didn't seem to make sense and I could have read only the last 60 pages or so and understood the entire plot arc of the story.

After finishing the story, I found out that
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Sarah Avery has returned home to Tasmania in secret, silent disgrace. She's broken up with her boyfriend and quit her job at a fish farm in Queensland, and is back in time for Christmas. Her family has a beach shack in the isolated Bay of Fires national park and head there every year for Christmas and New Year's. Her parents are there: Philippa, or "Flip" as she's known, a pharmacist; and Dr John Avery, a history professor at the university. Her younger sister Erica as well - a flight attendant, ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘The storm broke the night before the body of the second missing woman was found.’

The body of a female backpacker washes ashore in the Bay of Fires on the east coast of Tasmania, a year after a teenage girl went missing. This is an isolated holiday community: some families have holidayed there annually for years. Everyone knows everyone else, everyone has an opinion about who might be responsible, and a number of people have secrets they’d rather keep to themselves.

Sarah Avery’s parents have a s
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Bay of Fires is situated on Tasmania’s east coast. It received its name from Captain Tobias Furnes in 1773 when he sighted many fires lit along the coast, leading him to believe that the area had a large population. It is this gorgeous part of Australia that Poppy Gee sets her first novel, a murder-mystery. The body of a backpacker washes ashore in the Bay of Fires, a small, close-knit community and so begins our journey with Gee. Sarah Avery is a local, returning to the Bay of Fires after a sti ...more
Apr 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
There is something about the writing in this book that does feel "Tasmanian", and I will give Poppy one more chance to impress me with her writing, as it had so much potential, but speaking as a native of Tassie, the inaccuracies made my head spin.

What civic square does anyone cross to get to the restaurant mentioned? Is she perhaps talking about Salamance Place/Market, which is a road/thoroughfare when the Saturday market isn't running?

And as for any Tasmanian journalist who needs to have Boon
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up because I thought it would be interesting to read a novel with a local flavour and I've been on a mystery novel kick lately. I'm so glad I did, I loved every page. The story was compelling, the characters interesting and well developed and the mystery gripping enough to keep me turning pages long after bed time. I'm definitely looking forward to more from Poppy Gee. ...more
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just want to know if Grumpy the Cat is okay! Is that too much to ask?
Orbs n Rings
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A mystery novel with an unconventional twist.

I found Bay Of Fires quite a refreshing change from other stuffy mystery novels. In Bay of Fires you have Sarah Avery a free-spirited soul who loves spending her time fishing the beaches of the bay on the Tasmania coast. You also have a community of dysfunctional individuals who come together to spend their Summers on the Bay of Fires. And then there is the mystery of the young female tourists, one who went missing and the other who shows up dead and
While I think this was reasonably well-written, I just did not warm up to this book. I wondered about that as I was reading and it wasn't the writing style, although I did find it to be a bit jarring at times (some people have called it disjointed, which I did not feel quite so strongly). While that could have been part of my tepid feeling towards the book, I think that the bigger issue for me was that I did not particularly like any of the characters.

Sarah's introductory views of friends and fa
Sandy Sexton
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia
This novel, set in Tasmania, was a mystery with an engaging plot, but it was much more than that. The description of the setting was convincing, showing the beauty of Tasmania's east cost. The characters were interesting and well drawn, and there were non-judgemental glimpses into their relationships and personal lives which which explored human experience.

Like Dick Francis, we are given an insider's look into people's occupations - the life of a newspaper journalist and the role of a fish farme
Dina Roberts
Jun 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
I thought this book was interesting and well-written, but I didn't feel much of a connection to it. The mystery in the story kept my attention, but I didn't really love any of the characters.

The story takes place in a small coastal town in Tasmania. A dead body is found on the beach. A reporter, a fishing farmer, and other folks in town try to figure out whether the cause of death was murder or an accident. And if it's murder, is there a connection between this death and the young woman who disa
Slow start, reprehensible characters with few redeeming qualities, and a crime drama that takes forever to get anywhere and then it leads to nothing. Easy read but really very boring. The characters are typical archetypes and they lack dimension and warmth, especially despised the Boo Radley wannabe. Instead I recommend The Singer by Cathi Unsworth
Josephine Pennicott
It was my pleasure recently to be on a ‘Something Rotten in the Apple Isle’ panel for Sisters in Crime where I met Poppy Gee and Livia Day aka Tansy Roberts. We were all raised in Tasmania and chose to set our mystery/crime books there. I loved this panel because not only did I get to meet both writers, but it was fascinating to hear how Tasmania shaped all our work. Livia said how impressed she was that when Poppy was talking about the murder of Victoria Cafasso that semi-inspired her book, I b ...more
The Unwanted Book Club Mae
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
A novel set in a loosely-fictionalised North East Tasmanian Bay of Fires. The local setting and the evocation of the “shack” culture is the highlight of this murder mystery/relationship novel. A tourist is found dead on a beach a year after a local girl disappeared and journalist Hall Flynn checks it out with an interesting cast of locals, chiefly late-30s Sarah Avery who is leading a non-stereotypical life. It's engaging, but the police are too inconspicuous, Flynn has never heard of David Boon ...more
Kate Cornfoot
Apr 17, 2020 rated it liked it
There's lots to love in this debut. The writing is descriptive, evocative; the characters (for the most part) are engaging. Set-up as a thriller/murder mystery, I expected the plot to be more pacey, but by page 200 nothing much has really happened. Thankfully, an unexpected fire at the local tip ramps the plot back up and the final section is quite gripping. Overall, a good read. ...more
pammy 🍓
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I struggled a bit with this book. The author was very descriptive, almost to the point of being too descriptive. I felt like this made the story line move so slowly that I had trouble staying interested.
Katrin Schmidt
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely summer holiday read - especially if you have been to the Bay Of Fire in Tasmania. Poppy Gee definitely concentrates more on fishing and nature description than pushing the story forward. I enjoyed it nevertheless.
Kiri Kohu
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love it when you discover authors with the skill of making their characters real. I read this book in two days and loved how the story flowed. I don't usually read Murder/Mysteries but if Poppy writes another one, I'll be first in line.
Debbie P
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I normally read a book Of this length in 1 day. This book took 2. It held my interest and there were some charactors I liked. But the novel panned out to be a bit to long, could have been more editing. Also It was quite easy to workout who did "the crimes", if in fact there was any crimes comitted ...more
Ann Tonks
I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. On the one hand, there's some great descriptions of Tasmania. There's also some fascinating pieces of story telling about families. But it did go on and on with not enough adventure or development. ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ed Buckner
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finished this quite a while back but neglected to change the category to "Read." I certainly recommend it--good plot, engaging details about Tasmania. And, I just learned, the author answers question about her book--a pleasant surprise. --Ed Buckner ...more
Tegan Ballinger
Dec 31, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Can't continue - boring story - still can't place who's who after a week of reading, and cannot connect with any of the characters. Love the setting, and the descriptive writing of this place is good - what a shame the story doesn't match it. ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This story meandered a bit too much for me. The murder plot was so buried but the writing was pretty good.
Geraldine Presley
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
It was interesting and it tells one a lot about Tasmania. I have been there and loved it so I enjoyed the book.
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Poppy Gee is the author of the novels BAY OF FIRES and VANISHING FALLS. Both novels are set in Tasmania, Australia, where Poppy grew up.

Insta: @poppygeenovelist
FB: @authorpoppygee
Twitter: @AuthorPoppyGee

Poppy lives in Brisbane, Queensland, with her husband, three children and three cats.
She has worked as a journalist, editor and book reviewer and journalism/creative writing teacher. Lately, she s

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