Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nefarious Doings (Nell Forrest Mystery, #1)” as Want to Read:
Nefarious Doings (Nell Forrest Mystery, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nefarious Doings

(Nell Forrest #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Welcome to the sleepy town of Majic, where neighbourhood watch is a killer …

For Nell Forrest, life in the little town of Majic is not going smoothly. One of her five daughters has just swapped university for fruit-picking, another is about to hit puberty, while a third keeps leaving aggrieved messages on the answering machine. On top of all this, her mother is infuriating
Kindle Edition, 243 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Momentum
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  224 ratings  ·  44 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Nefarious Doings (Nell Forrest Mystery, #1)
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a quick, light hearted, often funny, cosy crime featuring Nell Forrest, writer of a social commentary column for the local paper and now single mother of five daughters. Nell becomes an amateur sleuth when her mother's house burns down and the body of a neighbour is found in her garage. Nell feels sure that someone must know something about why the dead man was on her mother's property, but her attempts to investigate and carry out surveillance are often hilarious. Meanwhile, not only ha ...more
Watching the smoke in the distance from her own home in the little town of Majic, Nell Forrest hoped it wasn’t anything serious. She had no idea that that fire was about to start a chain of events of monumental proportions. Seven months previously, Nell’s husband of twenty five years had deserted her; it seemed her weekly column with the local newspaper was all that was keeping her sane. Nell had five daughters, the youngest one, Quinn, was only thirteen and still at school. But when she heard h ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Though I rarely have the time to read them anymore, I love cozy mysteries. It is really rare however for books of this genre to be published in Australia, there were a brief flurry released in the late 1980's/early 1990's by author's such as Jennifer Rowe, Kerry Greenwood and Claire McNab but few since. So I am delighted that Ilsa Evans new cozy mystery series has been picked up by Momentum, and hope there will be more.

Nefarious Doings introduces Nell Forrest who lives in the small town of Majic
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book to be red with a nice glass of Shiraz in your hand.

NEFARIOUS DOINGS is the first book in Ilsa Evans' new Nell Forrest Mystery series and it is a damn good start too. I really enjoyed it. It is easy to read with very likable and believable characters. Nell’s interaction with her daughters and mother are spot on; I could almost imagine they were my daughters and Ilsa had been listening underneath our windows as the conversations were so similar! The mystery is fascinating – for what possib
I don’t know whether I’m moving on from cosy mysteries (I wasn’t that impressed with my last Phryne Fisher mystery either), but this just felt a bit untidy and disjointed in its explanations, as well as lacking credibility - a man is murdered in a woman’s house and when said woman’s granddaughters want to investigate the murder, their mother (from whose perspective the story is told) jumps right in there with them - really??

I enjoyed parts of the story, and wanted to find out what happened. I d
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fantastic read, especially living away from Australia, it made me a bit homesick too.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it liked it
As with most cosy mysteries that I have read this was light and fun in parts but not particularly gripping. Nice to have an Australian town.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh how much better is my week having read this joy of a book.
Nell Forrest is a lady I'd like to have a wine with.
I found everything about this book refreshing; the plot, humour, and setting of rural country Victoria. The mother/daughter dynamic in this novel boldly breaks the social norm - Yen was truly one of the best things about this book - and I really enjoyed the interaction between these 2 characters.
I'm not normally a cosy mystery fan, as I prefer a little more "grit" but this is certainl
Vikki Petraitis
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Great to see Aussie sleuths out of the usual mould. Bought the second one on my Kindle the minute I finished the first
Robyn Allan
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I loved the "Aussie-ness" of the words used. Of course, I love a good mystery, and Ilsa did not let me down with this book. I also fell in love with Nell, a little bit! I found myself emphasising with her in many ways. I especially loved Nell's letters from readers; very, very funny. If you want to read a novel set in a location you actually know (or been to), words and phrases that ring with an Australian accent, and make you chuckle - this is the book for you.
This was such a great mystery novel - set in a small Australian town, very funny but also sweet and touching. The chaotic entire family stake-out trying to catch a killer was hilarious. I loved this.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
*This review and more at Tangled Bookmarks

Continuing with my theme of First Books in a Series That I Got for Free at iTunes, is Nefarious Doings by Ilsa Evans. Once again, I wasn’t expecting much from this as I’ve never been a big fan of the cozy mystery type books. Also, I’d never heard of this series so had no idea what to expect from it.

And once again, I stumbled across a gem. I had so much fun reading this. Nell Forrest lives in Majic, a small town in country Victoria, Australia. Yay for ano
Don't ask me what's going on. NEFARIOUS DOINGS, the first book in the Nell Forrest series released in digital format by Momentum Books, is the sort of accidental female PI thing that I seem to have been reading lately. The only reason I can come up with is that the ones I have stuck with have been very good.

Perhaps it's because Nell might be a bit put upon (honestly why can't anybody else in that household throw together regular meals...) but she's not daft. She might be a bit ditzy but she's no
Love this freebie! It's great to read Australian authors writing books set in Australia, and this was a great one!

Nell Forrest is a newly-single mother of five living in the small Australian town of Majic. All but one of the kids is an adult, yet they all spend a large amount of time at home and are still a bit part of Nell's life. Nell is a somewhat-failed author who writes a weekly newspaper column. Life is small and simple until her mother's next-door-neighbour is found murdered in her mother
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn't pick this up when I saw the setting was in Majic, Australia. I figured it was paranormal or something. Lucky I read a little of it because I would otherwise have missed a cute story.

Single mom Nell, recovering from a long marriage to a philanderer, has five daughters (but only the thirteen-year-old one is still at home, thank goodness).

Then the next youngest, who's been away at school, shows up chirpily announcing she's rethinking her life (she's been tossed out of school). Abou
Randee Baty
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of a fun new mystery series! This easy to read mystery has likeable characters, an intriguing mystery, a little romance and something a lot of mysteries don't have, a family life for the sleuth.

Nell is a single mom with 5 daughters ranging from out on their own down to 13. She's a journalist writing a column for her local paper when her mother's house is burned down and a dead body is found in the garage. Her mother, an very opinionated bookstore owner, needs to move in with her wh
This Australian cozy mystery focuses on Nell Forest - mother of five, columnist for a small town paper and recently humiliatingly abandoned by her husband. First, daughter Lucy moves home, announces that she has dropped out of uni and starts working for Nell's difficult mother. Next, Nell's mother's home actually burns down and a dead body is found in the garage.

In self-defence, Nell starts looking into the death in an attempt both to clear her mother of murder and to get her back into her own
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2014
The first book in a fun cozy mystery series, Nefarious Doings introduces the reader to the small Australian town of Majic and local column writer and mother of five daughters Nell Forrest. When murder strikes in Majic and Nell's own mother is one of the suspects, she and her chaotic but lovable family can't help but promptly turn into an entire squad of hobby sleuths... A quick and entertaining read. ...more
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent job! It perhaps has a little more colorful language than most cozies, but the characters are delightful. Nell Forrest, her five outspoken daughters, her VERY outspoken mother and her sister keep things hopping. The setting is Australia, and each chapter begins with an excerpt from an email received in response to Nell's weekly columns, giving a little more insight into the main character and her readers. The town of Majic, with its Christmas decorations (often humorously vandalized), t ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I'd read by Ilsa Evans and it won't be the last. Brilliant dialogue - very real and believable characters, reactions and interactions. I could easily see it as a TV series, set as it is in regional Victoria. There were plenty of humorous moments that drew an identifying smile, but there were also not so pleasant moments, but the book never became depressing or heavy-going. The plot was very well thought through to the end and I was still unsure as to "who did it" until tha ...more
A great, entertaining read, well written and with great characters. It has a quiet charm that pulls you right in. Nell Forrest has that dry wit but strong willed character told in a very humorous almost lighthearted manner. The mystery/suspense part is well done as well. Looking forward to the next one.
Mary  (Biblophile)
Apr 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, cozy-mystery
I thought this book was well written, the characters entertaining, and the mystery kept me guessing. What I didn't care for, and couldn't see the need for, was the four-letter expletive the mother and grandmother used in front of the kids. Even though several of them were grown ups, I still thought it was unnecessary in a cozy.
Lynda Birch
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this book. It is entertaining and well-written. The author has a great sense of humour. This is my idea of a cozy mystery.
For a full review see my blog
Feb 06, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Good writing but just not very interesting. A cozy I guess. I did like the family and the implications of that for a woman sleuth. But I hate that innocent sleuthing thing that writers pose for their protagonists.
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was hoping this would be the start of a good mystery series but I couldn't finish it. First of all, I don't approve of parents using swear words when talking to their children and even less approval when the grandmother also swears. No wonder Nell has brats for kids. Skip this one.
karen l ball
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love this book

I found this book so enjoyable. The author has a very sharp wit. I found myself hysterical with her humor and had tears with the seriousness. I will definitely read another of her books soon.
This is supposed to be a "cozy" mystery. Whatever that means. Cozy or not, it was a quick, uncomplicated, and most importantly, well written read with a relatable lead, a few good chuckles here and there and a suitably silly mystery to solve with an equally ridiculous reveal.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book - it had me laughing out loud and wishing I could read Nell Forrest's columns. Or meet her for a coffee at the bookshop cafe.
I would write more, but I have a curious need to go and find some pencils :-)
A disappointing book by an otherwise entertaining author.
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a four and a half star book for me. Dry wit and a good story. Kept me turning pages. I will read more by this author.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Devil Upstairs
  • When We Found Home
  • The Lost Summers of Driftwood
  • The Country Inn Mystery (Jenny Starling, #7)
  • Just an Ordinary Family
  • The Flower Book
  • My Lies, Your Lies
  • A Single Thread
  • Three Gold Coins
  • The Emerald Horizon (The Star and the Shamrock #2)
  • The Shrine (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #16)
  • The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly, #3)
  • Bruny
  • Sacred Time
  • What Child Is This
  • Darkness on the Fens (DI Nikki Galena, #10)
  • An Icy Death (High Country Mystery Series, #5)
See similar books…
Ilsa Evans is an Australian author. She has written across several genres from light fiction (such as the books that make up the 'laundry series') to more gritty social realism. Two of her books, Broken and Sticks and Stones stem from the findings of a PhD on the long-term effects of family violence that Ilsa completed in 2005. Ilsa teaches creative writing and carries out public speaking when she ...more

Other books in the series

Nell Forrest (4 books)
  • Ill-Gotten Gains (Nell Forrest Mystery #2)
  • Forbidden Fruit (Nell Forrest Mystery #3)
  • Dastardly Deeds

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
97 likes · 46 comments