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Sleight Malice

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  41 reviews
SLEIGHT ~ use of dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive.
MALICE ~ the intention or desire to do evil; ill will.

One cold Melbourne winter's night a suburban bungalow goes up in flames. Despite their best efforts, firefighters are unable to save the home. When a badly charred body is discovered in the remains, web designer Desley James is devastated. Her best frien
Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published August 17th 2010 (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  142 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Being held back from the blazing fire by a firefighter, Desley James was desperate to find out if her best friend, Laura Noble had escaped the fire. Desley had only that night had a girls night in at her house where she and Laura had a fun night together as Laura's partner, Ryan Moore was away. Now watching Laura's bungalow going up in flames, Desley is worried she may never see her best friend alive again.

Eventually, once the fire is put out they discover an unidentified body of a male. Immedia
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very entertaining and enjoyable read and one that you never want to put down until you reach that last page. I had no idea at all who the murderer was and the ending turned out to be a complete surprise! Vicki Tyley has the ability to make everyone seem a possible suspect and it is next to impossible to work it out. Always fun trying though. I always enjoy a murder mystery just a little bit more when it is set in Melbourne or Sydney so Vicki's books are perfect for me and I am looking forward ...more
Jülie ☼♄ 

What a great read this was! Totally absorbing from start to finish, it was so jam packed with things going on that I wonder how Vicki Tyley was able to keep track of everything, no stone was left unturned as she cleverly had every scenario covered.

This unique storyline with its many twists made this a real page turner where you are never really sure who the bad guy is until the very end.
The scenery as it was described had me transported and I could almost feel the frigid chill in the air and sm
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Following a pleasant evening spent at home drinking wine and chatting with her best friend Laura, Desley wakes to the news that Laura's house has burnt down. Neither Laura nor Ryan are found inside the house but the body of an unknown man is found in the ashes. When the police are unable to find any trace of Laura or Ryan, Desley starts to make her own enquiries and finds out there was a lot about her friend that she didn't know.

Another excellent page turner from Vicki Tyley. There are plenty of
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great little mystery set in a cold Melbourne winter, I loved reminiscing about my home town and remember how cold it could get.

The story revolves around a girl, Laura, who goes missing after a house fire and with all of the twists and turns in the story I couldn't quite work out who did what to whom! A fun book, short and suitable for a wide range of young adult and adult alike. There's a bit of swearing which I don't mind at all. 4 stars.

Desley James struggled in the arms of a strong male, desperate to escape and enter the house in front of her. But the man holding her back was a firefighter, and the house she wanted to go to was burning down. She was distraught – her best friend Laura Noble was in there, on her own; they had spent the evening together at Desley’s home, having a girl’s night with a few drinks and laughs as Laura’s partner, Ryan Moore was away on business, not due back until the following day. Now it seemed her b ...more
Guido Henkel
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
“Sleight Malice” was my second encounter with Vicki Tyley’s writing. Her debut novel “Thin Blood” was a truly captivating story with strong characters already, but early on, “Sleight Malice” makes it clear that it is superior in many ways. Once again, Tyley shows her prowess in creating dimensional characters that readers can latch on to very quickly. These characters make up the heartbeat of the novel, as her character-driven plot is more about what people say, think and feel, as it is about th ...more
Lit Fest Magazine
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
“Sleight Malice”
By Vicki Tyley

In her heart-pounding second novel, author Vicki Tyley confirms what readers of her debut novel “Thin Blood” already knew; Ms. Tyley is a talented, masterful writer who develops thrilling, chill inducing tales like no other. “Sleight Malice” may be Tyley’s second novel, but it reads as if a seasoned professional, who knows exactly how to captivate readers, has perfectly crafted it.

“Sleight Malice” begins with a fire. Desley James is fighting terribly to get inside
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is my second Vicki Tyley novel. Her first novel Thin Blood was a fantastic 5-star read, and if possible, Sleight Malice is even better.
The storyline immediately captured me from the get-go. So many twists and turns and a wonderful climactic surprise at the end, that yet again I didn't see coming.
Cleverly written and nicely layered with quirky, interesting and realistic characters, that keep the reader both entertained, and on their toes throughout the plot.
A thoroughly enjoyable and grip
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readers-favorite
Sleight Malice is the second in Vicki Tyley's series of stand-alone thrillers, set in Melbourne, Australia. Following her recent separation from cheating husband, Trent, website designer Desley James, has been leaning on best friend, Laura, for support. After waving Laura off home after a wine-filled girls’ night in, Desley is woken in the middle of the night by sirens, in time to witness her best friend’s house burning to the ground. If that isn't enough, there is no sign of Laura or her boyfri ...more
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
Another great book by Vicki Tyley. I started Sleight Malice and became so caught up in the story I missed getting to the bank before it closed for the day.

The story and characters are written so well, that I was "in" the story as it happened and forgot the world around me. The story immediately began on a high note and continued with unexpected twists and turns as it kept building to a totally unexpected ending.

This was my second book by Vicki Tyley and I can not wait for more.
Caleb Blake
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
This review is cross-posted from Papyrus Independent Author Reviews (

The morning after a girl's night in, Desley discovers that the home her friend returned to was burned down overnight. Where is her friend and whose is the unidentified body found in the ruins?

Sleight Malice is Vicki Tyley's second crime/mystery novel. This is a whodunnit that seems to have extended into a whosthatwherearetheyandwhodunnit? The author has dec
Grace Krispy
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A fire destroys a neighbor's house and Desley is anxious to find out what happened to the residents of the house- her best friend and her friend's husband. When it turns out that the only casualty of the fire is an unidentified man, the search for the missing couple is on. Desley's determination to unravel the mystery of what happened to her best friend takes her on a suspenseful journey to the truth; a truth that just may change her forever.

Vicki Tyley gives us another great read. Suspenseful a
Terri Armstrong
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
“Sleight Malice” by Vicki Tyley:

Desley James is a website designer with an easy, calm life. Well, she used to anyway before the disappearance of her best friend Laura Noble along with Laura’s husband Ryan Moore.

Without giving a lot away, Desley stumbles on to many secrets involving Laura and Ryan who Desley now believes is Laura’s brother. She was on the money when she figures out Ryan is indeed Desley’s brother, yet she was incredibly wrong. With the help of Fergus Coleman, P.I., ex-cop, custo
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I had read and liked Australian Vicki Tyley’s last book, “Thin Blood,” and was eager for more. “Sleight Malice” was even better. The protagonist, Desley, is heartbroken when her best friend Laura’s house burns down and Laura has disappeared. Desley is the kind of lead character I like. She’s quirky, with enough unique qualities to stand out from the crowd. Desley’s loyalty to her friends and her perseverance in pushing ahead no matter what the obstacle are qualities we should all emulate.

Yet Des
Patricia A. Woodburn
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Warning--Don't start reading this book at bedtime.
'Sleight Malice' by Vicki Tyley kept me up most of the night. In this mystery/suspense Ms. Tyley skillfully rachets up the pressure until I felt I couldn't endure it any longer. Then there is a surprise ending. You will get no hints from me.

Ms. Tyley cleverly provides several suspects and red herrings that left me unable to predict the finale. I love the Australian background with little comments about climate, scenery, housing and way of life w
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Tyley has created a great cast of characters that you can easily identify with as they push the story forward. The story takes place around the events of a mysterious fire that burns down the house of Desley's best friend Laura. After an unidentified body is found in the ruins she discovers that Laura and her husband missing. Determined to find out what reallly happened, Desley gathers all of the information at her disposal to go down a path of self-discovery that ultimately helps her solve the ...more
Sylvia Massara
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
As usual, the Queen of Suspense takes the reader through a labyrinth of situations and clues where the reader thinks "Yes, yes, I know who's done it!", but we're often wrong. When Vicki is ready, and not a minute before, she eventually leads the reader to a culminating and unexpected ending.

Like Vicki's other book "Thin Blood", I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sleight Malice. The story gripped me from the start and then I couldn't put it down--even when I was supposed to be working on other things.
T.J. Frost
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Laura and Ryan's home burns down. A man's body is found in the embers but Laura is missing. The police seem baffled. Laura's best friend, website designer Desley James, takes matters into her own hands to solve the mystery. The more she probes, the more complex things become. Friends and family are drawn into the intrigue. Twist follows turn as the story builds up to a tense climax - and a most surprising conclusion.

Vicki Tyley has given us another fast-paced, readable mystery, set in her Austra
D.B. Henson
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of Sleight Malice. As was the case in her previous novel, Thin Blood, Vicki Tyley has woven a wonderfully complex tale of deceit and murder.

After her best friend's home goes up in flames, Desley James enlists the help of private investigator, Fergus Coleman, to find the missing woman and her partner. As their investigation heats up, Desley begins receiving threats against her own life.

Sleight Malice is a first-rate mystery guaranteed to keep you guessin
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own

I read about this book on line and I was really intrigued. I contacted Vicki Tyley and asked if I could have a copy to review. She was nice enough to send me a beta copy of the book. I was looking for a story that was not young adult fiction but still had the ability to fascinate the way that Ya does. I found exactly that in this story. Like Desley in the story I was wanting to know what happened to Laura. I was suspicious of every character in the book. I even had the mystery work out in my hea
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I have to admit I hardly ever give out 5 stars, for me 5 stars is when I can visualize the story, like a running movie in my head. And only rare books do that for me, some have too many cluttering details while others have too little. Finding the perfect balance, is rare and Sleight Malice did it perfectly. I loved the characters, Desley, her ex husband, and Fergus, and all the other characters were believable and likable in some way. I would recommend this book for teens to up, its a PG rated b ...more
Maureen Miller
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely hate to use the cliche, "I couldn't put it down", but honestly it was applicable with this book. Desley, the heroine, was very real to me. When we first meet her, she is not a woman with superhuman emotional strength which is what helped me to relate to her. But she was stubborn, which also made me relate to her. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the budding romance between her and Fergus, and on top of it all, the murder mystery kept me on edge till the very end. I can't wait t ...more
Pete Loveday
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourite
What I like about Vicki Tyley's books is the absolute realism of her characters. The dialogue is listening to REAL people and is the true Australian drama that is played out, day in and day out in any part of this country. The story of Sleight Malice is a typical scene of work-a-day Melbourne and then it explodes into strong drama and deep intrigue.
Once again the characters are strong minded young women who are faced with problems and how they solve them is the essence of the story.
A good read w
Teri Sanders
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults
Sleight Malice and Thin Blood - I read every word. These stories are worth every word. The characters are well thought out and real. These are two rare reads. Let me qualify by saying that during the summer, my best reading time, I go through books quickly. Many I get bored with after a few chapters and find myself skim reading in order to get the end of the story and not read all the fluff. Vicki Tyley's books are NOT boring and are well worth the time. ...more
Julian Tan
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Classic whodunnit from Australian author Vicki Tyley that keeps you guessing until the end. It was refreshing and a bit surreal to read about places, slang and names from my home town of Melbourne. I really enjoyed the writing and dialogue, between a richly developed cast of characters. I thought it took a while to build momentum, and felt that some of the the chapter transitions tended to be a bit jarring with a lack of continuity. However, the climax and ending was worth it.
Sep 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
Another great read by Vicki Tyley, I enjoyed her first book (Thin Blood) so much that I downloaded Sleight Malice right away and I wasn’t disappointed. Sleight Malice is a page turned that kept me captivated from beginning to end. I wouldn’t give anything away but the ending had me surprised. Now I just have to wait for Brittle Shadows to be available for download at
Scott Collins
Jul 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another fabulous novel from Vicki Tyley. Fast paced it's a page turner from the get go. There are also plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end. Thanks Vicki! ...more
Christy  Gibbon
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Twists and turns everywhere you look. A fast-paced page turner that you don't want to put down. ...more
Kae Cheatham
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Convincing, well-wrought characters and an interesting story.
Looking forward to more.
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Vicki Tyley, a #1 Kindle bestselling author in Mystery & Suspense, is the author of Thin Blood, (Amazon 2010 Customer Favorite) , Sleight Malice, Brittle Shadows, Fatal Liaison, and Bitter Nothings.

Based in rural Victoria, Australia, Vicki Tyley writes fast-paced mystery and suspense novels in contemporary Australian settings.

Born and raised in New Zealand, she moved to Western Australia with a si

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