Maribyrnong & Hobsons Bay Weekly (Australia)
August 23, 2017
Stella Hardy back on the crime-solving case
By Benjamin Millar

The wait is over for crime fiction fans hoping for the return of wisecracking social worker Stella Hardy.

Footscray author J.M. Green has followed up her satirical crime debut Good Money with the second Hardy novel, Too Easy.

Green says the popular character has provided a way of bringing a fresh voice to the well-mined crime fiction genre.

”I kind of felt like there wasn’t a great deal left to be said and thought it did need a new take,” she said. “I feel like the tone of the Stella Hardy series barely has a hold on reality, it’s kind of skewed, but is still able to explore ideas around power and who has it and who doesn’t.”

Green says the character “really just arrived one day” and took on a life of her own.

”I had been writing this tortured literary book and I got very frustrated; all the frustration and pent up feelings of injustice I had were put into this figure,” she said. “I have a lot of friends who work in community services or have some sort of social work background. They do this incredible work … and I really wanted to champion them.”

Too Easy finds a determined Stella caught up in a police-corruption scandal, battling bike gangs, drug dealers and corrupt cops.

Much of the action unfolds across western suburbs including Footscray and Sunshine, reflecting the author’s love of the area.

”I have been living in Footscray for 20 years, but I still feel like I’m only living on the surface of what is here,” she said. “I also work in Brimbank in the library services, at Sunshine and St Albans and Deer Park, and I just feel a deep, irrational fondness for the area.”

Too Easy is out now through Scribe Publications.